From education to employment

Sparks will fly – apprenticeship success at London South East Colleges

Two industrious young electrical installation students based at London south East Colleges’ Bromley Campus have earned themselves the opportunity to put the skills they have acquired on-course into practice with a top electrical engineering and contacting company.

Demi, 17 and Benedict, 21 both completed their Electrical Installation City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate courses at London South East Colleges and have successfully progressed into lucrative traineeship and apprenticeship programmes with R & MA Stewart Ltd based in south London.

For the past thirty years, R & MA Stewart has delivered electrical engineering services to a wide range of clients across the south east of England. They include a number of different local authorities such as Lambeth, Southwark, Kensington & Chelsea and Bromley councils, numerous architectural and surveying companies and housing associations.

Demi, from Grove Park, originally planned to study business when she left school but after careful consideration decided to try something completely different. She says: “I came to one of the College’s open events for inspiration and found myself looking at all the different building services trades they offer. Before I knew it, I was learning how to wire electrical equipment and circuits, install and maintain electrical systems. I loved it.

“Once my level 1 and 2 courses were complete, I realised I needed to put my skills to good use and get a job as soon as possible. The College helped me into a 100-day Traineeship with R & MA Stewart. They were so impressed with me they offered me a three-year level 3 apprenticeship. So far, it’s been brilliant and I really enjoy the work I get to do. Each day I work on different jobs at different locations and alongside some of the company’s best engineers. They all treat me really well, support me and teach me lots of new tricks. All this and I still get to attend one day a week at College.”

Benedict, from Catford, is just a third of the way through his traineeship and is hoping to follow Demi into the apprenticeship route if he can successfully impress the company with his talent and flare for the trade. He says: “This is my chance to seize the moment and show what I can do. I worked incredibly hard at college and learnt everything I could. I know that this is a chance to get my foot on the first rung of the ladder and learn even more from the professionals. So far, I’ve helped in the re-wiring of houses around London; I install electricity sockets and power points, switches and light fittings, pendants, trunking and bonding and lots more. I’m gaining experience all the time.”

Dave Stevens is R & MA Stewart’s Health and Safety Manager and overseas their apprenticeship programme. He says: “We currently have six apprentices working with us, all at different levels of their training. Demi has already demonstrated her abilities and commitment to the company and is performing highly in her work. Indeed, we’ve had letters and emails from our clients expressing their satisfaction and telling us how good she is. Benedict has only been with us a short time but is showing tremendous promise. Both fit in well with other members of the team and show lots of enthusiasm.

“Apprentices perform a crucial role in our business and having them on board so early in their careers enables us to give them the specialist training we require all of our engineers to have. Our very first apprentice was taken on over twenty-five years ago and he’s still with us today. Others have gone on to become self-employed; many of whom are employed by us as contractors. London South East Colleges have provided us with some truly great candidates and we have a long-running working relationship that is going from strength to strength.”

 If you think you have what it takes to become a professional electrician or build a successful career in the electro-technology industries, we’d like to hear from you. We have a great range of courses to get you started. Come along to one of our open events during March.

Related Articles