In our latest Student Story, we caught up with Charles who, just recently, completed his Level 3 electrician course after doing his Level 2 qualification and 18th Edition, totting up to nearly four months of training all at Able Skills.

At a pivotal point in his working life, rather than retiring, Charles wanted to pursue a new, practical career that would challenge him while also allowing him to be out and about meeting new people.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course, I was in a rut with big corporate companies, and I needed to find something else to do. I’m sitting at 62 saying to myself I can’t just retire, you’ve got to do something with yourself — I think this has probably been one of the best things I’ve done in a long, long time. It’s stimulated my learning, really appealed to my practical skills and also played into the fact that I love getting out there, meeting and talking to new people.”

Prefer to watch the interview? Visit our YouTube channel.

Finding the right course and training provider was important to him. Online searches and personal recommendations are key factors when choosing electrician courses; he found that Able Skills was ideally suited.

“For me, it was about a change in career, it was about trying to do something different. I wanted to do something practical and I enjoyed electronics. So I looked around for an electronics course. A friend of mine had come to Able Skills to do a plumbing course and he said why don’t you give it a go?

“He spoke very highly about the organisation, particularly the staff and the facilities. What also attracted me was having the accommodation, it made it very affordable and attainable for me.”

While Charles had initially planned on just pursuing his Level 2 qualification, he quickly changed his mind once his training had begun, moving on to the 18th Edition and Level 3. 

“I signed up for Level 2 first of all, thinking that was the only thing I was going to do, but the guys on the course convinced me to go and look at Edition 18, the toughest exam I’ve ever done in my life! After that, they said you may as well go and have a look at Level 3, and here I am today, having just passed my Level 3, which is an amazing experience for me.

“Having gone through virtually four months here, the City & Guilds course offers superb building blocks, and the course content was excellent. From the books to the slides to the short notes and the tuition – the tuition was probably the best I’ve seen, Rob was outstanding in the way he was able to connect with the class."

"...the tuition was probably the best I’ve seen, Rob was outstanding in the way he was able to connect with the class."

“It was a very diverse range of people, mostly a lot younger than me. Rob has brilliant experience in the industry and was able to relate that experience, particularly to the textbooks in the City & Guilds course, which made it easier to understand.

“What I also liked was the patience. Rob was able to see where our strengths and weaknesses were and work on our weaknesses to bring us on the journey all together. I have to commend him for that, it’s not an easy thing to do.”

Along with the training, Charles says the camaraderie and friendship that grew between his group was a massive part of what has made his time with Able Skills so enjoyable. 

“The highlight for me was how the camaraderie developed with the people on the course. Particularly when we were doing the tests and practicals, everybody helped each other and I really enjoyed that. 

“Another highlight was going through my Edition 18, which was probably one of the toughest exams I’ve ever had to do. The other, from Level 3, was the project assignment, and the way Rob built us up to that. I think it was brilliant the way that was put together and structured – it really felt like you were learning something as an electrician that you would apply going forward.”

Finally, speaking about what comes next for him, Charles says: “The aim after the course is to maybe work towards the next part of my inspection and testing qualification, and in the meantime, try and get some of my portfolio knowledge built up by working for a local company and move towards a full qualification.

“‘I would highly recommend Able Skills to anyone looking to do a trade skills course. The electrician training is superbly run, the staff are highly qualified, very industry knowledgeable and helped in every way to make sure you passed that course.”

"I would highly recommend Able Skills to anyone looking to do a trade skills course."

You can find more information about all of the electrician training on offer at Able Skills online here. If you’d like more information about any of our courses or facilities, feel free to visit the centre anytime we’re open, and we’d be happy to chat and show you around.