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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:12 pm 
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I want to learn a trade, I quite like electrics but I don’t have the time or money to learn a full career, I’m 40. Can you learn such a thing as basic domestic electrics such as lighting etc?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:16 pm 
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Steveohim wrote:
I want to learn a trade, I quite like electrics but I don’t have the time or money to learn a full career, I’m 40. Can you learn such a thing as basic domestic electrics such as lighting etc?
How would you plan on learning them?

Most of these intensive courses are a) expensive b)aimed at full qualifications and c) don't offer real world experience.

Some colleges may offer evening classes but it's so tightly regulated these days that I doubt there are many, if any at all.

What experience of electrics do you have?

With only basic skills you can only do a limited number of jobs in a domestic setting anyway (legally that is)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:46 pm 
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If you have the aptitude then you could potentially do this, but you may struggle without a fair amount of time or money. There are so many restrictions and regulations around electrics, and so many varied practical situations, that it is hard to get into without a pretty good level of both qualifications and experience. Certainly very seriously, as a trade in itself.

Many handymen lack the qualifications but have lots of experience and so do minor electrical jobs for people, which are not notifiable. But usually only as one part of their work, and the regulations are somewhat awkward about even this. I'm not sure how much of a living one could make on such small works alone, perhaps in the right circumstances and with the right experience it could work, though I'd find the restrictions a bit frustrating.

Unfortunately there appears not to be a great deal in between, unless you are able to work under the direction of someone more qualified. There are courses and qualifications for (e.g.) domestic installers which are more basic than becoming an electrician... but you'd still not be able to self-certify your work without further qualifications. You could in theory go through the notification procedures instead, but the awkwardness and cost of that would limit what work you were able to take on.

A bit frustrating really. I'd wondered about getting formally qualified in some modest way, even just to prove my competence for minor works. But following the advice from this forum, it didn't seem this would count for much in practice - without going the whole hog and being able to self-certify.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:15 pm 
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Its not a cheap trade to get into, there is a lot of maths involved and you need to have the aptitude for it, the basic qualification would be city and guilds level 3 diploma what will take 2-4 years

To certify you own work and installs you need a niceic registration, the basic course is domestic installer and will set you back £445+vat and then £445+ vat a year plus a min 2 million liability, all the books and test gear, But there is a lesser competent person scheme

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:47 pm 
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Bob225 wrote:
Its not a cheap trade to get into, there is a lot of maths involved and you need to have the aptitude for it, the basic qualification would be city and guilds level 3 diploma what will take 2-4 years

To certify you own work and installs you need a niceic registration, the basic course is domestic installer and will set you back £445+vat and then £445+ vat a year plus a min 2 million liability, all the books and test gear, But there is a lesser competent person scheme

iKN.
Not to mention when the goalposts move as they will and do, you'll be having to sit more exams to keep current.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:01 pm 
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And you still need practical experience, even if you have the paperwork.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:15 pm 
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A 4 year apprenticeship which means working with a journeyman and day release at college is how any time served tradesman did it back in the day. However lots of folk seem to think doing a 3-4 week course at college is a substitute for this,it ain’t.
Even an apprenticeship just gives you the grounding and skills to start you on your way.
There isn’t a shortcut or quick way to suddenly become a tradesman,it comes through experience and learning from a journeyman and also college.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:24 pm 
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Answered your own question really.

Steveohim wrote:
I don’t have the time or money to learn a full career


As with all trades, you are either a tradesperson in that trade or not, no such thing as not a full career, and besides what would you do if some one has a problem with a socket?

There are two types of electrician, domestic and commercial.

Also like most things there is more to be an electrician than meets the eye. You don't "just play with wires all day" those cables had to get there, what ever they are fixed to / supported by had to be put there, the list goes on.

Nothing to stop you being a handy man though.

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No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:41 pm 
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My brother did his time served on one building site over 3 years - most of that putting in conduit and pulling pyro, I did 3 years of electronic hardware (most of what I have forgot or is in the back of my head)

I have done all sorts of jobs over the years some of them just to pay the bills (security and electrical wholesale) and others I had a passion for (electronics and IT tech)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:56 pm 
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Steveohim wrote:
I want to learn a trade, I quite like electrics but I don’t have the time or money to learn a full career, I’m 40. Can you learn such a thing as basic domestic electrics such as lighting etc?



I don't mean to be rude...

