Switched on to practical learning
An intensive electrical training course heavy on theory but devoid of practical experience was the inspiration behind the creation of Electrician Courses 4U (EC4U). Nigel Best, company director, set up the business in 2010 having undertaken the course which he says was “simply not good enough.”
He developed EC4U - an organisation of experienced and qualified electricians based at purpose-built workshops in Ditchling, East Sussex, turning to EAL, the specialist awarding body for industry to support its growth.
The specifically designed workshops and unique Experience Course create an effective and dynamic learning environment with an emphasis on realistic scenarios. The training centre includes classrooms, mock flats and a two-storey house for learners to put theory into practice.
The courses are aimed specifically at those with little or no knowledge as well as those that are looking to enhance their existing skills or qualifications. EC4U currently has seven staff with plans to grow. Class sizes are kept small to ensure learners get individual tuition and, with a 98% exam pass rate, it is proving a winning formula.
“We are very proud of our success rates and what our past students have gone on to accomplish after completing their training with us,” said Nigel.
The EAL courses the centre currently runs are:
- Level 3 Award in the Initial Verification and Certification of Electrical Installation – 600/4337/4
- Level 3 Award in the Periodic Inspection, Testing and Certification of Electrical Installations – 600/4338/6
“We are using these qualifications because they fit very well with our customer base, in that they can do exams at the end of the course and know if they have passed or failed without having to return to the centre,” said Nigel. “This is unlike City & Guilds, which require you to return for a written paper. The EAL system fits much better with our customer base and the support we receive from EAL is second to none.
“We are looking into adding further courses with EAL, which is very flexible in its approach and provides excellent customer service to any problems we have.
“Feedback from learners has been extremely positive about the courses and the way they’re structured. Unlike some other qualifications, you are permitted to take your books into the online exam which is a much more realistic experience as it simulates problems on site where you would check your books as a reference. “
Nigel added: “Our main focus at Electrician Courses 4U is to deliver quality training at affordable prices. No other training centre offers a course like this, which gives our learners the confidence before entering the market as a domestic electrician. We also offer an advice and help line after students complete their course with us, as it’s not just about training, but supporting our customers afterwards.”
EC4U is constantly looking to expand with new trainers and more learners as well as having a vested interest in the promotion of electrical safety.
Nigel said: “We are currently the only electrical training centre to be promoting electrical safety and have recently had a visit from our Lewes MP, Maria Caulfield, who has supported our safety campaigns.
“Our customers come from all over the country to train with us, from close to us in East Sussex, right up to Scotland. We also get customers coming from abroad to train here at EC4U, from countries like Cyprus, Mauritius and Israel.
“We want to continue to grow the business and also offer more courses, such as boiler controls. As for long-term, we are looking to open another training centre in the Midlands at some point in the future and continue our excellent partnership with EAL.”