Retraining as electrician - EAL or C&G? Prospective employers opinions on course-trained elecs?

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Josh94, Sep 21, 2021.

  1. Josh94

    Josh94 New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm thinking of retraining as an electrician, but I'm weighing up my options and need decent advice from experienced electricians.

    Bit of background:

    1 - Just turned 27

    2 - Currently working as a chemical engineer - Only way to progress my career is to move country to country now.

    3 - Moving is not an option for me anymore - I have a family + a business that is established in my local area (Not something I can just up sticks and take).

    4 - Business is running fine without me, so I have way more time now - I wanted to try this before I pick up even more commitments.

    5 - Ultimately my aim is to open a second business, but I need the correct experience.

    My plans:

    Knowing something in theory is totally different to knowing it practically, so I would never 'just' do a course.

    1 - Study my Level 2 and 3, along the way volunteering and scraping together as much work as I possibly can in order to complete the NVQ and AM2.

    2 - Study my level 2, find work as an electricians mate (Or related) and then continue with the rest of my course before hitting the NVQ & AM2.

    I'm weighing up courses with the following:

    1 - C&G

    2 - EAL

    I'm probably too old for an apprenticeship, even if I do feel its the better route. Since my options are already limited, I need to be more picky.

    Questions: Course trained electricians seem to get a bit of stick from people who favour an apprenticeship. Opinions shouldn't matter, but that's stupid thinking as opinions always matter so I need to ask this anyway:

    1 - Of EAL and C&G, which one do you feel is superior content provider/held in higher esteem with employers?

    2 - If you were a prospective employer and your only option was to hire a course trained electrician, would you lean towards an EAL or C&G trained electrician (Providing that they had achieved work experience sufficient to pass their NVQ etc)?

    In total, I'm looking at 2/3 years of course directed learning, but I'll be conservative and say I probably wouldn't be qualified for NVQ & AM2 until I'm in my early 30s say. With that in mind, any direction and help would be really appreciated.


  2. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    G&G is almost universally accepted in the electrical industry. I taught on an EAL course at a college in Stafford, it so poorly served the students that I quit and walked out.
  3. Josh94

    Josh94 New Member

    Cheers for taking the time Bob - I've had similar answers on other forums so that helps me out. Yours sounds pretty bad though so cheers for the heads up.
  4. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    As per Bob, C&G is universally recognised and respected.
  5. ElecCEng

    ElecCEng Screwfix Select

    +1 for C&G. Course documentation is good and standardised, and there is a lot of supporting material on Youtube, forums etc.
  6. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    I looked at doing a C&G course, I was in the collage doing another course so got the offer to sit in on the course, I could not believe the education level of school levers, it was far too basic, the students did not even know gold was a conductor.

    I ended up doing a foundation degree course, wanted to do a full degree, but my maths was not good enough. The C&G course starts at the beginning, so either you jump in and miss the first couple of years, and some bits you really need, or you get very bored as your taught some real basic things.
  7. jimballaya

    jimballaya New Member

    The EAL and C&G are equivalent qualifications there are various fast track courses to becoming an electrician but its not cheap . You do need experience not just book learning ,first you must be confident your work is safe and you can deal with unexpected situations . You also need to be up to speed because getting the cables in awkward places quickly is all experience . Many newly trained electricians just wing it for a few years .
  8. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Rather amusingly, at the bacon roll morning the other day down the local wholesalers, talk turned to the schemes new requirements for membership, the 7 of us present, all current scheme members all realised that none of us would be eligable to join now, as none of us had nvq level 3 amongst our qualifications, lots of other qualifications, and we counted around 120 years of experience on the tools, but not enough to join today!

    I can see it will be an electricians shortage next, particularly as I know of colleagues in their 40's and 50's who are coming off scheme membership and just doing either commercial or small maintenance work (for which their is huge demand) - bigger contractors who employ gangs of sparks are finding recruitment very difficult.

    The government needs to facilitate people training in mid life, not only starting in their teens, and unfortunately the present suite of courses just doesn't facilitate that.
  9. bright_Spark

    bright_Spark Screwfix Select

    NVQ 3 and AM2 is required for approved status regardless of any self certification schemes. I think it is a good thing otherwise anyone could join a scheme and self certify any shoddy or dangerous work. It protects the public from cowboys and is a benchmark. From an insurance point of view it is the only way they can garantee the job has been done to comply with current regs. Without it, the trade would be as competent as an average decorator. Wages would also follow suit and the job would be dumbed down. So I am all for it. EAL or C&G follow a similar sylabus, just that C&G is the defacto standard like NICEIC is the defacto over NAPIT. Both are recognised regardless.
  10. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Don't get me wrong, no issues with standardisation going forward, its overdue. I just hope that the providers make accessible programmes for adults having a mid life crisis and wanting to become a spark as well as quality training for the young - technical education is in a hell of a state - what is needed is engaging, accessible courses where graduation equals a high skill level. Sadly we have seen on here this past year some newly qualified sparks, who are no doubt genuine and sincere, asking some absurdly basic stuff. I don't blame them for holes in their education, I blame the system.

    When i used to teach a day at the local tech many years ago (electronics) they were mostly concerned about my level of skill as an electrical/electronic engineer, and ran me through some basic teacher training, I did a 10 week 2 hour a week C&G further ed teaching course and that was it, the rest i learned doing the job, and I did it for many years, very successfully - the whole engineering department was staffed by real engineers passing on a love of the subject - now they are more concerned about the teacher training aspect rather than the knowledge and experience, and it puts retired and semi retired tradesmen with loads of experience to pass on off.
  11. bright_Spark

    bright_Spark Screwfix Select

    Well thats about it in a nutshell, standardisation. I have worked with both non qualified and qualified electricians, unfortunately there are good and bad with both. I agree the problem lies with the trainng establishments to a lot of the issues, however the real training is done on the job working with electricians. The colleges and training schools can only train you to pass the exams rather than train you as a practical electrician. There lies the problem with these short courses, a piece of paper to say you are competent is not the answer. They teach you very basic things that are not real world working practices. It takes many years of experience to become competent and to aquire all of the skills needed.
  12. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Screwfix Select

    Welcome back not seen you on here for a while mind you I don't blame you
  13. bright_Spark

    bright_Spark Screwfix Select

    ha ha cheers, just been so dam busy lately

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