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Charitable Support for Electricians of Tomorrow (EIC)

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 1st June 2017

Written by Tessa Ogle, Managing Director of the Electrical Industries Charity

The Electrical Industries Charity offers four workplace programmes that give the industry access to financial grants and a comprehensive range of free and confidential services, which include the Employee and Family Assistance Programme, Apprenticeship Support Programme, Pension Support Programme and the Practical Participation Programme.

We asked our friends at the Electrical Industries Charity if they would like to write a blog for us, which explains the services they offer to young people in the industry - which you can read below.

 

More support for stars of tomorrow 

Every so often no matter how old or young you are we all need a support network to help us to overcome the challenges at hand when we are trying to reach our goals. But some talented young people in our industry do not have that essential support which they need to create a brighter future for themselves.

Apprentice Support Programme

The Electrical Industries Charity recognises the importance of an essential support network for the young stars of tomorrow and therefore, launched the Apprentice Support Programme to help the apprentices to get the right skills and support to create a career they deserve. With the Apprentice Support Programme, young people in the electrical industry have a unique opportunity to earn and learn while gaining invaluable training and life skills.

The Apprentice Support Programme provides support for those who are unable to pursue their career due to unforeseen circumstances in their lives, such as financial burden, illness or having to care for a family member.

The right level of support

The Programme gives young talent the right level of support with many issues including financial, emotional, health and family factors. The support services that the Charity offers include career services, career development and transition assistance, debt advice, financial assistance, legal advice, apprentice scholarships and bursary scheme, financial grants and assistance, and support for carers.

Jack’s story

One of the recent examples where the Apprentice Support Programme gave hope to a young apprentice is Jack Terrins story. Jack is in his first year of his apprenticeship and lives with his mum Fiona who is recovering from breast cancer, having undergone a lumpectomy and chemotherapy. Fiona’s treatment has been very debilitating and because of the type of cancer she has, the next five years are crucial. As a result, Fiona has now taken retirement from work due to ill-health.

At the age of 21, Jack now has a role caring for his mum. In the past two years he helped his mum on her cancer journey, and although there are a lot of cancer charities and nurses who were willing to provide emotional support, there was no financial assistance available to help Jack and his mum to pay the household bills when his mum was no longer working.

Although Fiona now receives a pension, the only salary coming into the household is Jack’s, which has to be used to pay not only for household bills but also the insurance and equipment which he will need to complete his apprenticeship.

Jack has applied for and been granted the Electrical Industries Charity’s first Apprenticeship Bursary which will allow him to pursue his career while also helping him to care for his ill mum.

Jack’s story is one of many examples that outline the difficulties that the future stars are facing to reach their goal. With a looming skills shortage in our industry more needs to be done to support the new talent coming into the sector.

The Charity understands that if an apprentice is going through a rough patch at home it puts their work performance at risk. They, therefore, need support to allow progression, and achieve a lifetime of productive, satisfying work. The Apprentice Support Programme was, therefore, set up for young future stars like Jack because the Charity wants to ensure that the young apprentices of the electrical industry get the crucial support they need in reaching their full potential and creating a brighter future for themselves.

If you would like to find out more about the fantastic services this charity offers, please visit www.electricalcharity.org or email business@electricalcharity.org

Categories: apprenticeships, electrical industries charity

University v Electrical Training - why it makes sense to get a trade

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 11th May 2017

University v Electrical Training

University changes, costs and why it makes sense to get a trade

What advice would you to give a young person who is considering which study route to go down? Should they go to university or college, learn a trade from a professional training company or find an employer who will support them through an apprenticeship; and would their decision take into account the costs involved?

With many construction workers set to retire in the coming years and with the increase in young people choosing to go to university over learning a trade, the UK is in danger of having a shortage in skilled tradesmen. Therefore, here at Trade Skills 4U we believe that now is the perfect time to consider starting a career in the electrical sector. Also, the benefits of being an electrician is that it’s considered to be one of the cleanest trades in the industry that also tends to pay the best.

It’s predicted that in the coming years only a third of new jobs will be high-skilled roles for graduates, yet with university attendance set to increase further following the government’s removal of the cap on university places, the threat of a skills mismatch looming in the UK labour market starts to become apparent.

With this in mind, the information below gives an overview of what it could cost a person to train depending on which route they take, and also what they could expect to earn on completion of their training.

