Electrical Contracting News (ECN) May 2016 - Page 30

APPRENTICESHIPS TRAINER & TRAINEE TRAIN TIMES With National Apprenticeship Week still fresh in the memory, ECN talks to Michelle Moylan at training provider DCET and Jack England at Ford Electrical – a former apprentice who made it all the way to the top – in order to find out what life is like on both sides of the training fence. Michelle Moylan – DCET For the last 20 years DCET Training has been the specialist in electrical training across Devon and Cornwall. Its programme includes continued professional development courses for skilled and experienced workers, electrical apprenticeship training and more recently traineeships. DCET, which is now part of The Focus Training Group, is a one stop shop for all electrical training needs. Its provision has been developed in response to feedback from employers that young people are leaving college and other providers without having gained or developed the skills and knowledge needed for a career in this sector. In 2015 DCET Training opened a new training centre in Bristol, in response to employers’ feedback about the lack of specialist skills amongst young people in this area and indeed about the lack of good quality professional development courses on offer locally. Michelle commented, ‘Bristol has a wide range of electrical companies, from large contractors to SMEs and sole traders. Many of these organisations are contacted with speculative applications from young people who are keen to work in the electrical sector, and some asked for support to implement an apprenticeship recruitment process. ‘DCET Training work with many employers and offer a recruitment process solution for them. This includes developing a traineeship programme, if appropriate, to the employer and applicant needs. The traineeship programme we developed and delivered last summer has been nationally identified and recognised by NIACE as a beacon of good practice for delivering sector specific traineeships and upheld by BIS as a model of good practice. ‘Our Traineeship was entirely tailored to the electrical sector. Trainees took part in an eight week programme, made up of classroom and working on site experience. Tutors used real life examples to contextualise their teaching and give trainees a good understanding of the types of work they would be undertaking. On site, trainees were given a flavour of the working environment that electricians are required to work in. This included a new build housing site, a commercial building which was being refurbished, and an old brewery which was being converted into luxury flats. This gave trainees a taste of the varied and complex nature of the electrical trade.’ At the end of the scheme, 12 trainees were offered electrical apprenticeships with local companies. They progressed onto the Level 3 Electrical Trailblazer Apprenticeship programme, a new government streamlined structure to 30 30-31 Apprenticeships.indd 30 11/04/2016 14:21