Gerry Papworth, our Technical Director for Electrical Training, explains why electrical training should be more than just apprenticeships for young people.
Training Centres also offer career paths for what are delicately called mature entrants such as those leaving the armed forces and others seeking a career change.
“Not everyone knows what they want to do when they are sixteen,” he says, “I know I didn’t. I was lucky and ended up doing an Apprenticeship, but that doesn’t happen for a lot of people and they find themselves needing training - or re-training - later on.”
It can be encouragement from family members already in the electrical business, or from parents wanting their son or daughter to take up a trade, that leads young people into an apprenticeship. For adult learners it is their own choice to develop or change their career.
Gerry believes this means that these learners should be valued. “Adult learners can bring so much to the training process through their life and career experiences. They are new to the industry and we must ensure they are trained to the same high standards as our apprentices.”
So what are the options for mature entrants to the electrical profession?
“Here at Steve Willis Training an adult new entrant can take what’s often thought of as the traditional training route by joining one of our day release programmes. They come to either one of our training centres in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, or Portchester just outside Portsmouth, for 1 day per week over 3 years, and qualify as an electrician after achieving their City & Guilds 2357 Level 3 qualification.”
This is not the only route to take however, as Gerry explains. “An alternative to this would be to follow one of our popular 5 week block courses, which at 5 days a week for a full five weeks is the equivalent of 1 day a week day release at college for a whole academic year. In this way trainees complete a range of short courses over the five weeks, and can go on to use the qualifications and experience they’ve gained on the programme to join a domestic installers certification scheme.”
Short courses are also an important part of the training process for adult learners in the electrical trade. By offering the most up to date facilities and experienced trainers, training centres such as Steve Willis Training play a vital role as electricians maintain their continuing professional development.