Where Do I Start? Career Changers/Adult Learners

If you’ve been working in the industry in an unqualified role, or are looking to enter the industry after a career elsewhere, you are probably looking to gain or formalise your qualifications.  You may just be looking for a short course to upgrade your skills.  To achieve any of these successfully, you need to work with a good Training Provider who will help you:

  • Identify what prior learning, qualifications and/or experience you may have which may be relevant
  • Develop a training plan and/or identify the course which reflects your needs
  • Review and assess your progress and provide feedback
  • Provide or guide you on where to find training to support you with any off-the-job learning and the knowledge elements of the programme.

The Training Provider you select should give you clear information on the level of service you can expect to receive and also set out what the expectations on you will be.  Details of financial arrangements will also need to be clearly explained.

There are some key factors to help you identify a good Training Provider

Recognised qualifications – You will need to achieve qualifications which have been specified and are recognised by the industry.  Despite what some providers will say, not all qualifications are appropriate and you will need to establish if the Training Provider you have chosen delivers recognised qualifications that lead to a career in the industry.

In the electrotechnical industry, the recognised apprenticeship framework is a level 3 qualification and the two awarding organisations are EAL and City and Guilds.  For experienced workers and mature candidates the qualification required is the 2356-99.

It is essential that you check that you are on the right scheme which is recognised by the industry.  There are unscrupulous training providers who will charge a lot of money for short courses which promise to deliver this, but which fail to do so.  Be aware that there are no short cuts to entry to the industry – check out any offers that appear too good to be true because they probably are.

Quality – Many Training Providers are able to access Government Funding for some of their programmes.  If they do, they will be subject to inspection by Ofsted. A good provider should be working at grade 2 or above.

Success rates – Success rates are a key Government measure of the quality of a provider’s programmes.  However, even if you do not get Government funding support for your training, it is worth asking for the Training Provider’s success rates for the training scheme that you will be following.

Qualified Staff – All the Training Provider’s staff who are involved with your training and assessment should hold professional qualifications at the correct level relevant to their job role and the qualification they deliver.