Poole-based firm chooses Eastleigh College for electrical apprenticeships
Poole based GF Electrical Ltd has two apprentices training with Eastleigh College and has been so impressed that they are making a placement again for September - on block release again. Here, Michelle Fisher shares her perspective as an employer on the benefits of block release and the value of investing in apprenticeships. Apply by the 23rd August 2021 to become a qualified electrician with GF Electrical Ltd.
What’s your perception of value-for-money and pay-back on apprenticeship investments?
“Rarely do you see a pay-back in the first two years unless you have a very dedicated apprentice, good college/tutors and a team around them that motivates them. In recent years, the payback has been best with those that are slightly older as they have 100% made the decision that this is the career path for them and not pushed in the direction of a trade, by parents because they do not want to go down the academic route.
“It has been noticed with Eastleigh College the amount of the coursework that has been completed in this first year has been great. The confidence this has given our apprentice has helped them progress on-site. Therefore, the pay-back is showing through with some individuals already.
Why do you prefer block-release in Eastleigh compared with day-release closer to home?
“The block-release option was a deal breaker for us and the main reason we moved colleges. One week at college every three weeks is a benefit for both apprentice and employer:
The apprentice gets to concentrate solely on the course without other distractions. With only two years at college instead of three, it certainly is an advantage especially for mature apprentices.
As a company we can assign them to some great jobs. These jobs give many opportunities and a chance to benefit from a range of onsite experiences. For example, working away in London on large sites. You need to have consistent attendance for these types of contracts and day-release students miss out.
“We were keen on the block release as we felt the apprentice would get a chance to just concentrate on the theory aspect and be able to give their full attention to study in that week and achieve more because of this. Our experience of this has been better than expected. The apprentice and the company have benefitted by the set routine. The structure gives everyone involved a schedule to work and make easy plans from.
What you think about the course at Eastleigh?
“Given the difficulties of 2020/2021 the course has been well received by my chaps and given that they must travel a distance to attend, not once have they felt the journey has not been worth it.
Any other benefits or gains you've experienced by training with Eastleigh College?
“The communication between the college and the employers is good. The college is interactive with the employers, being accessible to answer questions, giving clear details of term dates and with the online portal we can keep an eye on their progress.”
Here are some additional comments from GF Electrical apprentices currently studying at Eastleigh College:
How well did College manage the training during Covid restrictions?
“Communication was really good and easy. The tutors were always available when you needed them through an option of different channels; email, phone, Teams, etc.“
What was/is the best thing about attending the college?
“Block release. It really helped to get your head into the study and stay that way for the week. The relationship with both the tutors and as a group as whole, we all gelled in the that first week, and it continued to develop quickly.”
What would be your advice to anyone considering this course?
“Go for it, and even if you can’t drive there the train and bus route are easy enough.”
Apply by the 23rd August 2021 to become a qualified electrician with GF Electrical Ltd
Find further information about this apprenticeship opportunity here: www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeship/1000018092
[Apprentices at GF Electrical Ltd: Beau Guttridge, Louis Buron, David Harper, Charlie Andrews. Photo courtesy of GF Electrical Ltd]
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