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Paul Stevens 

Sub-team Leader

Giving up your job to retrain to become an electrician can be daunting, especially if your career change involves a salary drop.

Former care worker, now qualified electrician Paul Stevens, shares his tips on how he made his money go further during his training as he looks towards a long-term career with better financial prospects.

“I’d reached a point where I realised working in care wasn’t something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life and a chance conversation with my friend Mike turned my thoughts towards retraining to become an electrician.

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“At 26-years-old I was used to earning a salary and the idea of living off an apprentice wage didn’t fill me with much enthusiasm. But with a bit of forward planning I didn’t find the change too hard to swallow financially,” said Paul, who works out of our Birmingham branch.

Once Paul had received his job offer from Clarkson Evans he began saving, making the most of his final few wage packets as a care worker.

He then followed the recommendations of many financial commentators and took a long hard look at his household bills to see where he could save money on his utilities and telephone costs. Paul took the plunge and moved to a sim only phone contract, and swapped internet providers, which meant his broadband was virtually free for 18 months.

Paul also made the most of the 25 per cent Council Tax discount offered to apprentices, saving him a further £30 a month. To receive the discount the financially savvy apprentice asked Clarkson Evans to write to his local authority confirming the fact that he was studying towards an apprenticeship and he applied for the financial reduction. Within weeks the reduction had been applied to his bill.

“I used to check the moneysavingexpert.com website regularly for the latest tips on how to save money and was extremely disciplined about making a budget and sticking to it.

“Even little things, like always making my own lunch, made a difference, especially in the first year.

“Although I wasn’t earning very much I still managed to save a bit each month to pay for things like my MOT and other annual bills, so I didn’t have any nasty financial surprises. My bonus was always quite good from month one which made it much easier financially.

“Looking back the financial sacrifice I made when I decided to retrain wasn’t half as bad as I had imagined. During my apprenticeship we still found money to travel and my partner and I enjoyed several European city breaks.

“My income as an electrician is already considerably higher than it would have been if I’d stayed in the care industry and I’m only six months post-qualification. My partner and I are now saving for a bigger house and our financial future is much more secure.”   

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