University versus Trade

Many young people considering learning a vocational qualification are often put off by society’s bias towards university.

If you have a specific career in mind which demands a degree, then the university route is of course the right choice for you. However, for those that choose to go to University with no specific career in mind might believe that when they graduate doors will automatically open for them when applying for jobs, but they may wish to consider that this may not necessarily be the case.

In fact research shows that 16,730 university graduates were out of work six months after leaving university as reported by The Telegraph in 2015. And 60,000 were working in ‘non-professional’ roles such as customer service and administration.

In comparison, when we ran a student survey here at Trade Skills 4U to find out how many of our students found work after their course, we found that an impressive 87.8% found employment on completion of studying their C&G 2365 Diploma course.

Student debt

The University route: Currently the average graduate will earn about £22K in their first year. Depending on which University they choose and the type of degree, universities can charge up to £9,250 per year for undergraduate tuition. This soon adds up when you consider that most degrees take 3-4 years to complete. Also, something to bear in mind is that unless you live near the University you will need to take into account living costs such as travel, rent, bills, textbooks and other living expenses, which could add up to £8,200 per year. This means that if you complete a 4 year course, by the time you graduate you could accumulate a massive debt of £69,000!

These numbers could sky rocket in the coming years, with some politicians considering raising top-up fees even further, meaning students could be saddled with even more debt.

The Apprenticeship route: If you are lucky enough to find an employer to support you through your training, an apprenticeship doesn’t cost the student anything, as the employer pays for their training. Apprentices get paid a wage whilst they are learning, plus they don’t have to worry about burdening themselves with the student debts associated with going to University. However, currently the National Minimum Wage for those aged 16-18 or 19+ in the first year of their apprenticeship is £3.40 per hour, although research shows that many employers pay more and the average salary is approx. £170 per week.

The electrical training provider route: For those that choose to study as an electrician with an electrical training provider, the typical cost of training ranges from £2,495 to £7,490, depending on whether you want to work on domestic installations only, or work on both domestic and commercial installations. You will also need to bear in mind that to become fully qualified you will also need to complete an NVQ and AM2, which on average will cost around £3,000.

Earnings

We recently ran a Trades Salary Survey which reports that according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the median Electrician salary is £30,765, with the construction industry seeing the highest year-on-year growth. Also, the average starting salary for an electricians mate is approximately £22,000 per year, and with the high demand for work within the electrical industry these salary’s could increase significantly.

According to the latest High Fliers report, The Graduate Market in 2016, the median starting salary for UK graduates in 2016 is £30,000. However, graduate-jobs.com estimates the average starting salary for graduates is £19,000 - £22,000.

Conclusion

We hope that the information above helps you make the right decision as to which training route would suit you.

We believe that when you consider all the information above, it makes sense to get a trade versus going to university. Students who attend an electrical training course generally complete their training in half the time, therefore typically have a two-year head start on earnings and career advancement, also they aren’t burdened with the huge student loans associated with going to university.

Also, we offer certifications in specific skills that are immediately marketable for entry-level work allowing you to go out and start earning a decent wage. And from there, you can make the choice to take further courses and pass specific qualifications to increase your value in the workplace.

If you are interested in becoming an electrician, it might be worth having a look at our range of electrician’s courses. Or, if you would prefer speak to someone, give us a call on 01293 529777 to speak to a trained course adviser who will be happy to help.

Categories: apprenticeships, university costs, trade courses

Ultimate guide to the Apprenticeship Levy May 2017

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 3rd May 2017

Apprenticeship Levy

From May 2017 the way the Government funds Apprenticeships in England is changing.

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

The Apprenticeship levy is a government initiative to fund Apprenticeships that came into effect in April 2017. This levy is only payable for employers with a total wage bill in excess of £3 million, will be paid through PAYE and is set at 0.5% of your annual pay bill.

There is an annual Apprenticeship Levy allowance of £15,000 to offset against your levy liability, which means that only those employers with an annual pay bill of over £3 million will have to pay and report the levy. This is because 0.5% of an employer’s £3 million pay bill is £15,000, which is fully removed by the £15,000 Apprenticeship Levy allowance.

The start date for spending funds as part of the new apprenticeship funding system is the 1st May 2017. Apprenticeships started from this date will be funded according to the new rules. This will apply to all employers, both those paying the levy and those that don’t.

