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SCT Electrics

08 September 2014

SCT Electrics Ltd operates almost entirely in the commercial and industrial sectors, with contracts including schools, hospitals and office blocks, many through local councils in Woolwich and Coventry. The company’s main focus is on installing data cables, fire alarm systems and infrastructure electrics such as lifts and lighting systems. Founded by Managing Director Steve Tomkinson around 30 years ago as a one-man-band, SCT Electrics now employs 18 people.

From the beginning, Steve has used JTL to find and train his apprentices, and there are some very good reasons why. In short, the unique service and support JTL provides is indispensable to the small business.

To start with, JTL assists in the selection process, identifying and vetting suitable candidates for an apprenticeship. This time-consuming process is a huge potential drain on resources for a small company with an already-stretched MD. In the case of SCT Electrics, the selection process is a collaborative affair. JTL draws up a shortlist of around 48 candidates and tests their literacy and numeracy. Steve then uses logic testing to identify the top eight, who are taken on site for practical testing to select the final two. Within this process Steve is able to identify other key characteristics, such as confidence and an outgoing nature. He admits to being more selective than many, but believes that selectiveness has paid dividends further down the line.

Ongoing support throughout the apprenticeship, in the form of a dedicated JTL training officer, is also a key factor for the small business. “I’ve got a good rapport with the training officer,” Steve explains. “He's been with us for probably five years. He comes into the office regularly and also looks after the lads on site, so he's not only the training officer for the apprentices, he's my training officer because he does my work. Small companies don't have a pot of money to buy training schemes, we just couldn't do it."

As Steve suggests, funding is another crucial question for the smaller company. JTL provides support here too, helping to secure the funding to cover not just college and final assessments, but electrical testing beyond the apprenticeship – a massive help to small businesses.

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