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Talent of the future

The Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) once again delivered three successful Get Into Electrical Installation programmes this year, in partnership with the Prince’s Trust, SELECT (Electrical Engineering Training Foundation), Dundee & Angus College, Edinburgh College and West College Scotland. Here’s how the hopefuls fared…

Dundee & Angus College

Apprentices from Dundee and Angus

Dundee & Angus College, Kingsway Campus, started us off in March with the first programme, with nine candidates starting and completing the course.

Steve Johnston, the college lecturer, took them through their paces and their enthusiasm was infectious.

The programme saw them spend four weeks at college, covering many aspects of health and safety and basic hand skills, before moving on to electrical installation itself.

A week on work placement followed, organised by David Stebbings, SECTT Training Officer for the area. The candidates then spent the last week learning interview skills and CV writing before enjoying a celebration event.

Devon Cook was the contact for the Prince’s Trust both at Dundee and Paisley, working her magic with all the candidates and addressing any issues they had on a daily basis.

Edinburgh College

Apprentices from Edinburgh College

The next programme started at Edinburgh College, Sighthill Campus, where 11 candidates started and again 11 finished. The group was terrific and really motivated, with the lecturers noting that they were a joy to have in the workshop.

Deepi Bhardwaj from the Prince’s Trust was on hand to support the group and formed a strong bond with them. We found the youngsters work placements and the feedback was positive from both employers and candidates. By the time the programme finished, three had secured places on Modern Apprenticeships in full-time employment and those who wanted to were signed up to the electrical pre-apprenticeship programme.

West College Scotland

Apprentices from West College Scotland

Our last programme to start was at West College Scotland, Paisley Campus. On the first day we had 16 candidates and we finished the course with 12 who all proved to be reliable and hard working.

The group all went to different companies for their work placement and the feedback from both candidates and employers was again positive.

The celebration events that took place at all three campuses were a privilege to attend.

Listening to the groups tell the audience about their experiences and life stories was memorable. The family, friends and employers listening must have been so proud – I know I was!

In all three programmes, the groups all said they had formed friends for life. I also noticed that when one of the group was struggling, those who were quicker immediately helped to ensure that no one was left behind. This was evident in all three programmes.

Special visitors

Neil Bibby MSP took the time to attend West College Scotland, Paisley Campus, and speak with the group, who were delighted to show him their work in the booths.

We were also fortunate to have a visit from Chloe Smith MP, which was shown in the last issue of CABLEtalk. During her visit, three of the apprentices from the very first programme came along for a chat and told of how it had changed their lives and are now well on their way to becoming electricians.

A number from all the groups will start on the Modern Apprenticeship and for those who wished to pursue a career as an electrician we were able to secure places on the electrical pre–apprenticeship course, which offers an excellent route into employment.

Some decided that becoming an electrician was not for them. However, the skills that they had learned on the course had given them the confidence to pursue other avenues. What more could we ask for?

“If someone was struggling, others helped them to ensure no one was left behind”

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