Why become an Electrical Apprentice
For a young person,obtaining an electrical apprenticeship is a great way to start a career as an electrician in the UK. You’ll gain valuable experience in real-world situations that will give you an edge when looking for your first paid job in the industry. Working under a trained electrician during your apprenticeship training will also give you confidence that you’re getting the best education you can get, and is more likely to help you pass the electrical qualifications that you will need to have.
The complete cycle of training will take about 3 years.
Electrical Apprentice – What does it mean?
An electrical apprentice is someone working under the terms of the UK government apprenticeship scheme. Officially an apprenticeship is a set of qualifications called a ‘framework’. With an electrical apprenticeship you will be employed for a minimum of 30 hours a week with a salary at least equivalent to the minimum wage. Your employer will give you practical on the job experience and training. You will also undertake classroom training, most likely at your local college of further education. If you are a EU citizen and aged between 16 and 19 the classroom training is free. You may have to pay for books and exams.
Electrical Apprenticeship : Finding a Position
- Do you or your parents or your friends know any electricians? Ask around your network of contacts. Put it onto Facebook and other social media that you are looking to meet an electrician.
- Work your contacts.
- Take a look at CheckaTrade.com or RatedPeople.com to find electrical contracting firms in your area. Drop them a line. Give them a call. They may have apprenticeships available
- Go to your local college and speak with a career counsellor
- Check if there is a local branch of the Unite union. Many electrical contracting firms are members of Unite, they may know of electrical apprencticeship opportunities
- Go to the JobCentre, you never know! Search their online database using the term electrical apprenctice
- Search at Apprenticships.org.uk (search under sub-section Building Services Engineering Technology)
You may be surprised at how willing some of the experts are to share their knowledge. While you are asking about possible apprenticeships within the electrical field, you could gain a valuable mentor along the way.
As soon as you’ve secured an employer, contact your local college to get a spot in the required coursework for obtaining the qualifications needed. They may guide you towards City and Guilds or NVQ qualifications, but don’t rely on your employer to contact the college; they don’t always remember and spaces fill in quickly.
The qualifications for an apprentice electrician may be:
- EAL Electricians Diploma
- City & Guilds 2357 Diploma
- Key Skills at Level 2
You may also be required to hold a minimum of three or maybe four GCSE’s with grades of C or above. These should include science, math, English, and a craft related subject. You may also be considered if you have other minimum Level 2 qualifications or their equivalents under the National Qualification Framework.