Scottish electrical apprentices triumph in UK-wide skills event

Craig Fairweather with SkillELECTRIC project manager Jennie Phung

SCOTLAND’S electrical bodies have congratulated two apprentices from north of the border who triumphed in a UK-wide competition.

The Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB), Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) and electrical trade association SELECT have all saluted Craig Fairweather and Andrew Horne for clinching gold and silver respectively in the SkillELECTRIC contest.

Craig (23) was crowned 2022 SkillELECTRIC champion after a two-day final which saw top young electrical talent from across the UK compete for top spot.

Employed by McDonald & Munro in Moray, and trained by Moray College and SECTT, Craig was tasked with installing a range of first and second fix items including PVC/PVC surface clipping, plastic conduit, trunking and fireproof cable.

The runner-up spot went to fellow Scottish apprentice Andrew, who works for A Campbell Electrical Services in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, and is trained by Lews Castle College and SECTT.

Andrew Horne

Fiona Harper, the secretary of the SJIB, said, “This is a stunning victory and testament to the strength and quality of electrical apprenticeships in Scotland, which saw record numbers recruited in 2022 for the second year in a row. It is vital that we now keep investing in our apprentices and adult trainees to ensure we have a pipeline of talent who can follow in the footsteps of Craig and Andrew. We wish both lads the very best of luck in the future and hope they go on to enjoy long and prosperous careers.”

Anne Galbraith, CEO of SECTT, which manages training on behalf of the SJIB, added, “Craig and Andrew should be extremely proud of their achievements as they had to overcome some extremely tough competition to win. Scottish apprentices previously won silver and gold at SkillELECTRIC in 2018 and 2019, so they are continuing the fine tradition of apprentices being produced by Scotland.

“This victory also reinforces the importance of the excellent SJIB Modern Apprenticeship in Electrical Installation and demonstrates the ongoing commitment from employers, apprentices, colleges and the SJIB and SECTT teams.”

Alan Wilson, MD of SELECT, commented, “We are delighted to see apprentices from two SELECT member firms come home with gold and silver. Many congratulations to Craig and Andrew, who are both a credit to their companies and their colleges.”

The SkillELECTRIC final took place at Middlesborough College, with the winners announced during a live WorldSkills UK broadcast with TV presenter Steph McGovern.

Judges assessed competitors in areas such as measuring accuracy within 2mm, horizontal and vertical alignment, electrical terminations, functionality, containment symmetry, inspection and testing and safe working practices.

The final included two other Scottish apprentices – Robert Rae of Dumfries & Galloway College, employed by Lotus Electrical Services, and Robbie Neave of Borders College and Braidwood Building Contractors.

All finalists received a range of prizes including equipment from CK Tools and Megger and Scolmore, with Craig also receiving a Megger multi-function tester, an iPad, a 10-piece electrician’s tool kit, MightyRod PRO Cable Rod Kit, automatic wire stripper, voltage detector and trimming knife.

The event was organised by National Electrotechnical Training (NET).