Over the past few months FTS Safety Solutions have seen an increase in the number of contracts that we have been working on. This has led to an increase in the lead time from two weeks to almost four, when we are able to carry out the work. However we do still manage to help fit in urgent cases when we can.
So having spoken to a number of people we were pointed in the direction of looking for an Apprentice. We have to admit it was something that we had never considered, after all it’s always been difficult to find good quality test engineers who will adopt our professional working practices while still meeting with the requirements of the PAT Testing Network and the IET Code of Practice. We’re afraid to say it but some test engineers really do not know how to carry out a formal visual inspection let alone test an appliance correctly.
Anyway after speaking to various contacts we were advised, that there was a possibility, we could even get some government funding for an apprentice, regrettably this is where the Apprenticeship Scheme and process falls apart. We have had numerous meetings with specialist companies who say they can supply apprentices, however their own working practices need some refinement. We are still waiting for one company to actually be bothered to send the relevant information they promised and that’s after waiting for 3 months. Guess it’s time to give up on that information.
Now the main thing that has really annoyed me with the Apprenticeship Scheme is that the Health and Safety Inspection and Testing work that we do it is not recognised within any current schemes. The only thing that we could do is to offer an Apprentice a Customer Service opportunity, meaning that a good percentage of their time would have to be spent in the office. Sorry but that would defeat the whole idea of taking on an apprentice. We, as a company, are offering a number of different training skills from a City and Guild qualification in In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment and a BAFE qualification in the Theory and Practice of Servicing Portable Fire Extinguisher’s to an ICEL qualification in Emergency Lighting and ITC qualification in Electrical Thermography.
So what do we do as a company, look for new staff who are already qualified and have to retrain to our standards or take on a Customer Service apprentice wasting time and effort. Personally I think it is time that Health and Safety testing was recognised, after all in so many cases, it’s down to our staff and the members of the PTN Network who are keeping your businesses and staff safe from all sorts of hazards including the most destructive – FIRE.
If you have any questions about the services that we offer then please get in touch on 0330 660 0264, until next time …