For more detailed information on the levy visit Gov.uk.

Who will need to pay the Apprenticeship Levy?

All companies receive an offset allowance of £15,000, equivalent to 0.5% on a payroll of £3 million and any employer with a payroll above this will be liable to pay the levy.

Below is an example of an employer who will need to pay the levy with an annual pay bill of £3 million:

Employer of 250 employees, with an average gross salary of £20,000

Pay bill: 250 x £20,000 = £5,000,000

Levy sum: 0.5% x £5,000,000 = £25,000

Minus levy allowance: £25,000 – 15,000

£10,000 annual levy payment

If you need help calculating how much you need to pay, the government website has a handy calculation tool available HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools.

Paying the Levy

If you have calculated that you will pay the Apprenticeship levy, your payroll department will need to calculate, report on and pay your levy to HMRC through the PAYE process alongside National Insurance and Income Tax from April 2017.

Your annual pay bill is based on all payments to employees that are subject to employer Class 1 secondary National Insurance contributions (NICs) such as wages, bonuses and commissions. Apprenticeship levy payments are allowable for Corporation Tax.

If you’ve overpaid the Apprenticeship levy during the year, you will receive a refund as a PAYE credit.

Expiry of funds in your digital account

Levy funds will expire 24 months after they enter your digital account unless you spend them on Apprenticeship training – if you don’t use them, you will lose them.

This will also apply to any top-ups in your digital account. For example, funds entering your account in October 2017 will expire in October 2019.

Money is spent when it leaves your digital account as a payment to a training provider. The account will work on a first-in, first-out basis. To minimise the amount of expired funds, whenever a payment is taken from your digital account it will automatically use the funds that entered your account first.

Industry training levy contributions

Businesses will still need to pay the Apprenticeship Levy even if they already contribute to an industry-wide training levy arrangement, for example the Construction Industry Training Board Levy.

What can levy funds pay for?

Funds in the digital account can pay for training and assessment for Apprenticeships (with an approved provider and assessment organisation, up to its funding band maximum). These funds cannot be used to pay for wages, travel or subsidiary costs, work placements, traineeships, managerial costs or the costs of setting up an apprenticeship programme.

If you have existing staff who you wish to train they could be eligible for an Apprenticeship as long as there is a real need for them to develop new skills in order to progress in their career.

How can employers spend their levy?

Firstly, you will need to register with the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) and create a digital account.  This is a new on-line portal to select apprenticeship programmes, training providers and process payments.

Once levy funds have been collected by HMRC they will be held in your ‘Digital Apprenticeship Service’ (DAS) account. You will then be able to direct the funds held in your account to an ‘approved training provider’ to pay for your Apprenticeship training.

Government 10% top-up

What’s in it for you?

The government will apply a 10% top-up to monthly funds entering levy paying employers digital accounts, for Apprenticeship training. This means that all funds entering a levy payer’s account will be increased, so every £1 will be increased to £1.10 in value for you to spend on Apprenticeship training.

 

 

Apprenticeship funding bands

There are currently two types of apprenticeship scheme, frameworks and standards and both will be funded in the same way.

Each Apprenticeship standard or framework will be placed into one of 15 bands, ranging from £1,500 to £27,000. These bands will determine the maximum amount that can be spent on each Apprenticeship.

Funding bands can be found here.

The upper limit of the funding bands will also cap the maximum price that the government will ‘co-invest’, if an employer does not pay the levy or has insufficient levy funds to pay for the number of Apprenticeships they want to use. It will be up to employers to negotiate prices with providers, within these funding limits.

What happens if an employer’s levy funds don’t cover the cost of the training?

You will be expected to make a contribution to the extra cost of training if you have either used all your funds or don’t have enough to fund the number of apprenticeships you wish to train. However, additional government support will be provided to help you meet the additional costs. The government will pay 90% (up to the maximum amount of funding available for that Apprenticeship) and the employer will be expected to pay the remaining 10%. This is known as ‘co-investment’.

Additional incentive for employing 16 to 18 year olds and 19-24 year olds with additional needs

If you take on an apprentice who is between 16 and 18 years old at the start of their Apprenticeship, you will receive a £1,000 incentive to help meet the extra costs of employing them. This will also apply to 19-24 year old care leavers or young adults with additional learning needs.

