The programme, Get Into Electrical Installation, is a six week mix of residential and work placement available to young people selected by the Prince’s Trust Scotland. Many of those taking part in last month’s graduation ceremony have already secured further employment in the electrical installation industry.
The programme has come to the attention of the Scottish Parliament with MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, Gil Paterson, attending the graduation at West College Scotland and MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie attending the ceremony at Edinburgh College.
After the success of last year, the course was doubled in size. The course run by Edinburgh College was completed by seven students while a further 13 were successful at West College Scotland. Those applicants chosen for a place all passed tests in maths, manual dexterity, colour blindness and, most importantly, teamwork skills.
The course consisted of one week of health and safety training, three weeks of electrical techniques, one week of work placement at partner companies, and finally one week of ‘soft skills’ including job searching, and applications.
Elaine Ellis, qualifications and skills development manager for SELECT, said, ‘It’s opened up the profession of electrician to individuals who might not otherwise have had access to it. Given the current shortage of skilled workers in the industry, we are very interested to find young people who are eager to learn.
‘We are grateful to the colleges for giving so generously of their time and to SECTT for their organisational skills. This has offered young people who have faced significant challenges the chance to find a place in a rewarding industry.
‘A number of the young people I spoke to at the graduation have already found employment or apprenticeships with our members, and I look forward to working with them in the future.’
Lee Johnstone, head of corporate partnerships for the Prince’s Trust Scotland, said, ‘The funding and connections provided by SELECT and the quality of instruction from the colleges, have made this year a real success.’
Anne Galbraith of SECTT, who was instrumental in setting up of this programme, said, ‘We have 2,500 electrical apprenticeships in Scotland, but it’s not enough, given the demand for skilled workers. This programme provides a new route into employment for people who were perhaps looking for a second chance, or maybe had barriers to overcome. I’m delighted at the success so far.’
SELECT is the trade body for Scotland’s electro-technical sector whose member companies account for over 90 per cent of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland.