Feature News — 28 January 2019

A West Midlands electrical contracting and engineering business is celebrating its latest cohort of apprentices. 

I.C. Electrical, based in Burton upon Trent, takes on apprentices from the local area as a cornerstone of its current business. Since the business started in 2000, I.C. Electrical has trained and nurtured the careers of over 50 budding young electricians, and the number continues to rise. As part of the latest intake, five individuals have joined the ranks and have begun to forge their careers.

The apprentices include Michael Shipton and Henry Wright, who have been working in the business, honing their skills in the areas of electrical installations and maintenance. With an emphasis on developing skills in the local area, I.C. Electrical has formed a partnership with training provider JTL, which has overseen the individuals’ development for a number of years.

Left – Henry Wright and Right – Michael Shipton

The company focuses primarily on designing, building and installing control panels, high and low voltage electrical systems, communication and automation systems and small power and lighting installations. Operating both in the UK and further afield throughout Europe, Africa and Scandinavia, I.C. Electrical works extensively in the power generation, distribution and renewable energy sector.

Since its beginning, training apprentices has formed a central part of the company’s growth strategy. Over the years, a number of I.C. Electrical trainees have extended their education to Higher National Certificate-level and beyond, won ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at their local college, and in one case, been awarded with the prestigious accolade of ‘UK Apprentice of the Year’.

The past year have contained significant milestones for the business, including the acquisition of I.C. Electrical by Finnish company, VEO Group, to form a combined entity generating over €100 million in sales in the past year alone.

2019 will be another pivotal year for growth and investment in future talent at the business, alongside a continued focus on training and skills development, which sees I.C. Electrical launch its ‘ICE Apprentice of the Year Programme’. This will see one individual who has gone above and beyond the requirements of their role win the opportunity to visit the business’ parent organisation, VEO Group’s, control panel manufacturing facility in Finland, the largest in the Nordic countries.

Tim McNeilly, managing director at I.C. Electrical, said: “Here in the Midlands we have a wealth of potential on our doorstep. We recognise how integral it is for our business to tap into that talent pool and provide the skills and training for young people to thrive. Building links with local colleges and training institutions has been a major contributing factor to our success over the years and we’re proud to be offering opportunities to the local community.

“Our apprentices have all shown real enthusiasm to succeed, learn and grow. By giving them the chance to hone their skills, work on a range of large-scale, interesting projects, we’re investing in not only their futures, but also the future of the business and wider industry. There is lots in the pipeline for 2019 and we’re looking forward to continuing to work with some of the area’s sharpest young minds.”

Pete Bunting, training officer at JTL Training, said: “We’ve worked with I.C. Electrical for a number of years now, helping the business shape and expand its apprenticeship programme. Equipping the next generation with the technical skills and training to begin successful careers in an area of growth is becoming increasingly important as the skills shortage in the UK continues to grow. We wish all of I.C. Electrical’s young engineers the best of luck for their future careers and look forward to seeing them grow and develop.”

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