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BillyM5

Hi there, 

 

I am at the point now where I am seeking powerful advice, I’m 21 from Bristol and I’m an apprentice electrician with good sense of electrical knowledge.

 

I’ve been working with Employers since October 2016 and managed to start college in September 2017, I’ve gone through employers who are constantly out to make so much money on me, as we speak I’m with an employer who doesn’t wish to write me a full time contract and underpaying me, buying me ‘essentials’ and taking the costs out of my wages and is constantly grilling my price down to the ground, I earn an average of £105 per week since November. I’ve only had 6 days work since Christmas. 

 

Friends an family are all on the same side in ensuring me that it’ll never work out and that I need a ‘proper’ and I’m slowly running out of options, (hence why I am here). 

 

All im asking is for some kind soul to shed some light on my problem and perhaps give some pointers. I would so much appreciate any advice. 

 

Thanks for reading.. Billy

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Doc Hudson

Are you actually an Apprentice?    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/apprentice   By definition you earn  a low wage as you benefit from learning a trade from someone else. Also as Oct 16 is approx 16 months ago, yet you say have "gone through employers".  How or why is that?   If you have only started college Sept 17 approx 5 months ago, that would suggest you are still relatively unskilled and quite a liability to any employer choosing to use your services. Possibly you have unrealistic expectations of how long it takes to genuinely learn a trade and become a valuable asset to a company  i.e. where you actually start earning money for them. Until that point you can be more of a potentially costly overhead, with a large package of legal liabilities and obligations that would come back on the employer not you. Maybe a wider understanding of how business run and the respective obligations and liabilities of employees and employers.

 

Doc H.

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binky

as an 'adult' apprentice you should be on £7.05 / hour. By essentials I am assuming you mean basic tools, why would you expect your employer to provide these, if you leave, would you not take these with you? This is not an unusual practice, it means you have poprer ownership of your tools and are likely to look after them.

 

Your contract doesn't sound quite right, but unless you have a contract guaranteeing a number of hours per week, then you have no argument if work isn't full time. As a former employer myself, I know how hard it is to manage costs, especially for adult apprentices. Margins are very tight on larger jobs, and therefore paying someone to stand around doing nothing is not really possible. It's a bit of a Catch22 scenrio (look it up, you're too young for that reference :^O), to be any use you need to learn, but if the work isn't there, then paying you to do very little isn't affordable to your employer, but then if you aren't working you won't be learning much to be useful to your employer....  I would use any spare time to study your course notes, read the regs and generally improve your knowledge. You'll have to learn to live with lettuced money, but the ultimate goal is you are investing in your future, which shoul be far more lucrative than stacking shelves in Tescos. And at leat you haven't got to borrow £60k to get a degree course, or pay for your electrical course fees.

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BillyM5

@Doc Hudson,

 

Let me clear a few things up.

 

Ive been working and labouring for electrician since Oct 2016, it wasn’t until last September when I was able to start college, (Beginning of academic year), when I say essentials I mean PPE, tools don’t necessarily have to be provided by your employer whatsoever. In college I am doing a 4 year Advanced Diploma in Electrical installation, C&G recognises this course.

 

Yeah I understand that about my liability but I’m really not that inexperienced where I need somebody always behind me. 

 

Im capable of many things that I can be getting on with no questions asked, running cable, clipping, chasing, terminating and general labouring and of course compared to an electrican I am highly inexperienced because I have a rough idea how much work goes into the career, but don’t assume I’m worthless.

 

Billy

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binky

PPe is suppossed to be supplied, bar things like work trousers. You can claim for work clothing and washing said clothes against your tax code. Contact your local tax office and see if that is still available (I'm a bit out of date on employed tax codes).

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Andy™
7 hours ago, BillyM5 said:

 

Yeah I understand that about my liability but I’m really not that inexperienced where I need somebody always behind me. 

 

 

first year apprentice... yes you do. at the moment, you probably are 'worthless'. even you said you are highly inexperienced, so why should you be worth a lot?

 

you might be get on with running cables etc, but do you know why you are using that particular cable type of cable, why that size, why not another type etc?

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Sidewinder

Formally a first year apprentice of any age is not even entitled to minimum wage, it is written into the law that they can be paid a LOT below minimum wage, legally.

Once they are into their 2nd year then and only then does minimum wage kick in.

 

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Sharpend

Billy I’m afraid you have to learn patience, whilst you may consider yourself capable of doing certain tasks doesn’t mean that those employing you are as confident. Perhaps you ought to look at the long game rather than what’s happening now.

 

if it’s money you’re after then go and get a job stacking shelves or the like, then come back in 5years and compare what you’re earning with what you could be earning never mind your prospects. 

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Richard-the-ninth

When I started as an apprentice my main job was to make the tea (and wash up) or go to the local bakers and get everyones order (They gave me the money, I just had to walk there and back to get it) or If I was "at the yard" I was the one that had to walk to wholesalers to get what ever was required. Must have been a few months before they let me touch a cable,  I also used to paint lamp posts (Some one had to do it) it was great, got them all done in the summer

My point being that an apprenticeship really does take time, you dont get "big bucks" from day 1, think i was on 62p / hr

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Onoff

I remember working nights at Britoil being sent through the red light district in Glasgow as a 16 year old to get take away at night and being heckled by all the hookers.  

