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Discuss Asking for experience/ apprenticeship, some tips in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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Electrician's Arms
I run my own business and have done for years and I regularly get contacted by people asking for experience or apprenticeships. Experience requests tend to be from fast course guys and apprenticeships come from younger people in the 1st or 2nd year at college.

Now dont get me wrong I have no problem having these letters or calls but they vary greatly.

About once a month I get a call that goes something like this. " hello ( no name given, no introduction) got any apprenticeships going mate" When I say "not at the moment" as often as not the line goes dead straight away. Now I appreciate how scary it must be to make the call but heres a few tips. When you make the call introduce yourself, explain quickly who you are, what you are trying to achieve. The chances are you are going to get a knock back but if you end the conversation with something along the lines of "I appreciate your time, would it be Ok for me to send you my CV incase at any point in the near future you might be looking for an apprentice" you have then at least got your foot in the door should the business be looking for someone in a few months.

Letters seem to be the choice of fast track guys looking for experience. They normally go something like, " I have just qualified on a course at so and so academy, Im looking for some experience before setting up on my own". Two problems here are that 1. Nobody in their right mind is going to spend the countless hours teaching someone how to do the job to a good standard ( those of you who have trained people know how much work is involved) just for them to set up in competition to you a few months down the line when they "think" that they have the experience. 2nd Problem is there is often not enough detail. I want to know things like what practical skills you can offer. Dont give two hoots about 10 years spent pushing paper around a council office, I need to know if you can do basic carpentry (lifting floorboards) can you plaster, any other buolding experience even if its just renovating your own house.

Apprentices and fast track guys, offer your services such as they are. This happened once. I offered a lad a few days work drilling holes and tidying up afetr myself and my mate on a new build. Maybe helping to run a few cables but generally just goffering, he turned it down because and I quote " I want to be a sparky not a labourer" You`ve got to start somewhere. Trust me if you can get some experience of any of the construction trades it will help you in your ultimate goal. Someone who knows how a site works, appreciates that there are other trades on site and how we all work together (most of the time ;-) ) and knows which way to hold a hammer is far more likely to get a break in the electric game than someone who puts Office skills down at the top of their CV.

Give it a go, its hard at the moment especially but build a relationship with your local sparkies, even one man bands need a hand from time to time, cleaning up after an experienced tradesman or drilling holes all day, you will be amazed how much you pick up and who knows where it will lead.
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Electrician's Arms
Good post mate. Quite often it seems all anyone wants to do is stick a request online. If you are serious then you cant beat the personal touch by a face to face meeting, id never hire someone who just sent in a letter.
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