(but as Albus Dumbledore observed ) "accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often"

I have seen and responded to quite a few of your posts... Whatever it is you do for a day job ... stick with it.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:05 pm 
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I don’t learn if I don’t ask questions


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:03 pm 
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Dave54 wrote:
And you still need practical experience, even if you have the paperwork.



Our firm has taken on/tried out older people who have for various reasons decided to become electricians.

The success rate is not very high. I am not going to go into any detail (you never know they might read this) however in all but one case they have not cut the mustard and been asked to leave.

Money and lack of experience is probably one of the main reasons they are asked to leave. Someone in their 30's is on a minimum wage of £7.83/h, an apprentice at 16 is on £3.70/h and I am sure some of that is paid for by the government. If the two are only able to do the same work then which one do you let go? Oh they say they can diy at interview but as soon as they are let free it's apparent that they cannot do any better than the 16 year olds.



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:24 pm 
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OnlyMe wrote:
Dave54 wrote:
And you still need practical experience, even if you have the paperwork.



Our firm has taken on/tried out older people who have for various reasons decided to become electricians.

The success rate is not very high. I am not going to go into any detail (you never know they might read this) however in all but one case they have not cut the mustard and been asked to leave.

Money and lack of experience is probably one of the main reasons they are asked to leave. Someone in their 30's is on a minimum wage of £7.83/h, an apprentice at 16 is on £3.70/h and I am sure some of that is paid for by the government. If the two are only able to do the same work then which one do you let go? Oh they say they can diy at interview but as soon as they are let free it's apparent that they cannot do any better than the 16 year olds.

TBH I'm not surprised. There's a world of difference between occasionally doing a bit of DIY, and doing pretty well anything as a trade where you're expected to be able to work quickly and produce a quality job.
I've been away from being an electrician for many years now, and while I'm confident that I could with some effort get up to speed with the regs and technical side, I suspect that it'd take me a lot longer to build the speed and confidence back up at the practical side.
Not to point a finger anywhere in particular, but I've seen posts elsewhere by people who had "done a course" for a week or two and thought they were electricians.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:04 pm 
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Dave54 wrote:
OnlyMe wrote:
Dave54 wrote:
And you still need practical experience, even if you have the paperwork.



Our firm has taken on/tried out older people who have for various reasons decided to become electricians.

The success rate is not very high. I am not going to go into any detail (you never know they might read this) however in all but one case they have not cut the mustard and been asked to leave.

Money and lack of experience is probably one of the main reasons they are asked to leave. Someone in their 30's is on a minimum wage of £7.83/h, an apprentice at 16 is on £3.70/h and I am sure some of that is paid for by the government. If the two are only able to do the same work then which one do you let go? Oh they say they can diy at interview but as soon as they are let free it's apparent that they cannot do any better than the 16 year olds.

TBH I'm not surprised. There's a world of difference between occasionally doing a bit of DIY, and doing pretty well anything as a trade where you're expected to be able to work quickly and produce a quality job.
I've been away from being an electrician for many years now, and while I'm confident that I could with some effort get up to speed with the regs and technical side, I suspect that it'd take me a lot longer to build the speed and confidence back up at the practical side.
Not to point a finger anywhere in particular, but I've seen posts elsewhere by people who had "done a course" for a week or two and thought they were electricians.


I would expect someone in their 30s wanting to become an electrician to be familiar with appendix 15 of the regs before they even started. That is probably the most basic domestic wiring diagram and simple rules (actually they are not rules but guidelines) that you could ever meet.

And then to find out that they need guidance on putting a bit of trunking down a wall?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:52 pm 
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FWIW I'm one of those mildly older people who (on more than one occasion) considered re-training as an electrician. I am not deluded about being there already, but my electronics background and electrical experience (especially before part-P came in) would have been useful. I would also have funded myself through all the courses and exams.

But.. when it comes to the real-life training aspect, apparently there are problems with unpaid work and I could find no-one very interested in paying a trainee of my age. OK, I could have gone self employed and (not being a complete newbie) could probably have made it work, but that would be side-stepping the issue.

No worries in my case, I've decided to embark on something else equally interesting instead. But whilst there are any number of courses, everyone (rightly) says how important experience is and yet it seems that gaining and proving it in the traditional (or any other accepted) manner is quite hard these days. There are still a few apprenticeships for young people but not all that many even of those. If the skills gap we keep hearing about is true, this may be a bit worrying really.

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