New industry careers website launched

TESP launches new industry careers website

The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) has launched – a new website designed to highlight the wide range of roles, progression routes and opportunities available within the electrical industry.

The website has been designed to cater for a range of people considering a career in the industry: school-leavers, experienced professionals wishing to transfer in from other sectors, and those who are already working in the industry but want to understand more about the progression routes open to them.

TESP Chair Diane Johnson comments: “We developed this website to raise awareness of the wide range of work carried out by those with electrotechnical skills, and dispel the myths and stereotypes of electricians. We have plans to expand it later this year to showcase the broader and more specialist roles where electrotechnical skills are applied, so we can highlight just how diverse the opportunities on offer are in our industry.”

She continues: “Our industry is facing a real and serious skills shortage, and needs to recruit bright, capable people and build a wide talent pool in order to combat this and to ensure we have the right levels and quantities of skills in the future. Competition for apprenticeship candidates in particular is fierce, because of the range of academic and vocational options open to young people today. I hope this website will help them understand just how far a career in this industry can take them and why they should apply for an electrical apprenticeship.”

To view the website, visit



TESP Chair responds to apprentice funding decision

TESP responds to Government decision on apprentice funding

Diane Johnson, Chair of The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP), has welcomed the Government’s response to the Future of Apprenticeships in England: Funding Reform Technical Consultation. 

“In ruling that neither of the proposed apprentice funding systems were suitable in their current form the Government has highlighted its desire to support employers who want to train apprentices,” she said. “Neither of the systems currently proposed would have done this. In the proposed form they would have made it difficult for many businesses, particularly very small firms, to train apprentices as these businesses would have faced greater bureaucracy and potential risks such as cash flow difficulties. We now await more details about the funding regime for apprenticeship starts in 2015/16 and how this will reflect the Government’s aspiration of making apprenticeships more attractive to employers.”

She continued: “It’s becoming clear to everyone that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to apprentice funding won’t work. Established apprenticeships, like the ones in this industry, are generally offered by smaller firms, while in sectors which are newer to apprenticeships it’s the larger companies that carry out the majority of the apprentice training. Any new system needs to recognise, respect and reflect this otherwise it will lead to less firms taking on apprentices – an outcome that nobody wants. More than one approach to apprentice funding may be needed to prevent employers from facing the equivalent of a financial penalty if they take on an apprentice.”

Johnson concluded: “We need an apprentice funding system that supports all apprenticeships, but it must allow those industries with a history of successful apprenticeships to carry on doing so. We will continue to work with Government, before and after the General Election, to ensure they understand what has made the electrotechnical apprenticeship the gold standard and the need for it to be preserved and its model used in other relevant industries.”



TESP Chair calls for better career advice in schools

TESP Chair calls for better careers advice in schools
Collaboration is key to improving situation, Diane Johnson says

Diane Johnson, Chair of The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP), has called for careers advice in schools to be reviewed and revamped.

Following a recommendation from the Education Select Committee that the Government urgently reviewed the incentives for schools to provide good quality careers advice, Johnson highlighted how the current approach failed to provide pupils with the breadth and depth of options open to them after their GCSEs.

“Our current system is too focused on sending pupils to university, and doesn’t offer them the opportunity to explore and understand the full range of options open to them when they leave school,” she said. “This needs to change. Young people need to be making an informed choice about their next step – whether that’s to university, into an apprenticeship or starting work. They shouldn’t be sent down one particular route because the system can’t provide them with the information they need.”

Johnson continued: “There may be tens of thousands of young people who have the aptitude for apprenticeships or vocational training who are missing out because the current system doesn’t make them aware of the full range of options, and this can’t continue. Careers advisers can’t do it all – there’s far too much for one person to know and explain, so it would make sense for them to work with training providers and people from industry to pool resources and share knowledge. Bringing training providers – and employers, where practical – into schools to speak to pupils or careers advisers would help ensure schools are able to provide pupils with the full range of information they need without adding to careers advisers’ workloads.”

She concluded: “It’s now mandatory for pupils to stay in education or undertake some form of work-based learning until they’re 18, making it even more important that they receive the right advice and are able to make an educated decision on their next move. The only way this will happen is by schools, employers and training providers collaborating, and making sure young people are given the full picture about what they can do once they’ve taken their GCSEs.”