By Sarah Wolstencroft A

fter more than 30 years running David White Electrical (DRW Ltd), David White has learnt the huge value that apprentices can

bring to a business. They’ve helped his firm grow and

develop, brought enthusiasm and fresh talent, and allowed David’s son to follow in his footsteps by completing his own apprenticeship. As the industry looks ahead to the

post-COVID-19 recovery and beyond, it’s never been more important to ensure there’s a new generation of skilled and qualified electricians. “The industry needs good apprentices and companies need them to continue to grow and deliver high quality work” said David. “There’s 15 of us in my business and we’re like one big working family – apprentices are an integral part of the business in the past and now looking to the future. “We’ve always had apprentices;

I like to see them grow in confidence and experience and become confident high-quality electricians. At the moment we have two who were due to go back to college in March and another who is due to start in September. I’ve also been in touch with the local college about accessing another couple for the future.”

Opportunities to learn David set up his business in Gretna in 1989 and has always had apprentices in the firm. He believes more young people should be introduced to apprenticeships in school to help them understand the long-term life opportunities they achieve in a work-based environment. He said: “Universities

get a lot of publicity but apprenticeships are just as important. Employers want to know that the people they employ can communicate, as well as understand what they are doing, and completing a

David with Andrew and Macauley

“Apprenticeships can teach you so much more than just a trade. You have to learn how to communicate well with so many different types of people”


vocational qualification allows you to see them first hand. Our apprentices learn so much more by working and doing. “Apprenticeships can teach you so much more than just a trade. You have to learn how to communicate well with so many different types of people and I’ve seen how my apprentices mature throughout their

David White Electrical (DRW Ltd) BASED: Gretna PHONE: 01461 337303 WEB:

apprenticeship becoming confident, friendly, articulate, professional electricians. They soon become a valuable part of the team they work in. “I always ensure there is a mentor attached to support and teach each apprentice. Mentors are qualified and more experienced and

someone who they can ask for advice. My mentors keep them on track and focused on the job at hand to ensure they do it correctly and show them a solid, strong work ethic.”

Successful careers It’s not only the apprentices who get the benefit of this support, guidance and, in the end, qualification and trade, but also the companies where they work. David’s own business has been able to expand over the years because of his commitment to taking on trainees. And he’s proud of the successful careers his former apprentices have forged, either by staying with DRW or setting up on their own, and the fact that they are still friends. “Obviously there’s a cost to the

Continued on page 20 >>> CABLEtalk APRIL/MAY 2021 19

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