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Our student Vicky Knight (centre) is crowned Student of the Year 2013 by the Association of Colleges

Danny Barclay, James Clarke and Cameron Aguimatang

Danny Barclay, James Clarke and Cameron Aguimatang
  • Electrical

Three trainee electricians from the same City & Guilds electrical course at Barking & Dagenham College (BDC) have all been given their first jobs in industry at the same company, WysePower.

The WysePower Group, who provide temporary electrics on commercial building sites, have recruited Danny Barclay, 20 from Canning Town, James Clarke, 19, from Stratford and Cameron Aguimatang, 19 from Dagenham, as trainee electricians after they all graduated from BDC’s City & Guilds 2330 at Level 3 qualification in electrical installation in 2013.

The fellow-students are now working on prestigious commercial building sites across London: Danny on a flagship site at King’s Cross; James on a large hotel and office development, whilst Cameron is working on a major refurbishment project at Old Street.

Just 2 weeks after graduating from Barking & Dagenham College, Danny had secured the job at WysePower. “I was so nervous at both the first and second interviews,” says Danny, “When Lesley their HR Manager called to offer me the job I couldn’t believe it. I had only left College a few weeks earlier.”

"The money is good, and I'm on my way to being a fully-fledged electrician"

Cameron started with Wysepower in January 2014 “I’m really enjoying the role,” he says, “The money is good and I’m on my way to becoming a fully-fledged electrician.” James, who is getting his experience on the Sea Containers House site beside the Thames talks about training on the job, “I am working towards the NVQ in electrical at Level 3 which is all about on-the-job assessment. I just want to all the experience I can.”

Fully-fledged electricians

WysePower’s Depot Manager, Shaun Byron, says “Each trainee is assigned to a qualified electrician to learn the job. Danny, James and Cameron are all qualified and competent, but they don’t have the experience. We give them that experience so they can become fully-fledged electricians. “I came up through a slightly different route – I was an apprentice – but this is a great opportunity for these guys and it depends how hard they work. WysePower will put them through their paces but how long it takes for them to be ready to work on their own down to them.”

From shortlist to interview

Bob Noseda, Employment and Skills Coordinator at the College, explains the links with WysePower. “I knew the company through my previous role with the Olympic Delivery Authority” he said, “and because I understand the type of candidate they are looking for I was able to shortlist the students on their behalf.”

Lesley Bass, HR Manager at the WysePower Group, shares an insight into what they look for in their trainees “Obviously they have to be qualified but personality really counts. We ask questions about their lives outside of work as we need to be confident that they can communicate within their teams on site. Danny, James and Cameron were all nervous, but we could see that they all had potential. “The support from Bob and the BDC Team has been second to none. We are so pleased with the quality of trainees from Barking & Dagenham College that we are hoping to take on more during 2014.”

Strong employer links

Geoff Dawe, Electrical Installation Instructor/Assessor at Barking & Dagenham College added, “The College’s strong links with employers mean that we can help students take that first step on the career ladder. Danny, James and Cameron have proved that determination and hard work will produce results, it’s a great opportunity and we are all very proud of them.”

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