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Chris Beckley Case Study

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 12th December 2017

Chris Beckley


Name: Chris Beckley

Course: Level 3 2365

What was your job before training as an electrician?

I've had several jobs but before I decided to train as an electrician I worked as a Department Manager of a debt management company.

Why did you decide to train as an electrician?

I fancied a change and began to dislike the office life. I decided to do more with the skills I have in being a strong mathematician and fairly good at DIY. When I looked up the skills you need to be an electrician it seemed I had the right qualities to complement the job.

How long did it take you to find employment after completing the course?

I was fortunate because it didn't take me very long. I was in employment about three weeks after completing the course.

What job are doing now?

I am currently a highways electrician working on the M60 motorway, I have been doing this for six months now.

What did you enjoy the most about the course?

The things I enjoyed most about the course was the friendly and supportive atmosphere of the group and of the course teacher Adam from Birchwood. I also really enjoyed getting to grips with the practical side of things and actually seeing my progress week by week. The theory side of the course didn't bother me that much but I definitely preferred getting hands on and doing the practicals. 

How would you describe the facilities at TS4U?

Excellent, we never struggled for the equipment we required and the centre is in great condition.

Do you have any plans to gain anymore qualifications?

I am definitely considering doing the 2391 inspection and testing. I want to be a well rounded electrician and now that I am working on site I would have a better understanding of the inspection and testing course. I am really keen on developing my skills and knowledge further in the electrical industry, so I will go on to complete my NVQ level 3 and then progress onto the Level 4 electrical design. I want to keep learning about as much of the trade as I can.

What advice would you give to others thinking of training to become an electrician?

I would say it is the best decision I made and I wouldn't look back. I think the best advice is to look at what skillset you already possess and decide if it’s suitable, if you're willing to put the hard work in then absolutely go for it. I would highly recommend the course I did at Trade Skills 4U as a training provider due to how in-depth the courses are and how much you learn.

Categories: 2365, case study, electrician

10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Sparkies

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 7th December 2017

Christmas is coming! Now is a great time to think about what your sparky family member or friend would love to see in their Christmas stocking this year. Of course the easy option would be to buy a screw driver set, or perhaps a pair of warm socks but that would be a little boring, so we thought we would research some great gift ideas for you and have found some gems below, which we hope they will enjoy.

1. Gekko Gripper

Gekko Gripper

This handy tool is designed to route cables over ceilings, behind walls, and under floorboards and routes cable through dot and dab walls. It consists of a 6m long cord and two magnets that are strong enough to glide over underlay and carpet. Prices range depending on where you buy this but we found this one on Screw Fix for £24.99.

2. Electrician T-Shirt

electricians t-shirt

There are so many electrician t-shirts to choose from but we particularly liked this one at just £13.12 from Etsy.

3. Wrap Around Scratch Resistant Safety Glasses

wrap around safety glasses

Not the sexiest of things to wear but we think these ones are very stylish and a great gift idea to ensure your Sparky mates are protecting their eyes against any nasty incidents. This pair of clear Bolle wrap around safety glasses cost £7.90 from RS Components.

4. Electricians Pouch/Strap

Electricians pouch/strap

This is a great gift for the organised sparky who wants to carry what they need, when they need it. The TOUGHBUILT TOU-CT-114 Journeyman Electricians Pouch/Strap has been specifically designed for an electrician's tools. Its 21 pockets and loops include a wire-tester pocket, custom-fit flashlight wrap, 2 adjustable tool pockets, notebook pocket, tape chain, and 7 screwdriver loops. The ClipTech Hub allows the pouch to clip on and off any belt, hang from its shoulder strap, or kickstand on the ground close at hand. We found this on Amazon for £39.42.

5. WIFI Inspection Camera, hook and magnet set

Inspection camera and magnetic

This is a real gem and will be loved not only because of its usefulness but also by any gadget lover. The kit consists of a WIFI Wireless Endoscope Camera with a flexible rigid bendable cable, a side mirror, hook and magnet. The camera connects to most mobile phones and laptops and is a great way to see into those difficult, sometimes impossible-to-access spaces on work sites.

The magnet and hook are also great for retrieving small screws that are accidently dropped down small gaps that are hard to get to. Costs just £19.99 from Amazon.

6. Stud Finder Electric Stud Detector

stud finder

This Intey Stud finder is a great addition to any electricians tool box. It allows you to save time by easily finding the stud center and edges, accurately locates metal pipes, live wire, stud, wooden frames, rebars and joists which are hidden behind walls, floors and ceilings. We spotted this one on Amazon for a special price of £19.99.

7. Magnetic Wristband

magnetic wrist band

This is a great tool gadget gift for your sparky mate. The wristband has powerful magnets for holding screws, nails, bolts and small tools, which allows them to keep their hands free whilst working. I’m sure they will love this time saving tool, which will cut those trips back and forth to the toolbox or climbing up and down ladders! £15.99 from Amazon.

