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Frequently asked questions

How much do apprentices get paid?

Average weekly rates of pay for apprentices are £260 in year 1, rising to £350 from year 2 onwards. Pay is made up of a guaranteed minimum rate plus a monthly bonus that depends on the work completed by each team.

Guaranteed weekly minimum rates are £150 in year 1, increasing from year 2 onwards to £224 for those aged 20 or under and £280 if you’re aged 21 plus.

I’d like to do an apprenticeship but I expect I’m older than most applicants and I’ve got financial commitments.  Could I start on a higher rate of pay?

The starting rate of pay for apprentices is the same regardless of age.  The only thing that would make a difference is if you already have significant experience or existing electrical qualifications (see above).  Unfortunately we cannot offer a higher starting rate based on age only but we encourage applicants to consider the long-term earnings potential that comes with completing an apprenticeship with us.

I’ve already completed some electrical training at college.  Does this mean I could start on a higher rate of pay?

For those who’ve fully completed the City & Guilds 2330 Levels 2 & 3 or the City & Guilds 2365 Level 3 (or equivalent) we offer a higher minimum guaranteed starting wage of £180 per week. No other electrical qualifications (e.g. 2382) will be taken into account.

What are the normal working hours?

This is not a ‘9.00 to 5.00’ job so you’ll need to be prepared for variable (sometimes long) working days.  A flexible attitude is essential so if you’re looking for set hours and a short working week, our apprenticeships would not be suitable for you.   

Typically you’ll be expected to meet your team at your branch at 7.00am but there may be occasions when you’re requested to arrive earlier.  The finish time depends on when your team has achieved the work required for the day so while it might be mid-afternoon on some days, a finish time around 5pm - 6pm is more likely and occasionally you may need to stay later.  Your normal working days will be Monday to Friday but at busy times when your team leader asks you to come in at the weekend you must be prepared to do so. 

Is there an age restriction for applicants?

Applicants must be over 18 to begin an apprenticeship with us.  Unfortunately we are unable to employ 16 and 17 year olds due to the health and safety restrictions imposed on building sites.  There is no upper age limit for applicants although it is a highly physical job requiring a good level of fitness and we recruit apprentices with the intention that they will forge a long-term career with us once qualified. 

Can I apply if I haven’t yet passed my driving test?

Yes you can but you would not be able to start your apprenticeship until you have a full driving licence.  Typically we would expect applicants to have made some progress towards learning to drive and details can be provided in the application form.

Are there minimum GCSE grades required?

Typically we look for grade C (grade 5 in the new grading system) or above in English and maths but lower grades may be considered if you have experience to make up for them and you submit an otherwise promising application.  If you have achieved Functional Skills, Key Skills or any other type of qualification that is not a genuine GCSE you should correctly state the qualification on your application form rather than referring to it as a GCSE.   You should note that we will check certificates on arrival at the assessment day and if there is any discrepancy with grades stated on your form, you will not be able to continue. 

Application process

How should I apply for an apprenticeship?

To apply for an electrical apprenticeship role visit the current vacancies page on the careers section of our website and click on the vacancy you are interested in. Our online application form appears at the end of the role description. You can part complete the form and return to it at any stage. Remember to only submit your application when all sections are complete.

What happens after I have submitted the form?

If you are shortlisted you will be invited to attend an assessment day.  If your application is unsuccessful you will receive an email to confirm this.

Assessment days take place at either Gloucester, Exeter, Bracknell or Birmingham.  They include English and maths tests, a mechanical reasoning test, a 20 minute practical assessment and an interview with our senior management team.

What does the practical at the assessment day involve?

The practical is a relatively simple exercise completed on a board in around 20 minutes.  A full demonstration will be provided at the start and instructions will be given at the time. 

If I am successful after the assessment day, when can I expect the apprenticeship to start?

Your start date could be more or less immediate or it could be several months down the line.  Due to the nature of our work and the fact we need to respond quickly to increasing workloads, we typically carry out recruitment in advance so we have new recruits ready to start when a vacancy arises.  You’ll be given an indication of your likely start date if and when you are offered an apprenticeship and we’ll keep in touch with you regularly with updates.

What time of year does apprentice recruitment take place?

We recruit apprentices at various different times throughout the year, depending on our workloads.  Unlike many apprenticeships, we’re not bound by a September start date.

If there are no current apprenticeship vacancies displayed in my area, can I still apply?

We accept registrations to be considered for our apprenticeship programme all year round.  If there isn’t a current vacancy displayed for your area, click on the ‘Submit your CV (Speculative Applications)’ link.  Once you’ve registered we’ll contact you the next time we’re actively recruiting in your area.

The training process

Where will I go to college?

All of our apprentices attend in-house training with us rather than attending local FE colleges.  Training takes place in Gloucester, Birmingham, Bracknell and Exeter, with apprentices normally attending their closest centre.  If the centre is not where you’re normally based, you will be able to claim a mileage allowance.

What happens when I first start the apprenticeship?

All new apprentices start by attending a practical induction day in Gloucester.  Accommodation will be arranged if necessary and mileage can be claimed if you’re not Gloucester-based.

What’s the format of the training?

You’ll learn most of the practical skills you need during the four days a week spent working on site.  One day a week will be spent at one of our training centres, focusing mainly on the theory you’ll need to learn to pass exams.  Day release training continues for roughly two years and once completed you’ll continue gaining experience on site in order to complete the NVQ units and then take the AM2 test.

The apprenticeship also includes Functional Skills at level 2 in English, maths and IT.  These are mandatory units that must be completed if you don’t have exemptions due to GCSE grades.

How long does an apprenticeship take?

Typically our apprentices complete their training in four years.  This is the standard duration for an electrical apprenticeship nationally. But with full control over training we’re able to take into consideration your existing life skills and technical experience to make sure your training is delivered efficiently.  We also select the kind of people who’ll remain focused in the classroom and we expect our apprentices to show dedication to achieving their apprenticeships without wasting any time.