The Quicklight Apprenticeship Programme offers aspiring electricians the chance to gain hands on experience in the electrical industry. The programme provides the opportunity to work alongside a team of experienced electricians and engineers, building a strong portfolio towards a City and Guilds Level 3 electrical qualification.
Over the past 10 years, Quicklight’s scheme has enjoyed great success, with many apprentices going on to qualify as certified electricians and engineers.
George Barron is a 17-year-old apprentice, currently 6 months into the programme.
“I’ve always enjoyed doing electrical projects. I did work experience with an electrician and it was then that I decided that this was the industry for me,” George says.
The four-year apprenticeships vary in format, depending on the college; however, a typical apprenticeship consists of four days on the job, with a day spent studying. George attends York College and says that the academic element focuses on areas such as health and safety, cable calculations, regulatory requirements, wiring and cable containment. Because the college element is only one day a week, George believes that the apprenticeship scheme will suit anyone who enjoys hands on learning.
“In a classroom you don’t get as much from it. I wanted hands-on experience,” he explains. “No two days are the same. If you get a call out, your plans can change at a moment’s notice and I really like that.”
George points out that assessments are conducted as and when the supervisor is confident that an apprentice is ready, which alleviates some of the pressure that students often feel in more academic environments with set deadlines.
Undertaking a four-year commitment is not for the faint of heart. George says that there are challenges, both in the classroom and in the field.
“I’ve found the varied start times challenging. We often start really early. In college, I’d say I find cable calculations the most challenging aspect. You need to know all of the different things that can affect the cable and have a strong understanding of the regulations.”
Apprentices work alongside experienced electricians and engineers, but George says that the electricians he works with have become more than just supervisors.
“We’re all close and we get along really well,” he explains. “If there are ever any problems, we can talk about it. It’s like a family and it’s nice to be a part of it. You’ve always got help, all you need to do is ask.”