 

I didn't know where to put my face...

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binky

well it all starts with 2 people that love each other......:slap

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SPECIAL LOCATION
19 hours ago, BillyM5 said:

Hi there, 

 

I am at the point now where I am seeking powerful advice, I’m 21 from Bristol and I’m an apprentice electrician with good sense of electrical knowledge.

 

I’ve been working with Employers since October 2016 and managed to start college in September 2017, I’ve gone through employers who are constantly out to make so much money on me, as we speak I’m with an employer who doesn’t wish to write me a full time contract and underpaying me, buying me ‘essentials’ and taking the costs out of my wages and is constantly grilling my price down to the ground, I earn an average of £105 per week since November. I’ve only had 6 days work since Christmas. 

 

Friends an family are all on the same side in ensuring me that it’ll never work out and that I need a ‘proper’ and I’m slowly running out of options, (hence why I am here). 

 

All im asking is for some kind soul to shed some light on my problem and perhaps give some pointers. I would so much appreciate any advice. 

 

Thanks for reading.. Billy

 

Hmmmmm.....

Well to work as an electrician for customers, either employed or self employed, there are several things you need:-

 

Such as:-  Qualifications, Experience, Practical skills and knowledge so that you can design install and test circuits to ensure they will operate safely and not endanger people property or livestock... 

 

But in addition to the technical bits, so that you know what the client or employer would like you to do.

It is also essential that you have good communications skills, to both listen and understand and explain to others what you have done, need to do, or have found a complication that may prevent a job from progressing for one reason or another...

 

Now from your opening post......???

For example the bit highlighted below looks to me like two sentences that are...

well to be honest if you want powerful advice...

a load of waffle and tosh, that If you were my employee, I would be embarrassed and worried if you communicated with my customers in a similar way.

 

Quote

I’ve been working with Employers since October 2016 and managed to start college in September 2017, I’ve gone through employers who are constantly out to make so much money on me, as we speak I’m with an employer who doesn’t wish to write me a full time contract and underpaying me, buying me ‘essentials’ and taking the costs out of my wages and is constantly grilling my price down to the ground, I earn an average of £105 per week since November. I’ve only had 6 days work since Christmas. 

 

What is "grilling my price down"???

What does "I’ve gone through employers who are constantly out to make so much money on me" actually mean???

 

Not sure you fully understand the concept of how the world of business works...

Fundamental rule:-  "Supply & Demand"

 

consider;

(a) When workers are in short supply.... Thay can call the shots on wages and how much they would like to be paid.

(b) When jobs are in short supply...  the employers can call the shot about how much that they want to pay their workers.

 

Think hard....  Which is the current scenario in the electrical industry??

 

When the economy has some trades in the option (b) scenario,

there can be a lot of workers who consider themselves overqualified... and underpaid.

They have two options...  Leave and hope to get a better job elsewhere..  or be thankful for what they have got.

 

It's how the world of business works!

 

:popcorn

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binky

Another point lost on those who have never run a business is overheads. Wages are always  amajor part of this, but insurance, pensions, vans, money tied up in aterilas, unpaid invoices etc etc add up to a large pile of cash. When employees find out that they are being charged out at £30 an hour, but getting paid half of that, they assume the employer is maing £15 an hour for sitting in the office drinking coffee. I used to have 5 staff, if that was the case I would be a millionare and retired! The reality was I earned about the same as the senior electrician, and suffered a whole pile of stress!

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Murdoch
12 hours ago, binky said:

Another point lost on those who have never run a business is overheads. Wages are always  amajor part of this, but insurance, pensions, vans, money tied up in aterilas, unpaid invoices etc etc add up to a large pile of cash. When employees find out that they are being charged out at £30 an hour, but getting paid half of that, they assume the employer is maing £15 an hour for sitting in the office drinking coffee. I used to have 5 staff, if that was the case I would be a millionare and retired! The reality was I earned about the same as the senior electrician, and suffered a whole pile of stress!

 

Its a bit like customer, who ask your hourly rate and assume that's what you are paying yourself .............. people have no ideas about the hours we work, the overheads we have , the hours we can't charge for ................ the list goes on and on...

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Sharpend

I find it odd that you say you can’t charge for? 

Just because you’re a sole trader does that mean you can’t charge for admin time? I’m pretty sure a busy sole trader who employs a secretary/office girl Friday to do paperwork etc would charge for admin time to cover the extra time/wage. 

 

This mentality of ‘can’t charge’ is what is keeping our prices down. 

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binky

It needs to be worked into prices. Some of the jobs I've quoted for have been several weeks work, this can't go 'uncharged' as such. Bigger companies will charge for design time up front. Popping in to have  a quick look at a job isn't necessarily charged as such, but your hourly rate needs to cover this 'dead time' .

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