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I am a Newbie on this site and I am currently doing the C&G 2330 L2 & L3 course with the 17th ed wiring regs and NVQ3 included as a package. I am doing it through OLCI and should take about 9 - 12 months to complete. The course seems ok but I just wish it had more practical sessions it's about 5/6 weeks in total.

I am just wanting to basically know the views of time served sparks about some touchy subjects!!

1. With all these Fast Track short courses that are available, what course/s would you deem acceptable for someone to be called a spark?

2. How much experience do you think is necessary to work as a spark? i.e 6 weeks, 6 months, 1yr, 2yrs etc.

I'm 31 and have always wanted to be a spark, so when voluntary redundancy came up at work I took it and enrolled on this course. I left home at 16 and had to support myself so an apprenticeship was out of the question, but I need to make a move now or never. I'm too old for an apprenticeship - obviously!!

I basically just want all time served sparks to voice their opinion and be as honest as they can. I know that some sparks are angry because of all the cowboys out there and this is why I am asking for their opinions, and don't want to be called a cowboy because I took the 9 - 12 month course instead of doing an apprenticeship.

I have been looking for some work in the trade but employers want qualifications although I have offered to work for free (to shadow an electrician), don't want a penny!! just to get some knowledge, basically as an electricians mate.

Thanks in advance


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  • #2
with the courses your taking you will be a fully qualified spark but i would say you need at least a cpl of years on the tools working with some1 whos been in the game a while to show you the practical side of things every job is different and usually has its own set of problems/obstacles to overcome and thats where experience comes in thats my opinion anyway
like anything you are always learning, i think you will need a couple of years under your belt to gain confidence and experience , the good thing about your course is the nvq3 its a big thing to some employers. gain as much experience along the way.good luck.


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  • #4
Hey there.

Got to be honest 12 months for all that is a big ask. Most colleges run all those courses over 2-3 years during which time you gain valuable experience on site.

I think you will find it very hard on yourself trying to complete all these courses in 12 months.



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  • #5
Hi Lennythloon

Soz I should have mentioned it's only the C&G 2330 L2 & L3 and the 17th ed wiring regs in 12 months.



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  • #6
Maka, I honestly say 17th ed and 2391 are a must these days and that in my opinion if you look at adverts for sparks, thats what they want minimum.
The experience bit, comes with actually doing the job, and you cannot do anymore than you have been, by willing to shadow a spark for zilch,
We are only as good as your last job, and any spark tells you he knows it all, he is a liar.
We took on some agency lads once, nothing against them by the way, its just that this lad had been all over the world, and done it all, he was older than us, quite a few yrs ago , and you know he could,nt wire an office with 2x intermediates at 4 x different places, he also had 6 xneutrals at a klix ceiling rose, alas we got rid after 1 day.


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  • #7
I am at it now for 18 years and am still learning.
I do believe that there are people out there who are sparks and there are people who know where to put wires that will never be sparks. I suppose its all about what you do when everything goes pear shaped.


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  • #8
Hi Mark

I did a very in depth 4 year apprenticeship (74-78) at ICI and some of the older sparks then were peeved that they did 7 years! They let us do work on our own after 3 years but kept a good eye on us.

I think you would need at least a few years but then I would say that would give you enough to be a domestic installer. It takes years to become a fully fledged electrician. I have mentioned before that the courses (no course) can teach good fault finding and that is what the experience brings. Not enough emphasis is put on the correct and in depth use of test equiplment such as multi meter etc (not voltage sticks).

As for learning, you just don't stop. I'm 51 now, been out of the business for 25+ years and have just got into inspection & test. The first job I did had one of the most awkward faults I could think of!

One of the biggest helps is self confidence and again that will only come with experience. You need to be able to have the approach that no job, no fault will be too much for you.

Good luck with it all.

Cheers, Ron


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  • #9
Hello and welcome Mark
As said and just like driving onece you've passed thats when you start learning.


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  • #10
no one learn without wanting to learn. every journey starts with a first step.GOOD LUCK

Johnny Bravo

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  • #11
I would house bash for the length of the course (with a decent sparks) then try get on commercial installs. i must say you will struggle with level 3 on a fast track in my opinion.

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