Apprenticeship Featured What next?

Once an electrician not always an electrician 

Jake Green, technical engagement manager with Click Scolmore, one of the UK’s leading names in wiring accessories, talks about the different paths his career has taken since he first completed his apprenticeship back in 2012.

Like many in the industry, a career as an electrician was my main focus during the three years that I undertook my apprenticeship at Bedford College under the NICEIC training programme. I started my apprenticeship with a small company called Anvil Energy Saving Installations. The work I handled was varied and included rewires, Solar PV installs, as well as works on food processing plants and LED upgrades.

Working for a small firm like this has its perks. Whilst you may not always earn the most in your class, you do have the advantage of working closely with the electrician on the job and really get the attention you need to hone your skills and also to progress with your studies.

Having completed my apprenticeship, I decided to go at it alone and started my own electrical business working for a large restaurant chain carrying out planned maintenance on all aspects of the electrical system as well as upgrading lighting systems to the more recognised LED lighting. Setting up and running your own business is tough. You have to be prepared to make sacrifices and put your life on hold as you establish your business and reputation. You also need to consider what other skills you need to run a business besides your electrician’s qualifications e.g., taking care of admin, marketing, and finance to name a few. After a year I decided this was not for me and I took up a position with a facility maintenance company carrying out work for blue chip companies, undertaking a range of jobs across different trades and not just electrical.

I carried on with this role for two years, when I was approached with a new opportunity to join Certsure – more commonly known as NICEIC – as part of the marketing technical team. I was one of two presenters touring the country delivering tech talks to contractors, gaining experience in the regulations publications and also developing vital presentation skills.

It was during this time that I was provided with the opportunity to join Scolmore Group as technical engagement engineer. Working for a manufacturer is not something I had ever considered, but it was a natural move from my role with Certsure – putting my in-depth knowledge of the electrical industry and standards, and also my newly acquired presenting skills to good use. I now head up Scolmore’s technical engagement team. My role includes engaging with professional contractors and electricians to advise and educate them on the right solutions and products to meet the ever-changing regulations and technical requirements of the industry. I also help develop and present training content across Scolmore’s social media channels, including the SGTV YouTube channel.  

In summary, when you set out with your apprenticeship under your belt, you just never know where it will take you. For many, working on the tools is something they’ve always wanted to do, and they enjoy the new challenges that it brings with evolving technologies. For others it provides a platform to explore and experience a range of different rolesI know that a number of the directors at Scolmore started out on the tools and have worked their way up on to the board and are now using their expertise at corporate level. The sky really is the limit.