It's never too late to become a Qualified Electrician
by Chris Walker on 02 April 2012
Karl Arkins from Dublin started his electrical apprenticeship in 1978. He left the course before qualifying and moved to America where he continued to work as an electrician. After two years he returned to Ireland as he discovered that without full trade recognition it was difficult to obtain employment. Despite this challenge Karl continued to work as a practicing electrician for over 30 years.
Throughout the years Karl had considered finishing his electrical apprenticeship, but didn’t know how to go about this. Karl said,
“It was always something I wanted to complete. Throughout my career I’ve undertaken training to help me up-skill, but it didn’t mean anything without trade recognition. The only way I could get this was to finish the electrical apprenticeship.”
It then became difficult for Karl to find a local training provider as the Republic of Ireland has developed their own qualifications structure called National Crafts. This was not a route Karl wanted to take -
“I wanted to finish the path I had started with the City and Guilds electrical apprenticeship. As the regulations become more harmonised across Europe the City and Guilds offered me a transferable, recognised and valuable qualification.”
After struggling to find a training provider who could meet his needs, Karl was referred to ETT. After an initial consultation meeting with Chris Walker ETT’s Senior Training Officer, Karl began to work under the guidance and support of our training officers to complete his Level 3 NVQ in Electricaltechnical Services – Electrical Installation qualification.
Between February 2011 and February 2012 Karl documented evidence and uploaded the required work to ‘Onefile’ ETT’s online e-portfolio for the apprenticeship programme. Training officers travelled to Dublin to inspect Karl’s work during onsite visits. Assessments were also made using professional discussions to ensure that the required standard was met. ETT Training officer Craig McNeilly commented,
“Karl was a dedicated candidate who completed all NVQ Level 3 tasks to the required standard and on time. We are happy to help people like Karl, who are working in the electrical industry, but for various reasons did not finish their apprenticeship.
“As regulations become more stringent, the need for electricians to be fully qualified has never been greater. It is now a requirement for almost all public sector work that each electrician holds the Level 3 NVQ in Electrotenchinal Services – Electrical Installation (Building and Structure) certificate to identify themselves as fully qualified.
“I would encourage those people working in the industry, who need to finish their qualifications to come forward for guidance on which steps they can take to achieve this.”
“I hope that by completing my qualifications it will further my career opportunities. I can now consider working in Australia, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but without the appropriate qualification I wouldn’t be able to get work.“
Of the experience Karl said,
“It has been and educational and worthwhile journey.”