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Making the right decision

For one SELECT Member and his young trainee, an apprenticeship has been a richly rewarding experience for both sides, as they explain in a special SELECT film produced for this year’s Scottish Apprenticeship Week

Craig Gallagher is in no doubt that apprenticeships are the perfect way to pass on vital skills to the rising stars of the industry – and his latest young trainee agrees with him wholeheartedly.

The CEO of SELECT Member company Quinnergy Group is a firm believer in training the talent of tomorrow, as he outlines in a new SELECT video produced for Scottish Apprenticeship Week (SAW).

Entitled Business Backing Talent – the theme of this year’s SAW – the film features Craig and young trainee Caitlin Kearney discussing their respective reasons for choosing an apprenticeship, and how the scheme has been a success for both sides.

As well as celebrating the many benefits that apprentices bring to businesses, individuals and the economy, the video also salutes Scottish businesses’ ongoing commitment to electrical apprenticeships during challenging times.

Filmed at Quinnergy’s premises in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire, Craig uses the film to explain his rationale for taking on apprentices at the fast-growing company, which has made significant progress by delivering essential services during the COVID-19 period.

He says: “I wanted to

pass my experience, and the experience of my tradesmen, on to the new, up-and-coming stars of the industry. The apprentices, I have found, are eager to work and to go the extra mile.

“If you are a really good tradesman, you have a knowledge, a craftsmanship, and if you take it to the next level, nothing can replace that. I would say that’s one of the best reasons to go for an apprenticeship. It’s been the best thing I’ve ever done.”

The video also features an interview with Caitlin, a first-year apprentice at Quinnergy, who reveals her reasons for choosing an electrical career.

The 21-year-old trainee says: “I wanted to become a qualified electrician because my grandfather was an electrician and my dad was in the building trade, so I’ve always had that background.

“Most girls say things like ‘It’s a man’s job’ or that you couldn’t do it, so I just wanted to stand out – and go ahead and do it.

“Apprenticeships are the way forward and the future for people leaving school. I’m learning things every day and a trade is the best bet for me.”

“I’m learning things every day and a trade is the best bet for me”

Caitlin also talks about the help, advice and guidance she receives from both her Quinnergy colleagues and training officer at the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT), who encourage her to push boundaries and provide positive feedback.

Now available to view on SELECT’s YouTube channel, the video was produced in partnership with the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB), SECTT and Unite the Union.

Fiona Harper, Director of Employment and Skills at SELECT, and also The Secretary of the SJIB, said: “Apprentices are the future of the industry and we hope this video will help to encourage many more people to consider an electrical apprenticeship as a rewarding career option.”

Anne Galbraith, CEO of SECTT, added: “We also want to use it as an example of how Scotland’s businesses continue to back talent and support apprenticeships, despite the challenges facing us all in the current climate.”

Scottish Apprenticeship Week this year ran from March 1 to 5, and focused on how employers and learning providers have embraced innovation to help apprentices learn, achieve and progress.

Anne said: “As an indication of the success in attracting enthusiastic and energetic young people to the future of the sector, more than 500 electrical apprentices have been recruited over the year of COVID-19, a number of whom are female.”

Fiona added: “Diversity is a key dynamic for powering the future and, for the increasing numbers of young women who are signing up to the profession, comprehensive and tailored training can open many doors and create a rewarding career.”


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