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National Apprenticeship Week 2019: James' story

National Apprenticeship Week 2019: James' story

Hi, my name is James Russell and I’m an Electrical Repairs Team Coordinator. I started at Together Housing back when I was 16 years old and we were still the old Rossendale Borough Council, I began as an Electrical Apprentice.

Since then, I’ve gained a lot from my apprenticeship and it’s helped me to progress in my career at Together Housing. After qualifying as an apprentice, I went on to become an Electrical Supervisor, before the job I’m in today. I now manage two Electrical Supervisors and four Electrical Apprentices, as well as a team of Electricians who complete electrical installation condition reports on tenanted properties.

During my apprenticeship I was working towards a Level 2 and Level 3 qualification in Electrical Installation. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to complete various other training courses including an electrical testing qualification and I’ve even been to university to complete a HNC in Electrical Engineering.

I really enjoy my job, my favourite parts are the problem solving aspects and working together as a team to achieve our targets. I’ve also managed many apprentices myself through the years, and I have really enjoyed helping them and passing on my knowledge. It doesn’t come without its challenges though, the hardest part is the continuous learning of electrical regulations and understanding the companies policies and procedures.

My apprenticeship gave me a really good understanding of all things electrical, but it also give me the knowledge of other trades and the ways in which a council and social housing landlord operate their repairs, housing, asset management etc.

Thanks to my own experience, I am a massive advocate for apprenticeships, they are a great way to get hands-on experience, earn a wage and still continue with your education by attending college at the same time. Starting as an Electrical Apprentice at 16 years of age means that I’ve now had the opportunity to become a qualified tradesperson, a supervisor, and now a manager.

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