8. Insulated Travel Mug

Insulated Travel Mug

This is the perfect gift for on-the-move electricians. We like this and think the message will make them smile. It’s great for keeping their beverage hot or cold for hours and has a spill-resistant and convenient carry handle on lid. Costs £15.00 from Cafe Press.

9. Rechargeable Head Torch

Rechargeable Head Torch

We have been told that this is often a life safer, not only does this allow sparkies to work with both hands free but it also means they never work in their own shadow or have a light shining in their eyes. It also has an adjustable head lamp that swivels through 90°. We found this one on Electricians Direct for at a reduced price of £47.87. Our friends at Electricians Direct have offered an additional discount of 5% off this item when you quote discount code ED52017.

10. Electrician's Premium Tool Kit

Electricians tool kit

If you know an electrician who is starting out and want to spend a bit more, then this would be the perfect gift for them. This 19 piece tool kit has everything they could need. The kit includes combicutter, sidecutters, screwdrivers, 5 metre measuring tape, junior hacksaw, automatic wire stripper, lock knife and more! all complete in a handy tool case. Costs £186.00 from Edwardes.


We think any electrician would be happy to receive any of the items listed above. We also hope this has given you some gift idea inspiration.  Happy shopping!

Categories: tools, christmas, gift ideas, electrician

Noemi Willenbockel Case Study

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 6th December 2017

case study

Name: Noemi Willenbockel

Courses: City & Guilds 2392-10 Inspection & Testing Course

Noemi recently completed a 4 year MEng degree in Engineering with a specialisation in Electrical Engineering, particularly renewable energy technologies. She is now working as a graduate electrical engineer for a company dealing with the delivery of major infrastructure projects.

What is your reason for training?

My reason for training is to develop my skills and gain a better understanding of how electrical installations are designed and tested according to regulations. My educational background focused heavily on the science of electricity generation, transmission and distribution but didn’t teach me about the practicalities of installing a safe electrical system and the governing regulations involved in this. Learning more about how to apply the 17th edition to verify an installation will be hugely beneficial for my current work and future career.

Tell us about why you choose to become an electrician?

While I am not training to become an electrician, I chose to specialise in Electrical Engineering when studying a general engineering course as I was excited by the wide variety of potential work in the electrical industry and the key role of electricity in securing sustainable energy for the future.

How long have you been working in the electrical industry?

I have been working for 3 months now, since September 2017, following 4 years at university.

Tell us about your current job?

My current job is a Project Engineering role, which involves reviewing electrical designs for low voltage power installations and overseeing the progression of the project from the design stage, through to construction and then testing, commissioning and handover.

Why did you decide to take the 2392-10 Inspection & Testing Course and how will this help you in your career?

I chose to attend this course to better understand the requirements for inspection and testing of electrical installations, as this is a key part of the commissioning process on any project. I specifically chose the City & Guilds 2392 course as I am new to testing and had no real practical experience. I wanted to develop my hands-on testing skills to become more familiar with electrical installations in a practical sense as my education to-date has been very theoretical. Learning to use real testing equipment on a sample installation will help me better visualise the design drawings I regularly review at work.

What other courses are you hoping to attend at Trade Skills 4U and why?

I would like to attend the City & Guilds 2396 Electrical Design course. Further knowledge of the design process will also help me in my current role of reviewing designs completed by others, as well as better qualifying me to complete my own designs in potential future job roles.

Tell us about your training experience with Trade Skills 4U?

I had a very good week at Trade Skills 4U. I felt that the course was of a suitable level, challenging enough to keep me fully engaged the entire time but with enough time to take in the course material so that I felt prepared for the assessments at the end of the week. I enjoyed the facilities, getting to practice tests on the demo boards, and found the overall atmosphere of the centre enjoyable.

What is the best experience you have had so far in your new career?

The best part of my new career so far has been the wide variety in my day to day work, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot in a short space of time and it’s been great to work on a real life project after many years of studying.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to continue to grow in my job role, developing more experience on project to work towards becoming a chartered Engineer. I would like to work on a range of infrastructure projects, getting to be involved in the whole process of a job from start to finish.

Do you have any advice for other women looking to retrain as an electrician?

My advice would be to not feel intimidated by the stereotypes of the electrical industry being heavily dominated by men. Throughout my time studying, and now working, in Engineering I haven’t felt out of place as a woman or underestimated.

What has your experience been like working in a typically male dominated industry?

I have yet to experience any particular negatives of working in a typically male dominated industry. It can be very noticeable at work sometimes how few women there are around in similar job roles to me but I haven’t felt as if I’ve been treated differently because of this. If anything, I’ve felt a lot of support as in general the industry appears to keen to attract and retain women in Engineering roles.

What opportunities do you think there are for women working in the electrical industry?

In my limited experience in the electrical industry, I believe that while it is very male dominated, this is largely to do with tradition rather than a lack of opportunities for women. Historically careers in the electrical industry haven’t been encouraged as an option for young women thinking about their future. If this were to change then maybe the industry could become more balanced.

Categories: qualifications, training, case study