A group of senior managers from City Electrical Factors (CEF) will be spending the night of Friday 27 November in a car park in Birmingham, lending its support to St Basils BIG SLEEPOUT, to raise much needed funds for the homeless.

The team hopes to raise £10,000 for St Basils, a charity that works with young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness across the Midlands. At any one time St Basils could have over 400 young people living in one of their 27 supported accommodation schemes and each year help over 4,000 break the cycle of homelessness by giving them the necessary skills and training.

The charity is striving to raise £750,000 this year to provide intensive support to their young residents for their Learning, Skills and Work service, which is an integral part of helping young people move on successfully.

Hundreds of people take part in the event, spending a cold night with nothing but a sleeping bag, cardboard and team spirit to keep them warm. Every year there is friendly competition to create the best cardboard accommodation. Never ones to turn down a challenge, the CEF team will be keeping busy and warm making their own cardboard creation. You will be able to catch up on how they did at CEF.co.uk/news after the event or follow #bigsleepout on social media.

There is still time to make a donation via the CEF Just Giving page! justgiving.com/cefsleepout/, or you can find out more about the charity at Stbasils.org.uk.

The new electricity market pricing system that came in to effect on Thursday 5 November will place even more responsibility on generators to improve the management of their supply imbalances or face much higher pricing penalties.

Electrical Review was last week invited to meet Tessa Ogle, the new managing director of the The Electrical Industries Charity.

An experienced general management professional with an extensive track record in leading business growth, Ogle joins the charity from Parsons Brinckerhoff (a Balfour Beatty company) where she held the position of national general manager for oil and gas.

Ogle said:“Since the Electrical Trades Benevolent Institution was founded in 1905 the charity has continued to evolve and now provides financial relief and practical support to more people in the electrical related industries than ever before.

“Two thirds of our current beneficiaries are of working age but the majority are ‘economically inactive’ due to redundancy, illness, injury or caring responsibilities. Our aim as a charity is to reach more working people and provide the support which is essential to them.

“This is therefore a very exciting time to be joining the Electrical Industries Charity and I look forward to working with the industry to ensure that we continue to provide help and support to our people when they need it most.”

Under Ogle’s leadership the charity will focus on four key programmes, the Apprenticeship Support Programme; Employee and Family Support Programme; Pensioner Support Programme and a Practical Participation Programme.

It is so important we continue to support those in our industry who need help. Please do visit www.electricalcharity.org for details on future fundraising events.

In last week’s newsletter we reported on training provider JTL chief executive’s response to an Ofsted report suggesting apprenticeships are delivering poor quality for money and seeing thousands of “under achieving” young people.

Jon Graham said he is disappointed the headline messaging that has been seized upon, ignores the very positive results and outcomes many specialist providers are delivering for the UK economy. Read the full article here. 

I received a response from an M&E construction manager:

“I was interested to read your article , I served a very structured JIB apprenticeship with C J Bartley & Co Ltd from June 1981 till July 1984. There was an appointed apprentice manager who had involvement in workplace training and college courses.

Now watching all three of my own children and speaking to their friends who are going through modern Apprenticeships , I see a wide variation in training. Some are very structured ie UKPN others seem to lack any clear direction on what is the end goal and the route to it.

I now work as an M&E manager on London Power Tunnel project , using a wide variety of tradesman, for too many years the educational focus seems to of been to get people into university this seems to of created the situation where we potentially have a lot of chiefs(often with no idea) and very few Indians with the sufficient skillset to become capable tradesman.

I now look at an ageing workforce thinking what will happen when we are too old to work.”

As always, I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

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