An article in our electrical trade magazine highlighted a new report that's estimates that up to 15,000 extra skilled electricians will be required in the UK over the next 5 years.
New technologies around smart homes, electric vehicles and Wi-Fi were amongst the main new services stated for increasing demand for skilled installers but it was the section on apprenticeships that caught my eye.
It was pleasing to read that an electrical apprenticeship is still a highly rated initial career move and that it was still evident for employers to receive a return on investment to employ apprentices.
What was worrying but not surprising though was one of the reasons given for new apprenticeship numbers being insufficient to meet the increased demand in recruitment - candidate attitude and behaviours.
I have had to deal with a fair share of attitudes and behaviours from youngsters over the years and while some of them just could not be helped, it does make me wonder whether some of them would've had a better attitude to our type of work if trade apprenticeships had been sold by the education establishments as a positive long term rewarding career move for school leavers.
This in my mind has been confirmed by one of the solutions highlighted in the report which is the "development of new careers resources, promotion of industry-recognised qualifications and activity to forge closer ties between industry, schools and further education".
More needs to be done to change the attitude of the school system to promote apprenticeships equally as they do to promote University which is why I recently engaged with one of our local high schools to offer work experience at Stirling Electrical Services to a fourth year school student which turned out to be a success and well received by the student, school and us.
I have offered future dates over the coming year to host more work experience school students and I will further engage with local schools to highlight the rewarding career their students can have in the electrical industry.
Work experience while still at school is a good move to see if a career in the electrical industry may suit the youngster, with the main education being a 5 year apprenticeship under the guidance of SECTT the electrical training body in Scotland.
SECTT plays a pivotal role between the apprentices and employers and their role is vital in making sure apprentices have a successful 4-5 years and go on to become skilled electricians.
Enrolling to undertake the industry pre-apprenticeship exam via the SECTT website is also one of the first actions a prospective apprentice needs to do.
With the correct attitude, work ethic and willingness to learn apprentices can have a rewarding and long term career in the electrical industry and our own apprentice intake for Autumn 2019 will begin soon, so if you are interested in taking a step to becoming an electrical apprenticeship email us with your CV and details to this address - but only DO SO if you have already sat and passed the above pre-apprenticeship exam.
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