Dozens of young people across Scotland have been given their first taste of the working world as part of a programme to boost the number of qualified electrical professionals within the industry.
Students from Paisley campus of West College Scotland, Edinburgh College, Dundee and Angus College took part in the Get Into Electrical Installation programme, an intense taster course that allows candidates to make an informed choice about becoming an electrician. Now in its fifth year, it is a highly successful route into the Modern Apprenticeship programme and a first step towards gaining full-time employment.
The programme is run by the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT), the body in charge of managing electrical apprenticeships in this country, and the Prince’s Trust youth charity dedicated to helping young people into employment. They are supported by funding from the Electrical Engineering Training Foundation of SELECT, the trade association for the electrical contracting industry in Scotland.
Photo: Students from West College Scotland, Paisley Campus
Applicants were pre-selected by the Prince’s Trust and invited to a taster day that involved practical skills and team building. They were then given an introduction into electrical skills on the six-week course.
This involved four weeks at college, with most of that time in the workshop. Candidates were then given maths tuition before sitting the SECTT pre-employment assessment.
They spent their fifth week on a work placement sourced by SECTT, followed by a final week of working on their CVs and a closing celebration event attended by family members, employers, SELECT, college staff, the SQA, Skills Development Scotland, SECTT and the Prince’s Trust.
Speaking in CABLEtalk, the stakeholder magazine for SELECT, SECTT chief executive Anne Galbraith said it was the first time that some of the candidates had been able to commit to a course of this kind.
“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,” she said.
“Sadly, there are thousands of young people around the country who still believe they’re not good enough. We give them the confidence and skills to find a job and a future.”
Of the 10 from Edinburgh College who finished the course, four have secured full-time employment on the Modern Apprenticeship with others going on to SECTT’s electrical pre-apprenticeship programme. Seven candidates from West College Scotland completed the course, with two securing Modern Apprenticeships.
A dozen candidates from Dundee and Angus College started the course, with 11 completing it.