Norfolk's Electrical Testing Ltd reinforces commitment to local talent and retains status as official apprenticeship provider 

For the second year running, Electrical Testing Ltd (ETL) has gained government approval as a registered apprenticeship provider, further cementing its commitment to the continued development of local people for local communities. 

Acles-based ETL provides training courses and apprenticeships for individuals seeking qualifications in the highway electrical space. ETL’s move to become an official apprenticeship provider last year was sparked by the government’s 2017 apprenticeship levy.

This initiative aims to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, and transform perceptions of apprenticeships. According to the Department of Education, the number of people starting an apprenticeship has seen its first rise since the inception of this levy. 

Often perceived as being an option reserved only for the younger generation, apprenticeships with ETL are wholly inclusive and open to all relevant applicants. 

Managing director, ETL, Simon Hobbs explained: 

“We had one applicant, born in the 1960s, who joined our cohort of apprentices last year. He’d had a long career working in highways – laying kerbstones, fixing potholes and gritting winter roads. But a back injury in 2017 limited the work he could undertake. 

“We met with him and his employer to discuss how a change of career might provide an exciting new opportunity. The apprenticeship he chose with ETL will result in him obtaining his Highway Electrical NVQ after 2 years – he still earns his usual salary and upon completion of the apprenticeship, he will bring even more value to his employer with his newly acquired skills.”

As well as a need to create more apprenticeships in general, there is also a shortage of the highly skilled individuals required by the highway electrical industry. ETL’s status as apprenticeship provider helps them to future-proof their own plans by maintaining a pipeline of talent. 

Carl Green, Head of Learning and Development at ETL, said: 

“Our first year as a government approved apprenticeship provider has been a successful one, and we are happy to be able continue this over the next year. Our industry relies upon a steady flow of skilled individuals — something there’s been a shortage of in recent years.

“While our apprenticeships are vital for maintaining the future of ETL and the highways electrical talent pool as a whole, they provide so much more than that. These apprenticeships offer dedicated individuals a more streamlined route into a fantastic highway electrical career.” 

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Since introducing the apprenticeship scheme, ETL has trained 5 cohorts at its Acle-based training centre. They expect to train another five cohorts by spring 2020. Each cohort comprises a maximum of 8 students who will each receive 4 weeks of training per year. 

As well as studying at ETL’s training facility, apprentices also spend time learning on the job in a highway electrical businesses. 

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