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.
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.