The £1,000 will be paid in 2 instalments in months 3 and 12 of the Apprenticeship; initially these will be paid to the provider who will pass the money on.

If you are an employer who doesn’t currently take on apprentices and you will be affected by the levy, we would advise that you start to consider setting up a pilot apprenticeship scheme so you are in the best position to make use of your levy funds in 2017.

Non-levy payers and co-investment

Employers with a wage bill below £3 million per year won’t pay the levy and won’t need to use the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) to pay for Apprenticeship training. However, they will have to pay towards the cost of an apprenticeship. Those employers are expected to pay a 10% contribution and the government will pay the remaining 90%.

Below is an example of an employer who would not pay the levy:

Employer of 100 employees, with an average gross salary of £20,000

Pay bill: 100 x £20,000 = £2,000,000

Levy sum: 0.5% x £2,000,000 = £10,000

Minus levy allowance: £10,000 – 15,000

£0 annual levy payment

What should you do now?

If you will be affected by the Apprenticeship levy we would highly recommend that you start to plan now for how many apprenticeships your levy credits will cover. This will ensure you are in the best position to make the most of your levy funds from May 2017.

If your business is not affected by the levy and you are considering taking on an apprentice we would recommend you speak to our course advisers who will be happy to discuss this with you.

How can we help?

We are pleased to announce that we have been approved to supply apprenticeship training for levy paying employers and are planning to offer the following electrical apprenticeship in 2017:

C&G 5357 Level 3 Electrical Apprenticeship

If you, or your employer are looking for apprenticeship provision contact us to find out how we can deliver a bespoke solution to suit your needs.

 

Useful links

Click here to view the Apprenticeship Levy: How it will work.

Click here to use the estimate my apprenticeship funding tool

Click here to view the apprenticeships support package for employers in England

Click here to view the funding bands tool

Click here to sign up to the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS)

Click here for guidance on using the HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools (BPT)

 

Categories: apprenticeships, apprenticeship levy

Trade Apprenticeships on the Rise. How Does Each Trade Compare?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 23rd September 2016

The number of people registering to become an electrical apprentice is increasing each year due to the government actively investing and promoting apprenticeships across the UK. When we look at the data below we can see a significant increase over the last year and data for 2016 which is yeat to be finalised suggest this will incre\ase further. 

So what happened in 2008?

Electrical apprenticeships increased to a peak of 6520 starts in 2008. The increase was driven by a booming construction sector. In order to complete an apprenticeship it is essential to have a job or apprenticeship placement. As such apprenticeships can be a good indicator of the strength of an industry and it’s employment prospects.

So when the crash happened in 2007 we saw overall starts for electrical apprenticeships decline in the following years. They have been a little up and down since then but have finally hit their stride over the last couple of years getting close to pre-2007 levels. Data for the period August 2015 - April 2016 is still to be completed but total starts for that period is almost equal to the year before already with 5480 apprentices starting. 

Whats going to happen in coming years?

Well there is a major shift coming in the next few years. Apprenticeships as a whole are set to become more common across all industries. The reason for this is that the government is going to be enforcing an apprenticeship levy on all employers who have a wage bill of £2M or more. This means that those employers will have to spend 0.5% of their wage bill on apprentices. If they don’t that money will get paid into a pot and then be used to facilitate more apprenticeships. Essentially it will be a use or lose it approach so most employers are likely to use it.

We expect that overall apprenticeships will rise but also there will be an increase in demand for mature apprentices who can enter the industry. This also will mean an increase in demand for students who have self-funded their training and maybe need an employer to sponsor an NVQ.

How are other trades performing?

It’s no surprise that apart from general construction skills plumbing comes second in terms of the number of apprenticeship starts over the last few years. We can also see a similar pattern in terms of a peak in 2007 and then a lull before things start to improve in the last few years.

Why it makes sense to hire an apprentice?

The current government and private education sectors have recently been encouraging employers to consider taking on apprentices because they’re generally easier to train and mould and are also cost-effective for the business. Another added benefit which GOV.UK recently reported is that 89% of employers who hired an apprentice saw their business improve the quality of their product or service.

There’s also many long term benefits for employers and apprentices, as GOV.UK also published statistics stating that 90% of apprentices will stay in employment with 71% staying with the same employer.

