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circuits, they’re given time on our in-store ‘training board’, where a supervising tradesman will help them iron out whatever’s puzzling them. We find this has been very successful over the years. In the latter years of an apprenticeship, we always try to give our trainees small jobs to do without constant supervision. One of our senior tradesmen will then check every aspect of the work and sit down and go through the job, picking up on points where improvement is required. If the job is done well, the apprentice is congratulated and made a bit of a fuss of – we find this boosts the ego and confidence massively.

Te power of apprenticeships In our opinion, apprentices are a massive benefit and investment to every company and, from our own experience, the training they’re given has also benefited us greatly. We now have five very able and

competent tradesmen, all of whom served their apprenticeship with our company. Over the years we’ve trained probably more than 50 apprentices, some of whom have gone on to become supervisors and managers in bigger companies, and others who now have their own contracting companies both here and in one case, Australia. We’re obviously very proud of all our current and ex-apprentices and the progress in life they’re making. At the moment we have one Adult Trainee and five apprentices at PDC. The COVID-19 situation unfortunately means that most of our contracts have been scaled back or are on hold. But when the situation eases, there is no doubt that our workforce will increase, which in turn will mean more apprenticeships will be available.

Support and satisfaction Since we started the business in 2000, we’ve always encouraged apprentices and tried to offer them when the situation allowed. In fact, our very

28 CABLEtalk APRIL/MAY 2021

“Our very first apprentice is still with us – he left after his time was out and eventually came back after gaining a variety of experience”

first apprentice is still with us – he left after his time was out and eventually came back after gaining a variety of experience and has been with us now for seven years.

Since we became a Member of SELECT in 2003, we’ve worked closely with SECTT and there is no doubt that the training programme they manage on behalf of the Scottish

Joint Industry Board (SJIB) is excellent. Advice from SECTT on apprentice and training matters are highly regarded within our company, and we really couldn’t provide suitable apprentice training without them. On a personal level, I’ve recommended SECTT to other established and some newly-formed companies within our industry.


Nathan Crighton passed his FICA in July 2020 and now works as a qualified electrician with PDC. Here’s his verdict on his apprenticeship with the firm:

I’d always wanted a trade and joined the pre-apprenticeship course at New College Lanarkshire, Motherwell campus. I did my work experience with PDC and after four weeks on site they offered me a job and an apprenticeship. I found the apprenticeship good. Te

1st Stage blocks supported my learning on site and I enjoyed the science as I’d done physics at school, which made it easier to understand. Te lecturers were also good at showing us the practical side, so I got support with a bit of everything – domestic, industrial and commercial. I now do a lot of testing, lighting and

rewiring – a good range of work. During the pandemic I was furloughed, but not for long, and recently I’ve been working outside unless it’s essential and we are permitted to enter premises. I want to stay on the tools as I really

enjoy my job and will definitely sit my ACA in the future. I would recommend becoming an apprentice electrician as it offers you a good trade, plus I work for a

Nathan enjoyed his time as an apprentice

good company who treat all apprentices well and look after their staff. I’ve enjoyed everything so far and

wouldn’t change a thing. I liked my college, the portfolio work and particularly working on site – plus my SECTT training officer was always there and was really knowledgeable and supportive when I did need help.

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