Electrical apprenticeships: what next?

By doing so, the local industry has been able to produce a relatively attractive offer to the annual school leaving population.

Nevertheless, many employers struggle to recruit and retain high- quality new apprentices. Other sectors of the construction industry report similar annual recruitment difficulties. Preserving the exclusive NVQ Level 3 gold standard route in the electrical sector in Northern Ireland is essential. Feedback from other sectors were an NVQ Level 2 route is in place, reveals that too many new entrants step away or fail to progress to NVQ Level 3.

In part, the NVQ Level 2 ‘step away’ condition may be to do with low entry criterion, self-selection errors or late entry placements by training providers.

A Department of Finance led review of the current Northern Ireland apprenticeship frameworks is presently underway. The CITB NI is kindly facilitating this review. Representatives including employers from the various sectors meet as the Built Environment Sector Partnership (BESP) to discuss and shape future apprenticeship frameworks. The unique NVQ Level 3 Apprenticeship route in the Northern Ireland electrical sector has in the past been confused with L2 traineeships.

ETT recommends that employers operating in the electrical contracting industry recruit new entrants onto the approved NVQ Level 3 apprenticeship programme from day one. Completion of the NVQ Level 3 will ensure that apprentices achieve recognition as a Qualified Installation Electrician within the sector.

For more information, contact ETT on 028 2565 0750.