It’s National Apprentice Week and this year’s Fire It Up Campaign is all about promoting the natural energy and enthusiasm of apprentices with electrical sparks. As a mechanical and electrical contractor, that’s a message which couldn’t be more fitting!
We’re huge advocates of training the next generation of tradesmen and have been doing so for more than half a century. Every year, we have a group of up to five apprentices working for our business and our latest recruit is 17-year-old Daniel Oldham.
Daniel joined REL in September 2018 as an electrical apprentice to help him pursue a career which first sparked his interest in the classroom.
“I’d learnt about electrical engineering at school and it was something I really enjoyed,” he says. “After leaving school, I knew I wanted to do a job that was more hands on, so decided to turn my interest into a skill and hopefully a long-term career.”
It was a family friend and REL’s operations manager, Sean Corcoran, who helped put Daniel on the apprenticeship path, introducing him to the REL team and the training opportunities on offer. Daniel is now gaining practical experience four days a week and spending one day a week at college with the fees paid for by REL.
“When I first started the apprenticeship, it was a bit daunting as it was so different to school but I soon found my confidence,” continues Daniel. “I’ve been given lots of support but also lots of responsibility as I’m currently part of the team helping to deliver a new school in Woolwich, which is due to open later this year. It’s my job to manage and install all of the cable containment as well as provide general support to the team.”
Throughout the four-year apprenticeship, Daniel will have a mentor who will provide on the job training and supervision and also help with the assessment process.
“Having a mentor is a huge bonus,” adds Daniel. “As we’re working on such a large project and for a specialist sector, I get to experience all the different elements of electrical engineering and learn from people who are real experts in their field. I’ve also had the chance to meet and work with other REL apprentices and gain from their knowledge too.”
With six months of his apprenticeship under his belt, Daniel is looking forward to the future and the opportunities that lie ahead.
“Since beginning my apprenticeship, I’ve never looked back so would encourage anyone thinking of going down this path, to go for it,” he says. “I’m learning new skills every day getting hands on experience of the construction sector and laying the foundations for what’s set to be a really enjoyable career.”