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Andaho

Apprenticeship vs Electrical Improver

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Andaho

Hi all,

 

I applied for an Electrical Apprentice job and have instead agreed to be hired as an Electrical Improver. I'm in my mid-30's and having had many unskilled jobs for years, I want to become a qualified electrician (a proper career, rather than another dead-end job).

 

The employer said they don't think I'd learn much from years of 1-day-a-week at college, and instead they'd prefer to send me on short courses to get qualified once I've learned and gained experience on the job. The plus side is rather than being hired at apprentice minimum wage (only £3.70 p/h), I'll be starting at national minimum wage (£7.83 p/h). But I'm a little worried that I've agreed to be hired with no on-going training, and that I might just get used as cheap labour and never get sent on any courses.

 

Can anyone offer any advice on this situation?

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binky

difficult to answer without knowing your employer, but sounds like a plan to me.  The hardest part to learn is the hands on skills. You will get used as cheap labour as an apprentice anyway for at least the first year. I would give it a try and see what happens. Work hard, show willing and politely ask for the courses on a regular basis. Oh, and turn your phone off at work.

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kerching

+1 to what Binky said

 

a good tip....try to anticipate what the person you are working with needs next

e.g.   If he has drilled a hole in a wall there is a fighting chance he will want a fixing/plug/screw/bracket. And a driver/drill

be ready with them and it will not go un noticed ..."be prepared before being asked why you haven't "

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Sharpend

You are 30, so take some responsibility, keep your head down, learn as much as you can, take note every evening of what’s been done how and why- if you don’t have the answers to these questions then you’re not asking enough questions- remember you are there to learn. After a few months if nothing has been proposed for the training side then start asking. Be prepared that they may want at least six months from you to show your commitment to them before they start talking courses. 

Follow the advice you are given on this forum and you will not go far wrong. 

 

IMPORTANT: there are many people of your age that are desperate to get the opportunity that you have been given so don’t take it for granted. 

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Andaho

Thanks very much for all the replies already! - this really is a friendly forum :)

 

6 hours ago, Sharpend said:

IMPORTANT: there are many people of your age that are desperate to get the opportunity that you have been given so don’t take it for granted. 

 

I do indeed feel lucky to have found this opportunity, as they do seem like a really nice employer to work for. I'd been looking at apprenticeships as an option for the last couple years, and electrical apprenticeship job adverts were very rare in my area. Reading back my own post, my worry is just a worst-case-scenario.

 

What I really meant to ask about is:

 

So being hired as an "Electrical Improver" is quite a normal way to become qualified these days? - all the Careers Advice websites say the only routes into becoming an electrician are an apprenticeship or college.

 

Is it true that I wouldn't learn much at college? - and I wouldn't need the apprenticeship NVQ?

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Sharpend

To be recognised as a qualified electrician you will need the nvq and the am2, so these are what you need to be aware of, however your employer could be trying to ‘fastrack’ you through by putting you on the short courses- which will teach you nothing of any significance- and possibly look to put you on the ‘mature persons’ nvq/am2 qualifications some way in the future? However you will need some significant hands on experience before you or they attempt that option? 

You might be better at looking to your local college for any ‘electrical installation’ evening courses, after all you were expecting an apprenticeships wage and have received double that so a wise investment now in you for your future may pay dividends further down the line. 

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