Investing in the future of the electrical trade is a focus for many within the industry – and an issue that has only garnered more attention since the announcement of Brexit.
Only earlier this year research undertaken by the Federation of Master Builders revealed in its quarterly report that the demand for skilled electricians outweighed supply.
Combined with a similar shortage in other skilled professions, such as plumbers, carpenters and bricklayers, this poses a problem for the Government as it tries to reach its target of constructing hundreds of thousands of houses annually.
Electrical distributor Rexel has been keen to invest in supporting and developing new talent eager to be part of the industry.
One particular example comes from Greater Manchester, where Rexel have committed to supporting 11 apprentices, including the sponsorship of three budding electricians who have not had the easiest path into work.
This scheme has been made possible by working in partnership with the Re:allies Merchant Framework – a not for profit national partnership that provides smart procurement and asset management solutions for social housing landlords – and sees Rexel provide funding for the three young men through electrical apprenticeships.
The three apprentices, Wayne Lango, Alex Tyrie and Will Doleman, were all recruited by the charity Re:vision – a subsidiary charity of Procure Plus Holdings, part of the Re:allies Merchant Framework – through its partnership with local employment groups, YES Manchester, the Broughton Trust and Salford Search.
These local employment groups have worked with the three candidates to remove barriers that were preventing them from getting into work. They have supported them in preparing for interview and to sustain employment. Today all three apprentices are working for construction companies on the Procure Plus Framework.
Wayne Bridgehouse, Head of Facilities Management, at Rexel said: “The shortage of talent coming into our industry is not a new concern for us, but one that has definitely been highlighted during the conversations around increased need for new homes in the UK and concerning Brexit and potential limitations being placed on free movement from the EU across our borders. At Rexel we have always supported those with a keen interest in the electrical world, both within our own wholesaling sphere or the wider electrical industry. This latest investment demonstrates an ongoing commitment to the development and progression of our industry.”
Here is Wayne Lango’s story:
Today Wayne is an Electrical Apprentice with Mears working to improve properties for Northwards Housing through the Procure Plus Framework, a job he always wanted after watching his father work as an electrician. But his journey to success has not been straightforward.
After struggling to obtain sustainable employment Wayne signed up to YES Manchester for help. With financial support from Re:vision, YES Manchester were able to help Wayne by giving him 1-2-1 coaching, which boosted his confidence. After supporting him Wayne impressed at an interview with Mears and started his Electrical Apprenticeship in September 2017.
When Wayne stared his apprenticeship, he was delighted to receive a tool kit from Re:vision made possible through the Rexel sponsorship. He said: “Getting the apprenticeship was amazing. I am determined to work hard and be worthy of the faith that everyone at YES, Re:vison, Rexel and Mears have shown in me. The tool kit is fantastic, it is just what I needed. I know I would never have had this opportunity without all this support.”
Here is Alex Tyrie’s story:
On leaving school Alex was keen to undertake an apprenticeship, but after a rocky start to his career he felt let down and the his confidence was very low. He sought support form Salford Search and the Broughton Trust, where they worked hard to rebuild Alex’s confidence and put him forward to Re:vision for an Electrical Apprenticeship opportunity with A B Electrical.
Alex started his apprenticeship on January 3rdthis year. Re:vision liaised with Salford College and arranged for him to be signed up to complete his apprenticeship. Alex is now working as part of the team that are improving the housing stock of Salix Homes in Salford.
As with all Rexel sponsored apprentices Alex has received a tool kit and will continue to receive mentoring support for Re:vision.
Simon Crewe, the Commercial Manager at A.B.Electrical, said: “The work undertaken by Re:vision with its local employment group partners is key to sourcing candidates from the local communities where we work. We are delighted with how Alex has fitted into the team and confident he will have a great career with us in the future.”
Alex added: “This opportunity is great for me as I have always wanted to be an electrician. I live in a Salix Homes property and I’m proud to be improving other tenant’s homes in Salford and putting some good back into the community.”
Fiona Sharp – Operations Director, Re:vision said: “Alex is not unusual, we come across many young people who have completed a diploma and still been unable to secure employment. As a result of the funding we have received from Rexel we are able to make a difference and support employers and their apprentices, putting a stop to wasted talent.”
Here is Will Doleman’s story:
When Will started to work with YES Manchester he had struggled to decide on a career. They gave him advice and guidance and Will’s confidence grew. He decided he was interested in an electrical apprenticeship; so YES helped Will with his maths and English and he passed the test required. Due to his lack of experience they also suggested that he complete a work experience. After impressing Mears he was asked to apply for an electrical apprenticeship and is now an Electrical Apprentice with Mears.
Paula Law, Recruitment Manager at Mears, said: “We are delighted with Will, we know that candidates put forward by YES and Re:vision have had a lot of support and are always well prepared for work when they come to us.”
Will really appreciates all the support he has received form from YES, Re:vison and the sponsorship from Rexel saying: “All the work I did with YES and the pre-interview with Re:vison really helped to settle my nerves, I hadn’t had many previous interviews. When I was offered the work trial, I was determined to show Mears that I was hard working and reliable. I can’t tell you how much this opportunity means to me and my future, I’m really enjoying my time as an electrical apprentice learning all the skills I need to become qualified.”
For more information on Rexel’s services and solutions, including Inventor-e, visit: www.rexel.co.uk