I own and operate a micro family run electrical contracting company based in Driffield East Yorkshire. I am saddened to see the falling skills within the electrical industry due to a fall in the number of new workers entering the industry through apprenticeship schemes. This issue has recently been debated within parliament. Believe it or not but many of the electricians particularly in the domestic market place are not time served or apprentice trained. Many have taken short courses over a number of weeks to retrain.
The London Fire Brigade have recently worked alongside the IET to change the wiring regulations. This is in direct response to the number of house fires arising from poorly made connections within fuse boxes (consumer units). We now have to install metal enclosures in place of plastic which was providing fuel to the fire.
It is my belief that the electrical industry is lacking in new apprentice places for the next generation of skilled electricians. Many young people head straight to college and university without getting any direction about the benefits of a trade apprenticeship. Those that do are met with a wall of few and far between positions. I want to change that and do my bit to help train and encourage a proper route to highly skilled electricians. A 3-4-year commitment from both learners and employers is an expensive process. The wages on offer for new apprentices are also difficult to fund from a small employer’s perspective and difficult to live on from an apprentice’s perspective.
The government are failing badly with any kind of subsidies for both apprentices and employers. It’s really sad but funding should not be preventing getting the skilled workers we need for the future. Hence turning to crowd funding.
I don’t want people to think this is an effort to obtain money for business, far from it. I want to employ a new apprentice every year for the next 3 years minimum. But as a micro business currently employing myself and my 1st year apprentice it’s just not a realistic prospect. It is my belief that the best apprenticeships are gained working in small local setups like my own, rather than big multi nationals.
This problem extends further into the construction trade as a whole and it would be great if this could become the platform to help the many small traders around the UK train and give the next generation of the workers the right skills and experience for the future.
I hope very much to give direction to further new apprentices in the future. Matthew is doing very well in his first year and will go on to be a great electrician. But I want to do more.