What’s clear is that apprenticeships and trade based careers are seeing a resurgence of interest over the last few years. With the rise in university tuition fees and the ability to get earning much quicker in many trades it is no surprise to see a large number of younger and older students choosing to ditch the books and pick up the tools.

 

 

Categories: apprenticeships

Warrington Apprenticeship Taster Week

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 2nd August 2016

Are you looking to start out as an electricians mate or apprentice? Not sure if it is the right career for you? Well to help we are hosting our first free apprenticeship taster event at the brand new Warrington training centre. The training week will take place between the 10th and 14th October. For more information visit this page.

We understand that choosing the right career path can be difficult and committing to a 3 year apprenticeship can be daunting if you’re not 100% sure. That’s why we are giving 16 – 19 year olds the opportunity to get a real feel for the electrical industry and the training to expect on an apprenticeship or electrical training course.

The course will run from Monday 10th – Friday 14th October. 

Throughout the week you will learn:

• Background to electrical contracting

• Different career paths

• The basics to electrical science

• Basic health and safety regulations

• Basic wiring regulations

• Hands on electrical installation skills on a domestic level

• Take part in a practical workshop

Our tutors will provide theory work as well as give individuals the chance to try their hand at some basic installation. You will also be given background information to electrical contracting, advised on the different ways into the industry and given a brief overview of electrical science. At the end of the week individuals should have a clearer idea of whether or not a career in electrics is for them.

For more information on the taster week contact a course advisor on 01293 529 777. Places are available to those aged between 16 – 21 years old. Spaces are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.  

Categories: apprentice, apprenticeships, electrical training, electricians

Get Involved in Trailblazing Consultations of the Electrotechnical Apprenticeship

Posted by Carl Bennett on 31st January 2014

The IET and Summit Skills have just published a survey online asking for feedback and input on changes to the Electrotechnical Apprenticeship framework. You may or may not be aware that all apprenticeships are being reviewed as part of the new Trailblazers project. A trailblazer will essentially set the industry standard for that industry and a handful of industries have been selected as a first round including Electrotechnical and Energy & Utilities.

There are also a number of organisations heavily involved in these projects so for the Electrotechnical project companies such as Balfour Beatty, Barlows Electrical, Daly Limited, Darke & Taylor Ltd, The IET & The JIB are all involved. This review is great for the industry and the input of these organisation is invaluable as they are clearly very influential members of it. But what about the voices of the smaller contractor many of whom are employed by the companies listed above. Is their voice really being heard?

The survey does give almost anyone a chance to have their say, however we have only just found out about this survey and the closing date is actually the 3rd February 2014. That doesn’t give us or anyone else in the industry much time to get involved.

We would hope that the process of gathering responses to this survey could be extended whilst more people in the industry have a chance to contribute. We feel it is great that standards are being reviewed and updated, however if they are going to be reviewed we need to ensure the process is not rushed and that the smaller micro businesses get to input their thoughts, opinions and suggestions.

I have just taken the survey and whilst it asks some meaningful questions one key element appears to be missing. The survey doesn’t ask who I am, what I do and why my opinion is relevant. It simply asks if I am an employer or not. This is because apprenticeships are considered to be only relevant for employers and anyone else’s opinion does not matter.

This is possibly one of the most important aspects of the apprenticeship that needs to be addressed. Its content and structure is geared towards the minority of electricians who are employed by a large company. In fact most large companies employ more electrical sub contractors than they do full time electricians. It is the opinion of these people on the ground actually doing the work we feel needs to be included in this consultation. Yes they may not be employers but they are the ones doing the job day in and day out who fully understand what is required to work independently as an electrical contractor.

If you have the time and feel you can contribute please get involved and add your opinion. We simply wish there was more time to get this message out and gather more responses, maybe there will be following this blog post?

>>Click Here to take the survey<<

 

Categories: apprenticeships

Apprenticeship Success – Quantity vs Quality

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 14th December 2012

A report compiled by the House of Commons British Innovation and Skills Committee (BIS) concluded that the quality of British apprenticeships is more important than quantity.

This is a welcome move which will see standards raised amongst apprenticeships and ensure a high quality of training within apprenticeships, which ultimately will lead to a higher trained future workforce.

