A local electrical contracting company based in Milton Keynes is backing Government plans to end low quality apprenticeships and bring advocates of low quality apprenticeships to justice. Low quality apprenticeships not only bring the good reputation of electricians and the industry to it's knees but also affect the career progression of those affected.
Maintaining high standards of apprenticeships and training courses is the only way to ensure the electrical industry attracts the best candidates and thus addressing the impending skills gap crisis.
Attracting both good businesses and candidates to the electrical industry
In the last budget, the Government announced plans to refresh the apprenticeship scheme so it becomes a viable career option for school leavers. Reputable employers who offer apprenticeship positions not only offer top class training but also often find that the apprentices stay with the company after training – this saves recruiting candidates who may have been trained differently – or worse still, finding that they have not had the correct level of training for the job.
Unfortunately apprenticeships have not been taken seriously by all employers some of whom see apprentices as a cheap labour option and therefore do not provide apprentices with the necessary skills and training required to carry out electrical work competently.
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills have indicated that in the future, anyone offering fake or low-quality apprenticeships training could face the possibility of a fine and prosecution in a Magistrates Court. The government is committed to giving apprenticeships similar controls to university degrees.
"Everyone knows what a university degree means," said Skills Minister Nick Boles.
"It's an official title. Young people doing apprenticeships should get the same level of distinction."
SJD Electrical calling for change
Fed up with the number of job applicants without the correct training or skills prompted Milton Keynes based SJD Electrical to make their voice heard in support of Government plans to crack down on electrical training that does not meet Government standards.
Ruth Devine, Director at SJD Electrical said:
“Protecting the term ‘apprenticeship’ will help us attract the most able individuals and offer a guarantee to apprentices that they will receive world-class training.
A number of applicants applying for jobs at SJD who thought they had completed apprenticeships, were surprised to find that they were not fully qualified. Low quality training courses contribute to the many instances of poor workmanship we come across.”
Apprentices should be assured of receiving a recognised qualification and skill set which will enable them to carry out electrical work to the required standard and allow them to progress effectively. Apprentices should not be applying for jobs to find they have wasted their time undertaking their apprenticeship and having to redo it.
By cracking down on unscrupulous employers, apprenticeships will return to the enviable reputation they once had which enabled apprentices to obtain a skill for life and be assured of a skill that in the future they can also pass down.