As National Apprenticeship Week 2017 continues, Charlie Ralston explains why the chance to earn and learn is making such a difference to him.
Charlie, aged 19, is an apprentice electrician at Evolve Facilities, which repairs and maintains our homes, and is part of the Riverside Group.
“I chose to do an apprenticeship because after going to university to do an engineering degree, I realised that this type of learning wasn’t for me,” says Charlie, from Liverpool.
“I didn’t know what else to do, so I spent a couple of weeks at Evolve on work experience with a qualified electrician. I found that I preferred the hands-on approach and enjoyed learning practical skills on the job, and my mentor took the time to explain the work he was doing. Luckily, at this time, Evolve were recruiting apprentices and I was able to secure a position as an apprentice electrician.
“I’ve recently started college doing an NVQ in Electrical Installation, which includes a health and workplace module. I’ll build up a portfolio of the work I will do at college and at Evolve.
“My mentor has been a great teacher and I’m learning workplace electrical skills, working on bathroom lights, fans, showers and socket switches.
“I’m working at Riverside properties all over the North West and working with other trades, which will increase my knowledge of other aspects of the building industry. It’s a friendly place to work and I enjoy working with my mentor and the other tradespeople.
“My apprenticeship has given my life some focus. After drifting through university without a plan, I’m now really optimistic about the future.
“I know how long my training will be, how much work I need to do to complete my course, and what qualifications I’ll achieve.”