Apprenticeships are often unfairly untarnished as being a route for the less academically minded.  Whilst apprenticeships are vocational in nature, offering hands on experience leading to a qualification and normally a job position, it is not a route for less able candidates.

The emphasis on apprenticeships, is that they are aimed for individuals who have the desire to work in a practical environment and have the skills and aptitude to undertake this type of skilled work.

By contrast, a degree is aimed for the academically minded person who will undertake most of their study on paper with a smaller element of practical experience in order to obtain a qualification to improve their prospects on the jobs market.

Whichever route is chosen, whether academic or vocational, the qualifications have the same value.

The aim to make apprenticeships more challenging to suit the demands of the industry concerned.  At Trade Skills 4U, we think this is a great idea.  We have had several 17th edition electricians telling us that they spent the first year or longer of their electricians apprenticeship sweeping floors, visiting electrical wholesalers for materials, making the tea for the boss and if they were lucky, observing some electrical work in between.

There is a distinct lack of opportunity to gain relevant hands on experience and many electrical apprentices are entering the jobs market without the essential skills needed to successfully pursue a career in the electrical industry.  The BIS report is calling for the standards to be raised to ensure each candidate is given a quality experience with providers needing to demonstrate the learning experience they will be providing to ensure suitable electricians are being brought to the jobs market.

Whilst the government is heavily extending its apprenticeship programme, it is important that this does not result in a lack of focus on what the apprenticeship scheme will be delivering.

It is now time to remove the tainted image of apprenticeship and electrician training and a closer partnership needs to be developed within schools to raise the standards of entrants who enter vocational training.  The construction industry as a whole faces a huge shortage of suitably qualified domestic electricians and installers.  Changes are needed to the current 17th edition model and schools need to take essential basic education more seriously and not use the apprenticeship route as a dumping ground.

The electrical industry offers opportunity for all but a successful career is not made by sweeping floors for 2 years.  It is gained by quality, dedicated training opportunities, the opportunity to gain hands on experience.  The training does not have to be so prolonged, the candidate looses focus or the ability to continue.  The opportunity to fit training around lifestyle is of paramount importance as well as the opportunity to earn as soon as possible.

Here at Trade Skills 4U we are able to train electrical apprentices in the core units much quicker than most colleges. We operate a system of two weeks on two weeks off for privately funded students and for those who are employed in an electrical apprentice role they can train 1 week a month for 16 months. This means they will learn skills that are useful to their employer in a much shorter space of time. This all means one thing, less tea and sweeping up and much more proper hands on work that is going to make them much more useful to their employers.

 

Categories: electrical apprenticeships, apprenticeships

TradeSkills4U highlight importance of modern apprenticeships

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 28th August 2012

Help reach success with the modern apprenticeship & choose a career choice that pays off.

As the late weeks of August provide the youth of today with their hard earned grades, education is a hot topic for the month ahead. But when presented with limited options of this double-dip recession, how can this fresh-faced generation ensure their next steps are ones into well-paid jobs? Chloe Bennett speaks to industry & government experts to help outline why the modern route to success maybe in the traditional apprenticeship and what can be done to help encourage others to take this worthwhile route.

“Whether you are interested in working in nursing, engineering or for a large company like the BBC, apprenticeships are a sure fire way to equip yourself with the right skills and experience for the job in hand,” begins Carl Bennett, managing director of Britain’s Premier Electrical Training Company Trade Skills 4U. “As apprenticeship schemes come in all shapes and sizes there is one bound to suit everyone’s needs,” he continues. Carl Bennett’s comments come at the perfect time as this summer alone has seen apprenticeship vacancies rise to a staggering 15,000. “There really has never been a better time to apply for these worthwhile schemes.”

“Apprenticeships are open to all age groups and work on the basis where an individual gains on the job experience and works towards a nationally recognised qualification in the process. By implementing a blend of practical & theory training, individuals can be assured they are achieving the two vital skillsets that are required for anyone applying for work in the current job market,” Mr Bennett adds. “In addition, although age permitting, funding is available to cover the costs of training and the employer can be offered up to £1,500 for taking you on.”

