Roy’s apprenticeship story
While I was at St Mary Magdalene School doing my GCSEs, I attended a trades taster session run by the council for Year 9 students so we could find out more about apprenticeships coming up later in the year. Electrical managers helped us with wiring up a lighting circuit which lit up at the end. I watched the electricians, some of them had been apprentices themselves, doing demonstrations. I had always been interested in the trade, but it was the taster day that decided it for me that I wanted to train as an electrician.
In the council I work in the Housing Repairs Service. I’m doing a Level 3 Electrical Installation apprenticeship and work with many different experienced electricians and other trade operatives doing repairs in residents’ homes and empty properties that are being prepared to be rented.
For me, the most challenging part of the job is completing big installations in houses. It’s always different when it comes to someone’s home as you must work around furniture and electrical problems vary. Especially when you compare it to working in an empty property.
The best parts of my job are the good relationships I’ve made through working with operatives and managers and learning the trade. And the money’s good too! In the beginning I had lots of training to help me get to know the council better. Also, I’ve had lots of support from different electrical managers with my college theory, which helps me to understand it better. Working in people’s homes and empty properties have helped me to develop my skills and build my confidence.
As an apprentice, I think it’s important to show how you’re open to learning. People can help and push you in the right direction, but it’s your own energy and work rate that’s important. Work hard – you won’t regret it. Managers need to be supportive like my managers are and not be too harsh. They need to understand apprentices are going to be shy and need help settling in.
During the pandemic I’ve had to do all my studying at home as my college was closed, but I could ring my tutor for help. The council re-deployed me, so I got to work in a food bank to help vulnerable people. Doing this apprenticeship has helped me to qualify as an electrician and now I can apply for a permanent electrician role with the council or elsewhere if I choose.