The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (AFCFT) is providing SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity with a grant of £90,000 to...
Final Rank: SSgt
Years Served: 22
Specialisation/trade: Dog trainer/handler
Hello Adrian! Please tell us when and why you registered for ELC.
As soon as they came out. I knew ELC would be essential when planning my resettlement on completion of my career.
What qualifications have you gained as a result of using ELC?
I already have my NEBOSH Oil and Gas Certificate, a level 5 Professional Diploma in Logistics and Transport, and level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures). In future, I’m aiming for Solar PV Installer and Maintenance, Electrical Inspection and Testing, and Electric Vehicle Charging Point Installer (all at level 3).
Who were your training providers?
I did my NEBOSH Oil and Gas, and level 5 Logistics Certificate via my resettlement centre, while Trade Skills 4U provides the electrical qualifications.
How did you select your courses?
I wanted a change of direction and trade, so I investigated avenues that offered the potential for me to gain employment, and then I chose a variety.
Tell us more about them …
Both courses run by the resettlement centre providers were brilliant. Obviously, all being military, the humour was always there – and the different cap badges and experiences were good to hear and learn from. Trade Skills 4U were great, too. Their qualifications are recognised within the electrical trade, and their delivery and training facilities are excellent. I’d heard some very good reviews, which influenced my decision to train with them. All of my courses have been a mix of academic and vocational, and practical elements were required.
The level 3 Installation course was two weeks at the training centre near Gatwick Airport, then I spent two weeks with my employer ‘on the tools’. This went on for a year, while I completed both levels 2 and 3 of C&G 2365. Also at the end, I did the PAT course, Part P, level 2 Inspection and Testing course (initial verification) and 17th edition. The practical elements were brilliant – from carrying out installation, to fault-finding, and then the subsequent inspection and testing of your work. This was done using test instruments and what you had learned as you progressed through the course.
Did the courses build on Service/civilian qualifications you had already obtained?
I chose to follow the electrical trade, and both my Service and civilian qualifications have already come into use (e.g. my H&S/fire course and PAT – and my civilian-gained qualifications too).
How much study was involved in classes, at home, using e-learning?
Large amounts of study were called for, both while on the courses and at night. I made sure I had a quiet room and managed my time effectively – another skill I learned while serving!
Before you started, what did you hope the courses would give you?
Not only a greater insight to the electrical field but also a foot in the door. My courses were recognised and respected within the trade. I found a job while still on my Trade Skills 4U course and have been employed ever since … touch wood!
What advice do you have for other Service people registering for or using ELC?
Make sure you register for ELC! It is invaluable for resettlement when you leave … and, eventually, everyone leaves! Make sure you use the ELCAS website (www.enhancedlearningcredits.com) to find courses and providers. It prevents a lot of time wasting.
Have you received any advice you would like to share with fellow readers?
My education centre was brilliant! They signposted me to the resettlement centre and said to make sure I got in there early and make full use of the facilities. Before I began my transition, I made sure that I kept well informed about what was available to me – and I told all those around me so they would be clued up.
IN THE CIVILIAN WORKPLACE
Tell us about your jobs since leaving the Services.
My first civilian job after leaving was for Process, Control & Installations (Commercial Electrical Contractors) in Melton Mowbray. I now work within the Inspection and Testing Department at Electract, based in Coalville. Having just completed my AM2 and level 3 NVQ I am now an electrician, a role I have been in since August 2016.
What does this job involve on a day-to-day basis?
Carrying out the initial verification, and periodic inspection and testing of domestic, commercial and industrial installations. With this we also do installation work within these fields. I love the fact that I manage my own day and hours. I am given my jobs and then liaise with the customer to do hours during the day that suit them and me (within an eight-hour period). There is weekend work if I want it and it’s a very friendly environment. Self-motivation is essential, but I can say that I haven’t once missed being in the Army!
What skills or experience from your Service career are you now finding useful?
All the health and safety training has come in useful, and the portable appliance testing (PAT) course.
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
What advice would you like to give to others going through resettlement and career transition?
As soon as you get permission to start do so. DO NOT WAIT! Time goes by very fast. Make sure you use every opportunity available to you.
To find out more, visit www.tradeskills4u.co.uk
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