Are you training to be a plumber or electrician with Train4TradeSkills and want to get some practical experience outside of your course? T4TS Radio has spoken to a number of students who are working in the industry alongside their training and gaining valuable experience. These students offer their advice and tips of how they managed to get work placements and jobs, so you can follow in their footsteps. We’ve already done two of these guides (which you can read here), and here’s Part 3. Here are the students and the excerpts from their T4TS Radio interviews. All of the interviews are available to listen to at www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills and you can read and download the stories via Scribd at www.scribd.com/train4tradeskills
I’m a qualified electrician and I work for a previous small contractor firm and some big industrial firm like Sky, EDF and Virgin energy. Because the industry has grown tremendously bigger than what we anticipated and the 17th edition has become a new certificate that all employers are looking for and it’s very hard without your 17 qualification. As an electrician, I do metering, wiring, I’ve been doing all aspects of electrical industry. But without a recognised qualification then your career stalls.
I was actually working as an electricians mate, I just didn’t have my qualifications. I was doing all sorts of work really – domestic, commercial, pre-face stuff. I learned the practical OK from that but coming to the training centre it’s helped with the theory side of it. Can you tell us a bit about how you arranged that experience then?When I first left school when I was 16, I sent out a CV and a letter to almost everybody within a 20-mile radius of where I live in the Yellow Pages. I didn’t really get much back from that, but then luckily a family friend offered me a job working with them as an electrician’s mate. So I ripped his arm off! (laughs)
Since I’ve been doing the course I’ve fitted three bathrooms, one for my mother and I’ve had two private jobs that I’ve done as well. Did you find that the work helps you understand the course more? I’d say that doing the course has made me understand the job more, rather than doing the jobs has made me understand the course more. You mentioned you did 2 private jobs. Can you tell us how you arranged that and how you went about it?Well it was from a a friend who was working on a customer’s house and he asked me to take a radiator off the wall from him, so he could do some plastering. This led to me being asked to fit a bathroom in the same property.
I’ve been helping friends out as a sparky’s mate for many, many years on the side, because I’ve always loved electrics and that kind of stuff. How did you find that helped your course then?Because I kind of knew on the practical side what cable felt like, I knew what it was like to terminate sockets and cable stripping became second nature, as we do a lot of that in IT as well with catfire cables. You pick up a lot of the practical things you need to do just by being an electricians’ mate.
I’m working with a plumber now and he took me on, so I’m basically doing an apprenticeship with him, so when I’m not studying or here, I’m working with a plumber on-site and getting all the experience really. For those people that are listening and want to get work experience, can you tell us how you arranged that? There was a plumber on-site who said I was a hard worker, and I said I would like to get into plumbing. He said as long as it’s alright with your boss, I’ll take you on. You really just have to get out there, get on-site and once your out there with them, your own your way really. Have you found that the plumbing work has helped you with your course then?Most definitely. If there’s stuff in your bookwork that you don’t really understand, I can just go to him and ask him about it, he’ll explain it to me or show me if we’re on a job, on different types of systems and things like that.
You can listen all the full interviews from Dalton, Craig, Danny, Lee and Andy at www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills – where you can download to iTunes and your smartphones.
- Train4TradeSkills students give you advice on how to get work placements (train4tradeskills.wordpress.com)
- Train4TradeSkills Students give you advice on how to get jobs and work placements – Part 2 (train4tradeskills.wordpress.com)