Temporary power distribution specialist ide Systems recently invited 40 learners to undergo work experience at its Cannock and Burntwood site. Learners that were enrolled on any level of the electrical installation course at South Staffordshire College in September, 2016, have had the opportunity to put their taught knowledge into practice at the company, with learners ultimately assisting the assembly of electrical distribution panels.
Working alongside ide Systems’ skilled engineers, learners were taught about all aspects of the electrical industry, including equipment, health and safety practices and how to approach different emergency situations. After being briefed on the processes and practices, students assisted in building and assembling electrical distribution panels.
Learners participating in the vocational programme are set to complete 30 hours at either ide Systems’ Cannock or Burntwood site. With most of the learners aged between 16 and 18, ide Systems has tailored the programme so that everyone involved can allocate their hours across the year to complement their academic studies.
“We pride ourselves in providing a flexible and exciting learning opportunity for anyone interested in a career in electrical installation,” explained Matt Collins, business development manager of ide Systems. “I attended the college as a mature student and was fortunate to find employment quickly and progress into management. Still having close links to the college, we wanted to form a partnership that would offer those interested in electrical installation, a real opportunity to understand the industry and boost their confidence when looking for work.
“As a company, ide Systems is constantly expanding and recruiting. As such, the learners demonstrating their talent and practical skills have the opportunity to become a long-term part of the business if a vacancy becomes available.”
At a time when the engineering skills shortage is a prominent issue across a number of industrial sectors, ide Systems is investing in the future of electrical engineering by working with institutions to develop the younger work force. The partnership with the South Staffordshire College resulted in ide Systems previously hiring two apprentices on completion of their electrical course, as well as another individual that participated in the work experience programme.
“It is every company’s responsibility to do more to capture the interest of younger people and help them into the profession,” said Collins. “While academic courses teach the theoretical knowledge, practical experience is essential to ensure that those entering the industry have the required skills. The value of apprenticeship and practical learning schemes must be continuously pushed to ensure a positive future for engineering in the UK.”
“Both the college and ide Systems have a strong focus on providing young people with actual experience in the industry, which assists them in finding future employment,” said Julie Bird, employer engagement co-ordinator at South Staffordshire College. “Work experience is invaluable for personal progression. For our students, it allows them to learn the importance of teamwork and reliability, as well as all of the technical elements.”