JTL Blog


10. Starting college


Once you’ve filled in your start documents, you’ll be ready for your first day.

Getting there

Like when you go to site, make sure you know exactly where your college or training centre is, what day you need to be there, what time you start, and who you need to meet there. Either your employer or someone from JTL can tell you all this.

Again, get there 15 minutes early to show you’re keen.

Looking the part

Dress comfortably. Nothing too extravagant. During workshops, you’ll wear site clothing. Your college will tell you when that’s happening. If you don’t wear the right clothes, you can’t take part.

What to take

For your first few days, make sure you take:

  • your National Insurance number
  • proof of GCSEs and functional skills assessment
  • pens, pencils, ruler and so on
  • a calculator
  • an A4-lined writing pad
  • an A4 ring binder.

Settling in

Your first day

Before you get stuck in to any physical work, your college will talk to you about how an apprenticeship works and where it could take you.

You’ll find out about:

  • the JTL apprenticeship scheme
  • Qualifications
  • Further education courses, like City & Guilds and BTECs
  • Government funding and the role of the National Apprentice Service
  • Joint Industry Board (JIB) grading

Your employer will also talk to you about subjects we’ve asked them to cover.

Your first few weeks

To start, you’ll find out about how the industry works:

  • A brief history
  • Different sectors: installation, maintenance and manufacturing
  • How main contractors and subcontractors work
  • Industry and employer bodies
  • Trade unions
  • JIB
  • Engineering services and their national working rules
  • JTL’s role

You’ll be taken through processes and trades:

  • The work of electricians, heating engineers and plumbers
  • Working with other trades
  • How clients, architects, consulting engineers and others are involved in site organisation
  • Rules, regulations and responsibilities

They’ll cover conditions of employment:

  • Wages
  • How working hours, overtime and timesheets work
  • Taking holidays (and getting holiday pay)
  • Trade union membership
  • JIB registration
  • Sickness benefit
  • Redundancy pay
  • Contract of employment
  • Income tax
  • National Insurance contributions
  • Health, safety and welfare

They’ll give general information about how employers do things:

  • Company structure
  • Who does what
  • Rules and regulations
  • Sickness and other reporting systems
  • The customer

And they’ll talk you through your training and education:

  • The different stages of our apprenticeship
  • How the course works and how long it takes
  • What you’ll study
  • Functional skills
  • College and centre rules, like what time to turn up for classes, what to do if there’s an emergency and so on
  • Health and safety regulations, workshop policy and so on

Functional Skills

During your first year, you’ll cover these skills:

  • Maths level 2
  • English level 2

You’ll learn more about Functional Skills during your first session.

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