On his visit to Tradeskills4u’s training facility near Gatwick Barry Sheerman, Labour MP for Huddersfield and Former Chairman of the Education and Skills Select Committee echoes Mr Bennett’s support for apprenticeships and explains that his goals are clear in bettering education and employment opportunities for the youth of tomorrow. “Together we are working for a more sustainable future and this begins with providing impending generations with the right opportunities to progress. I have always been in great support of the apprenticeship and the impact of small businesses and their importance of the future,” said Mr Sheerman. “My own view is that there should be no such thing as unemployment for anyone under 25 years of age. Until 25, everyone should be in education, training, high quality work experience, or a job so at local level it is my job to help encourage every community in every town in every constituency to forge a new partnership of employers, educators, and trainers to tackle the local challenge. The mission is simple; we need more young people to have jobs and companies like Trade Skills 4U have my full support as they are being proactive in this area.”

“With government help, businesses like ourselves can continue doing what we can to ensure young people are getting the right skills they need to begin fruitful lucrative careers,” says Mr Bennett.

“Modern apprenticeships are becoming attractive options for school leavers as recent reports outline that the manufacturing and engineering have enjoyed an increase in take up of more than 70% over the past three years. Figures like this help highlight that we are slowly getting to where we want to be but more needs to be done so that young people realise what a great opportunities are on offer through apprenticeships and in our case particularly, how beneficial the electrical sector is,” adds Mr Bennett.

“Opportunities are endless in the world of electrics and most people forget that this is an industry that is simply continuing to grow. Wherever you see a socket or a switch, an electrician has been there to install it so a job in this sector can take you places you might not realise. From roles in television and film as ‘gaffers’ and ‘best boy grips’ to designing and installing wiring systems on airplanes, cruise boats and houses the possibilities for a rewarding and varied career are endless,” he adds.

On the other side of the training, apprentices like Tom Ward, currently on Trade Skills 4U’s City & Guilds 2357 apprenticeship course outlines his experiences with the programme and urges that more needs to be done to encourage and financially support hose looking to enter the schemes.

Tom Ward, currently on Tradeskills4u's electrician's apprenticeship course, speaking with Barry Sheerman MP.

“I started my apprenticeship knowledge training with Trade Skills 4U in April this year and am really enjoying it. I’m currently working with EDES Ltd in London and have a goal of completing the entire scheme by this time next year.”  When asked about his thoughts on apprenticeship awareness he confirmed “as someone who has always wanted to be an electrician, it seemed the only way to get into the industry. However I wasn’t completely aware of my funding options and the incentives available for employers which would have really helped me in the job seeking process. I’m lucky enough to be in the bracket where my training is fully funded but more could be done to financially support and encourage those who aren’t and come to discover that this career would be suitable for them.”

Apprenticeships, despite having junior connotations, aren’t just for school leavers as “a lot of the guys on my course after a lot older than me. We have a 45 year old, 38 year old and 39 year old amongst a range of twenty-something’s all taking the course to better themselves and their knowledge in the industry,” adds Tom. “I think it’s just me and one other lad that are able to receive funding and out of a class of 12 that means 10 are funding it from their own back pocket.”

“Tom makes a great point in addressing support,” says Carl Bennett. “I think if more could be done to help support everyone taking an apprenticeship, irrespective of age, we might find that the national shortage of electricians begins to decrease! Oh and one more thing if I may” adds Carl Bennett, “We have 15 young people on our waiting list, desperate to get an employer to sponsor them on an apprenticeship. If you’re interested in helping them, get on the phone and give us a call on 01293 529777!”

For more information on apprenticeship courses visit www.apprenticeships.org . Those interested in taking electrical apprenticeships should contact Trade Skills 4U on 01293 529777 or by visiting www.tradeskills4u.co.uk.

 

Categories: company news, electrical course, apprenticeships

Case Study: The Electrician's Apprentice

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 23rd August 2012

Name: Tom Ward

Age: 19

Live: Nunshead, Dulwich

Company: EDES Ltd (East Devon Electrical Services LTD)

Started apprenticeship: 18 months ago

Stated training with TradeSkills4U: April 2012

 

Photo: Tom Ward speaking to Mr Barry Sheerman MP of Hudderfield

I started training with TradeSkills4U in April this year and so far its’ going great. I thought it was going to a be a little bit tough at first as I’m taking time out to train 2 weeks of the month so missing out on work, but my employer enables me to work evenings and weekends if I want to catch up on missed pay. I chose TradeSkills4U because they helped me get the vital funding I needed to pay for the course, I’m lucky enough to be in the bracket where my training is fully funded.”

