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Ian Woodhouse 

Apprentice Electrician 

Former chef Ian Woodhouse had a string of successful jobs across Oxfordshire dishing-up all types of cuisine from Italian, Thai and even Michelin star dishes.

But shortly after the birth of his daughter, Ian took advantage of shared parental leave and immersed himself into family life. It was during this time Ian realised working up to 100 hours a week as a chef was not compatible with his young family.

So, after speaking to his friend who is an electrician, Ian decided to take the plunge and retrain at the tender age of 28-years-old.

“My friend is an electrician and has a fantastic lifestyle. He has a big house, a nice car and his wife doesn’t work - that’s the kind of life I want to provide for my family,” said Ian.

After spotting our vacancy on the National Apprenticeship Service website, Ian applied for an apprentice electrician role at our Oxford branch. Shortly after Ian was invited to an assessment day – but he admits it didn’t quite go to plan!

“The practical wiring task was a challenge, I was really nervous and measured 20cms instead of 20 inches!” But despite the hiccup, Ian impressed with his ‘can-do’ attitude and persistence.


So what transferrable skills does the former chef use as an apprentice electrician? “My time as a chef has proved really useful throughout my apprenticeship so far. A strong work ethic, along with knowing what’s required and following instructions, play an important part in both roles.”

Now Ian is an apprenticeship ambassador, helping to inspire thousands of students across Oxfordshire to consider a career as an electrician.

So what advice would he give to others who are thinking about retraining? “You’ll get out what you put in, so take it seriously and jump in with both feet. Everyone’s got to start somewhere and remember all the electricians at Clarkson Evans started as apprentices too. Learn from those above you and ask questions if you’re not sure.”

“Retraining at the age of 28 was a big decision with my family commitments, but it has been a walk in the park so far. I’m able to balance work and family life – something I couldn’t do as a chef.”