Heathrow Shared Apprenticeship Scheme: Wingate Electrical
Our case study series will shine a spotlight on some of the Apprentices currently working through their placements on the Heathrow Shared Apprenticeship Scheme. The Scheme brings together Heathrow’s major construction companies, and offers Apprentices the opportunity to work across several disciplines on a range of exciting Heathrow projects and gain nationally recognised qualifications at the same time.
Lewis Wright, Electrical Installation Apprentice, Hosted by Wingate Electrical.
Before joining the scheme, Lewis had been made redundant by his previous provider as the company had gone into liquidation. He found it tough to find another employer not least because of the time of year – Christmas/New Year period is notoriously challenging for finding new opportunities (not just) in construction. Lewis was fearful of completing his qualification altogether, until he found the Shared Apprenticeship Scheme. “It was a bit difficult to find a place to continue my apprenticeship, I was looking for a job over the Christmas break/Early January and construction work is sometimes quiet during that period. I was also looking for someone to continue the apprenticeship course I was already enrolled on.”
Lewis started his apprenticeship at Heathrow with Thomas Interiors, working on projects across the terminals. This was until the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and as a result Thomas Interiors ceased operations at Heathrow . Since January 2021, Lewis has been working with Wingate Electrical, covering mostly commercial electrical work throughout the airport, such as three phase power installation work, installing power cables as well as fault finding and equipment testing. Lewis has particularly enjoyed the variety of work on offer and the exposure to another side of the construction environment. “I have learned more of the commercial side of the industry from working at the airport. I have also learnt new skills from the various electricians I have worked with, and because I have worked across more sites and had a wider variety of work, this has expanded my knowledge greatly.“
Lewis’ vocational qualifications are being delivered by Activate Learning in conjunction with Guildford College, where he is enrolled on the NVQ Level 3 Electrical Installation Apprenticeship. He is learning all aspects of electrical work and how an electrician operates, some of which he is able to apply in his current role already, while also setting up his future development in the industry. He enjoys meeting with his assessor regularly and advises future Apprentices that “The teachers are very good and you should go for it. There is a large variety of work (Domestic, Commercial, Industrial) across all different trades, so you can change up the type of work that you do if you ever want to switch it up and the college course covers all of this”.
Lewis’ host employer: Wilson James
Wingate have continued to work throughout the pandemic and lockdown, despite a reduced scale at Heathrow Airport. They have continued their projects across multiple terminals and been outstanding in helping accommodate the Heathrow Shared Apprenticeship Scheme. Lewis’ line manager had the below to say about his progress since joining the company:
“When Lewis first started with us it was clear that he was. Since joining our team, he has helped greatly on many of our projects covering many different tasks such as three phase power installation, lighting and power, working with various cable types. Lewis has also assisted with fault finding and testing on our installations. Lewis had some experience when he joined us and has progressed well in his time here. He is always on time and never misses a day and is a pleasure to have on our team.” – Jason Graham, Projects Manager
What’s next for Lewis?
“I would like to continue working for Wingate upon completion of my apprenticeship.”
Lewis continues to enjoy his career in the electrical industry and plans to remain in the field, expanding his knowledge and skill set as time passes.