Currently my training is all going really well; I’m finishing my electrician apprenticeship training on November 13th this year and hope to finish the full apprenticeship 8 months after that. My current employer is East Devon Electrical Services LTD which is actually based in London and through them I have been able to tick off various competences having demonstrated that I am able to work in specific areas and complete certain installations. We normally work in hospitals which I really enjoy and as the company is a large contractor firm, variety is a huge bonus. We are always working with different people and on different jobs which is great fun.”

“The best bit about training with TradeSkills4U is the facilities which are pretty spot on to life onsite but above all the knowledge! Sometimes, and I think it’s safe to say that other electricians feel this too, there are certain jobs or practices that I carry out without really knowing why. For example, the other day I asked some of the guys I work with why there isn’t such thing as an ‘A type breaker,’ only B’s, C’s and D’s. Funnily enough no one on site knew the answer, but James my instructor at TradeSkills4u said they don’t exist  due to the possible confusion over the measurement of ‘Amps’ if an A breaker were to exist. It sounds silly but that really stayed with me. It’s great to go out and practise the work but have the technical support here so I can learn exactly what I’m doing and why. This helps to fill in any gaps that come about on site which is vital for me in these early learning stages.”

On another note, a great bit about the training is how I’m able to carry it out. I’ve chosen to train 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off which is ideal for me as I’m getting a real steady flow of information which I’m constantly building on. Where most of my friends are on day release, they struggle with school holidays and other term-breaks like Christmas which can really delay their training and elongate the apprenticeship. By working in intense chunks I’m getting a lot of it done in a smaller time frame which suits me down to the ground.”

“I’m really excited about qualifying, and I’m so glad me and my employer chose TradeSkills4U t help me get there. I would recommend Trade Skills 4U, 100%, especially my tutor James as he’s teaching method is great. He is always going the extra mile to make sure we’re all on the same page and he offers some great advice on site too as he used to work on the tools. A career as an electrician is certainly one I’d choose all over again if I could turn the clocks back. As I say I can’t wait to get out there when I’m fully qualified and would urge others to do the same.”

Interview by Chloe Bennett for Trade Skills 4U.

Categories: electrical courses, company news, apprenticeships

Educational diversity gone mad? Crackdown on courses as students begin qualifying in skills that won’t pay the bills.

Posted by Chloe Bennett on 20th August 2012

Conservative MP Chris Skidmore calls for revision on ‘Mickey Mouse’ subjects as nearly nine out of ten 16-year-olds took courses this year which are to be purged from school league tables. Courses like ‘sugar confection’ and ‘pastry craft,’ originally billed equal to GCSE Maths and Physics qualifications by the Labour party, are now being removed from league tables as they are too ‘flimsy’ and will not provide young people with a suitable academic foundation.

Qualifications such as ‘Make-Up’ and ‘Salon Reception,’ although popular with  youngsters having seen 202 and 2,180 students enrol respectively  last year, clearly highlight that students are choosing these subjects over core academic subjects such as history, geography and chemistry which will allow them to have a wider scope of options later in life.

“In tough economic times, we must make every effort to ensure that our children are learning the subjects that employers and universities value most so they can compete for jobs once they leave education,” said Tory MP, Chris Skidmore.

In a recent employer’s survey, research showed that experience combined with a good working knowledge of the subject area was preferred over candidates simply having theory level course certification. As such, routes like the modern apprenticeship may just be able to save those who have chosen to take these ‘soft courses’ as arguably some of them loosely transfer to a particular trade themselves.

The modern apprenticeship, which is considered the most relevant route for students to take, has just introduced 14 new frameworks ranging in subjects from nursing to horticulture and electrics so students will have plenty of choice to enrol on a programme that is best suitable to them. There has never been a better time to become an apprenticeship too with news that up to 15,000 Apprenticeships vacancies in over 1,400 job roles will be available to students getting their exam results this summer, according to new data from the National Apprenticeship Service.

Students considering apprenticeships should visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk for full details and benefits of these modern educational routes.

Trade Skills 4U offer a variety of electrical apprenticeships and a full list of our courses can be seen by viewing our electrical courses page on our website.

Imagesource@Dailymail

Categories: electrical courses, apprenticeships

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