At the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) Modern Apprentice of the Year Competition 2011, held on 26 September, Kyle Bell, 18, Dumfries & Galloway College, Dumfries, employed by DRW, has taken Gold in the Stage 1 contest, and Ryan Westland, 20, Tullos Training, Aberdeen, employed by R B Wilson (Electrical), has taken Gold in the Stage 2 contest of this long established annual event.
SECTT, a non-profit making organisation concerned only with the training of apprentices within the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) Apprenticeship Scheme – the only industry approved training scheme for Electrical Contacting apprentices in Scotland – brings together the best first and second year apprentices from 20 colleges who have competed against each other on a regional basis. North, East and West regions all host exactly the same competitive task during May and June each year to find the best candidates to go forward to the National Final in September.
At the Awards Ceremony, SECTT chief executive officer Anne Galbraith presented the medals and certificates to both apprentices and employers. Anne Galbraith commented: “All medal winners represented the very best of apprentice electricians in Scotland. The winners today will become the industry exemplars of best practice and with apprentices of this caliber the future of the electrical contracting industry in Scotland will be in good hands.”
This year all competitors received a Makita 110v HR2450 3-function SDS+ rotary hammer drill, supplied through distributor White Milne & Co of Dundee. During the regional events, 40 Makita power tools were awarded.
“This is a superb initiative and we are pleased to be a sponsor of the SECTT Modern Apprentice Competition,” says Hugh Caldwell, regional sales manager, Makita UK. The contestants carry out practical and written assessments based on SVQ Level 3, and the finalists are selected from an interview procedure.
“Makita takes skills training very seriously and we strongly believe that young apprentices deserve to work with the best tools and materials if they are to be competitive in their sector,” continues Mr Caldwell.
Competitors may now be eligible for WorldSkills nomination following a rigorous elimination procedure which will identify the winners in a large number of skills as Best in Class. A previous winner of the SECTT Modern Apprentice of the Year, Richard Sagar of Langholme, employed by contractor Eden Electrics, won the Gold medal at WorldSkills, Calgary, Canada in 2009.
Modern Apprenticeships offer those aged over 16 years paid employment combined with the opportunity to train for jobs at craft, technician and management level. Apprentices work alongside experienced staff to gain job specific skills as well as training, perhaps one day a week, with local training providers and colleges.