Electrics and electronics careers

Practical roles include the maintenance and electrical repair of machines, the electrical wiring of equipment and the programming of robots.

More theoretical roles include the design of electrical and electronic products and equipment.

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What skills do I need
  • Methodical
  • Able to think things through logically
  • Interpret diagrams
  • Able to apply safe working practices
  • Good at working with hands
  • Good at maths, science, technology and IT
  • Problem solving skills
  • Strong decision making skills
  • Communication skills.
Below are Case Studies of successful people who followed this path.
Adam Maiden – Maintenance Engineering Fitter
Apprenticeship > Employment
Introduction

After leaving school, Adam wanted to do something practical and thought that engineering sounded quite interesting. He approached a few companies and used the NAS (National Apprenticeship Service) website. Adam was then offered a job / apprenticeship with Hadley Industries.

Why choose this route?

Adam was more ‘hands on’ at school and preferred practical skills to sitting in a classroom. “You get a wider aspect and understanding of your job role and you are earning a wage from a young age.”

What happened?

Adam completed his advanced apprenticeship and NVQ Level 2 in Performing Engineering Operations at the City of Wolverhampton College. This was done as a full time block release course for nine months. Mike Stevens, Training Manager, from Hadley Industries said “This means our apprentices return to the company with a range of basic engineering skills selected by the employer to progress through our company apprenticeship scheme and then tailored to individual skill job roles within the company.”

In his second year, Adam progressed onto his Level 3 in Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering. Hadley Industries want to encourage a multi-skilled maintenance workforce therefore Adam is also now studying electrical engineering.

Maintenance covers working on different sites. The job is varied and the role involves repairing machines and equipment breakdowns as and when required and servicing all company production machines. There is a need for multi-skilled young people and the apprenticeship programme is ideal for this.

Adam felt his skills were in maintenance
“It’s so varied - you are doing different jobs every day. There are lots of opportunities in this area of work, including maintenance work on some of our factories abroad in Dubai, Thailand and Germany. I am also doing an electrical qualification as this will allow me to be more flexible in my job role.”
Hadley Industries - Smethwick

Hadley Industries have five sites in the Black Country with over 300 employees.

They manufacture rolled steel products mainly for the construction industry such as cladding, upvc window frames and supermarket shelving. They use automated production lines controlled by electrical and electronic controllers that require programming and maintaining.

Robert Thorpe - Maintenance Engineer
Apprenticeship > Employment > Part Time Degree
Introduction

Robert started as an apprentice Maintenance Engineer. He joined a skilled group of engineers within the department to train in the workplace while he completed his BTEC at college.

Why choose this route?

Robert was attracted to the prospect of becoming a highly skilled engineer through developing his skills and knowledge in both a vocational and academic setting.

The potential for career progression in a thriving company and a challenging, specialised role were major factors in Robert choosing the apprenticeship route.

What happened?

Robert has undertaken many roles within the department and completed various additional training courses including electrical safety, hydraulic and pneumatic courses as well as arc/mig welding, fork lift truck training and he will be completing a 17th edition electrical qualification shortly.

Robert has also been involved with a mentorship role of young and up and coming apprentices – to show the prospective candidates more about the roles possible within the manufacturing sector.

Robert is now studying his BEng in Mechanical Engineering through the University of Wolverhampton. This is a two year part time closed degree for employed people with the full three years degree condensed into a two year programme.

“The additional courses that I have been on have improved my skills and have given me a grounding in the area that I can build upon on a day-to-day basis to perform in my role the best that I can.”
Huf UK Ltd – Tipton

Huf UK Ltd are part of a German owned group employing about 270 people in Tipton.

They make high volume door handles and locks for premium cars such as Mercedes, Jaguar, Land Rover and BMW. They mould the handles from plastic before painting and assembling the auto locking electronics into the handle. They use automated production lines controlled by electrical and electronic controllers that require programming and maintaining.

Production processes and methods in the Black Country
Every manufacturing company has some need for electrical and electronic skills. Black Country companies with employees in this field include:- AJT Equipment Ltd, Deritend Ltd, Exterran Ltd, Metal Assemblies Ltd, Thompson Friction Welding Ltd, United Technologies and ZF Lemforder.
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