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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