Taking on an apprentice is an investment in the company’s future; it unlocks the great potential of young people and provides development opportunities for the work force. Training and development is often experienced across a company when they support an apprentice.
Like any investment, it needs to be part of a company development plan with both the training programme and the business development need taken into account.
The type of candidate most suited to an apprenticeship in the electrotechnical industry.
The first and most important part of taking on an apprentice is to make sure that the potential member of staff will fit into the existing team and has the aptitude to succeed in the demanding technical aspects of the training and work environment.
A typical personal specification of an apprentice for the electrotechnical industry would be someone that is practical, is well presented and will be able to meet the full requirements of the industry training programme.
If leaving school they should have at least 3 GCSE’s at C grade or above, one being in a technical or science subject. A good grasp of Maths and English is also important.
Future career paths.
There are a significant number of career paths for people entering the electrotechnical industry. Once an apprenticeship has been successfully completed there can be opportunities into the more technical parts of the industry or management. The initial level 3 training programme is similar to the demands of ‘A’ level qualifications, rising to foundation degree level for supervisory roles and degree level qualifications for either technical or business management.
Making sure of the right training programme.
Once the right person has been employed the right training needs to be provided.
It is important to make sure that the training programme, the apprentice is engaged in, meets the industry recognised standards and leads to the qualifications needed for an ECS gold card in the occupation that is relevant for the business need. For an Installation Electrician the apprenticeship must meet the industry apprenticeship framework and lead to the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical systems and equipment (buildings, structures and the environment) or in England the trailblazer Level 3 Electrotechnical Qualification (installation) or (maintenance).
Choosing a training provider.
The next area that needs to be considered is the type of training organisation that will be used to provide the training for the apprentice. The largest training agent for the electrical industry in England and Wales is JTL with ETT providing a similar service for Northern Ireland. There are also other national and local training providers that can supply the required industry training an apprentice needs. The decision to which organisation is to provide the training sits with the business and what is the best fit for their specific needs.
Training and assessment is delivered by a mixture of college based theory and site based experience with assessments to test knowledge progression and demonstrations of competence over the training programme. The training program will take approximately 48 months to complete.
Businesses can benefit significantly by taking an active role in the training and development of their staff. An apprentice will provide support to the business but also need to be supported and nurtured by their company and training provider. This three-way support is key to successful employment and company development.