Juan, a fifth year apprentice based in Queens, New York, is spending six weeks working with contractors J Brand and T Clarke. During his stay he will learn how the electrical contracting works in this country and act as an ambassador for his own industry.
At the end of his trip he will prepare a report on areas such as working practices, industrial relations, skills competence and apprentice training, to share with colleagues in the United States and the parties in the United Kingdom.
The tripartite exchange programme is also seeing Thomas Hyland of Balfour Beatty Construction Services spend six weeks in Australia, along with an Australian apprentice spending time in New York.
At the start of his trip, Juan visited the JIB head office to sit a health and safety assessment in order to gain his Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) card. He also had the opportunity to meet Thomas before he departed for Australia; the two apprentices met representatives from the ECA, JTL and Unite the Union as well as visiting a local college to help with their understanding of the wider electrical contracting industry.
‘This is the third year we have run the exchange programme; the experience it provides for apprentices is immeasurable and the industry benefits greatly by learning more about each other’s working practices,’ said Steve Brawley, chief executive of the JIB. ‘We wish Juan the best of luck during his time here and thank J Brand and T Clarke for providing the valuable work experience placements.’
To keep the UK updated on his experiences in Australia, Thomas Hyland is writing a blog that can be found at http://jibapprenticeexchange2013.wordpress.com