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Electrical Engineering Apprenticeships29th November 2012, 11:11
National companies like Virgin Media, Sky and BT are currently offering electrical engineering apprenticeships, usually to the accompaniment of press releases... but then again, smaller electrical engineering concerns have been doing this for years without much in the way of fuss and fanfare.
Whether you choose to undertake an apprenticeship with a multi-billion-pound corporation or a small local outfit - even a one-man operation - there will be a lot for you to do every working day before you start specialising.
During your apprenticeship, you could find yourself on the road upgrading satellite and digital signal receiving equipment in offices and blocks of flats.
Or you could find yourself repairing radios, televisions and heavy duty household equipment like dishwashers and washing machines.
There are many other tasks you could be called on to do during your apprenticeship and whatever you find yourself doing, it's going to be very hands-on.
But first, of course, you have to get that apprenticeship: you'll need to show that you have an interest in technology of all kinds, and of all ages. That's because no matter what advances are made in electrical engineering, as well as working on the cutting edge you'll still be called upon to service and maintain older equipment.
You'll also need to be good with your hands, to be able to understand schematic drawings, to have a good mixture of logic and imagination when it comes to solving electrical puzzles... and here’s something you might not have considered: since you'll be dealing with colour-coded wiring on a regular basis, not only will you need good eyesight (or a decent pair of glasses) but also excellent colour vision.
During your apprenticeship you’ll be spending most of your time in the workplace, but you'll also be returning to the classroom to learn the theory behind your trade while working towards a nationally recognised qualification.
And as an employee, you’ll enjoy the same employee rights and benefits as everyone else you're working with - as well as receiving a regular apprenticeship wage.
Once you've completed your apprenticeship, there's always the possibility of being offered a permanent position: after all, it's a risky and expensive business recruiting externally these days. If the company training you know that you're keen, hard-working and trustworthy then it could be that they invite you back up your training - as a full-time employee.