A skills challenge and career progression day really ignited a competitive spark in students on the Electrical Installation course at our Ardleigh Green campus on Wednesday.

Industry professionals, along with a former student, visited the college to talk about apprenticeships, opportunities and pathways to becoming an electrician and the students also took part in practical competitions.

Awards for the morning challenge went to: Winner Jamie Prior, second Teddy Green and third Liam Timke. In the afternoon challenge the awards were presented to: Winner George Ryan, second Lewis Woodford and third Alex Ford. Prizes of tools and tool bags were donated by Rydon Maintenance.

At the presentation, the colleges’ Electrical Programme Manager Daniel Barr told the 40 students who had taken part: “You have done the college and yourselves proud today. You are all winners even though we could only give out six prizes.”

The judges were David Crowley MIET, and Karen Boom, owner of She’s Electric based in Billericay. David said: “Some of the work we have witnessed today has been inspirational. If you all keep at it you will do well in the industry. We have been really impressed by what we have seen.”

Visiting electrical business coach, consultant and engineer Dan Jackson, along with Paul Meenan from the e5 Group, delivered a talk on career progression and gave advice and support during the competitions. Dan said: “Wow. What a day! During the competitions I spent some time talking with these students who are 16/17 years old. I was blown away by how engaging they were. They are very intelligent, eager and open to learning. Two of the girls also told me about a little business venture they've seen an opportunity for since getting an insight into the electrical game! The tutors are doing a fine job.

“I came away having learnt loads and hopefully the youngsters learnt a thing or two from me!”

Former student Jack Wright, who left the college in the summer, told how he was now working as an electrician and studying for his NVQ. He encouraged the current students to work hard to pass their Level 3 and said: “After that, the sky’s the limit for you. The money is good and the industry is crying out for trainee electricians. You have nothing to worry about for your future if you work hard.”


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