Job Title: Owner
Employer: Mark Hall Electrical Installations
Once I got to the high school I enjoyed it – and got a clutch GCEs and CSEs – mostly in the sciences plus art which I was also good at. I then started on A-Levels - biology, chemistry and physics but found that too heavy a load – and after a couple of terms decided to go into my father’s electrical business which he had started in 1965.
My dad had been an apprentice himself and he knew someone who worked at Suffolk College and he asked this chap about apprenticeships. The college than contacted me and told me what I needed to do to do.
I just enrolled – I would have been 17 by this time.
Although this was my dad’s business and I had gone out with him in the school holidays, I did not know that much actually. So I started off wiring a few plugs and watching him do re-wiring jobs, helping out where I could. I got on really well with my dad, so that helped enormously
£50 a week and I lived at home – so a really good deal!
I started off with the simple stuff – chasing into walls, putting in sockets, fixing up light pendants and ceiling roses – all under supervision. I then learnt about all types of electrical installation work both on the job and at college. I was then able to help my dad with that work too. We did a lot of wiring for new houses and rewiring for older houses. I then moved into commercial work and dealing with faults and testing installations.
The apprenticeship ensured I learnt what I needed to know – and that I knew how to work safely. There’s a lot of theory to electrical engineering – I learnt all of that at college – the practical stuff, I learnt on the job.
The college enabled me to become qualified but also kept me in touch with new developments in the industry and connected me to education and training – which I have continued to take part in all through my working life.
As well as my apprenticeship qualifications I also gained City & Guilds 1, 2, and 3 in electrical engineering. I studied a further year to get the advanced certificate followed by several further years of study to gain my ONC, HNC & HND in electrical and electronic engineering
If you run your own business you do everything – I do the book work, visit people, talk to people about my services, draw up estimates – so my jobs are in administration, customer service, sales, accounting – oh, and I then do all the electrical work too!
I’d like to expand a bit – to increase our turnover.