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Meet the bright sparks of the future

Youngsters got a taste of life as an electrician thanks to three programmes run by the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust and the Prince’s Trust. Find out how they got on during the six-week courses held across Scotland

For the fifth year running, the enthusiasm and determination of candidates on the Get Into Electrical Installation courses have been an inspiration to everyone working with them.

Three programmes were run over summer in partnership with the Prince’s Trust, thanks to funding support from the Electrical Engineering Training Foundation (EETF), operated by SELECT.

The Get Into Electrical Installation programme is an intense taster course that allows candidates to make an informed choice about becoming an electrician. It’s a very successful route into the Modern Apprenticeship programme and the first step towards gaining full-time employment.

Edinburgh College, Dundee and Angus College and West College Scotland Paisley Campus were all delighted to take part in this year’s programme. Applicants were pre-selected by the Prince’s Trust and invited to a taster day which involved practical skills and team building.

Candidates were then given an introduction to electrical skills on the six-week course.

They spent four weeks at college – with most of that time in the workshop – and were all given maths tuition before sitting the SECTT pre-employment assessment. The fifth week then saw them take up a work placement sourced by SECTT. For some of the candidates this can be their very first taste of “work”.

From day one, I always stress to all the candidates that employers are looking for those who turn up on time, don’t take time off and show the right attitude – the rest we can teach them. The college lecturers are excellent and give the candidates tremendous support.

For some, this is the first time that they have been able to commit to a course and just turning up at college every day is an achievement.

The candidates spend the final week of the programme writing up their CVs before the course culminates in a Celebration Event which is attended by proud family members, employers, SELECT, college staff, SQA, Skills Development Scotland, SECTT and the Prince’s Trust.

The candidates are all encouraged to say something during the uplifting – and often very emotional – event before they are all presented with their certificates.

Thank you

My thank you list is huge and starts with the EETF and SELECT for funding these programmes and the Prince’s Trust for working closely with me and the SECTT team to make it happen. I’m also grateful to the colleges, their staff, the employers who offered work placements, and the support agencies.

Getting to know the young people and the struggles they’ve overcome, and then seeing them grow, gain confidence and be successful is so fulfilling. Sadly, there are thousands of young people around the country who still believe they’re not good enough. We help give them the confidence and skills to find a job and a future.


Edinburgh College, Sighthill Campus

Candidates from Edinburgh College with their certificates

Eleven candidates started and ten finished. The group was terrific, really motivated, and all the lecturers noted that they were a joy to have in the workshop. They worked well together and helped each other at all times, and the staff praised the quality of work they produced in such a short time.

The Prince’s Trust team was on hand to support the group and formed a strong bond with them.

The SECTT Training Officer identified employers who were happy to take the candidates on for their one-week work placements.

By the end of the programme, four had secured places in full-time employment on the Modern Apprenticeship and those who wanted a place on the electrical pre-apprenticeship programme were signed up.


Dundee College, Kingsway Campus

Twelve candidates started the course and 11 completed it. Steve Johnston, the college lecturer, put them through their paces – and their enthusiasm was infectious.

They all worked so hard in the workshop and in studying for the SECTT pre-employment assessment, which they all passed.

The attributes employers value most are enthusiasm and a willingness to turn up on time, learn and do well – all clearly shown by these candidates.


West College Scotland, Paisley Campus

The team from West College Scotland, Paisley Campus

On the first day we had 11 candidates and we finished the course with seven, who had all proven 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 again was very positive.

Two of the group secured Modern Apprenticeships and all of the others were offered a place on the pre-apprenticeship course. One of the employers offered extended work experience, which we hope will lead to employment.

The students were all very different but they worked so well as a team. They really benefitted from the expertise and generosity of their tutors, with a special mention to Louise Adair. Louise took the group through their paces and offered support. We have been lucky to have her involved.


By Anne Galbraith

Chief Executive, SECTT

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