A 20-year-old from Tredegar encouraged by his grandfather to become an electrician is inspiring his now-retired relative with his innovative work in the green industry.

Caethan Griffin is a Level 3 Electrical Apprentice at Melin Homes. He was encouraged by Grandad Jack to follow in his footsteps and consider a career as a ‘sparky’.

Now Caethan is rolling up his sleeves, getting stuck into hands-on work, and says his apprenticeship with the registered social landlord allows him to work on net zero projects.

The electrical industry is undergoing a huge transformation as the Welsh Government strives towards meeting its Net Zero ambitions and renewable energy replaces our use of fossil fuels.

 

Caethan said: “I’ve always felt reassured there will be plenty of work for me as an electrician, but that’s just increasing with net zero. We’re switching over to LED lighting, and I’ve also worked on installing electric vehicle (EV) chargers.

“The energy industry is changing significantly, helped by new ideas and discoveries. I am helping the environment, and I’m confident I made the right career choice.”

 

Caethan’s work is also the subject of many an enthusiastic conversation with his grandfather.

“He’s proud of me, and he likes to have a chat about what I’m working on. He has long since retired but is interested in solar panels and EV chargers because obviously none of that was around when he was learning his craft.”

 

Before leaving education, Caethan wanted to weigh up every option available to him when considering his future.

“I was 16, and I’d just completed my GCSEs at Ysgol Gymraeg Gwynllyw. I did think about staying on at school to do A-levels, but I guess my grandfather was a big influence. He was an electrician, so I decided I’d go along to the Open Day at Coleg Gwent in Ebbw Vale.

“The open day helped so much. I looked at many different courses, not just electrical. But I was able to connect different circuits, and it was a good insight into what I could expect. I decided it would be a great fit for me.”

 

After studying Electrical Installation full-time for two years, Caethan required an apprenticeship to gain his NVQ and become a qualified electrician.

He came across the Y Prentis programme, which has trained more than 450 apprentices since it was first established in 2012 by Melin Homes and Monmouthshire County Council.

 

“It’s been brilliant so far,” says Caethan. “My electrical skills have obviously improved but so have my communication skills. On larger sites, there are often multiple electricians, and you need to work with each other.

“I enjoy getting hands on experience and learning new things every day.  Once I’ve qualified, I want to explore all my options, whether that’s starting my own company or specialising in something like solar panels or EV chargers.”

 

As students across Wales receive their GCSE, A-level and vocational results over the coming weeks, Caethan is eager to encourage others to carefully consider their futures:

 

“I’d say to anyone to really think about what you want to do and consider every single option. Even if you think you want to do A-levels or go to university, go and find out what apprenticeships are available.

“For me, it’s an amazing concept that I can save money while I’m gaining skills and getting qualified. My wages will go up when I qualify and I’m already saving up to buy a house. I’d love to find one I can put my own touch on and set the electrics up the way I’d like them!”

 

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “Gaining skills and qualifications are vital to diversifying our future workforce and reaching our ambitious vision for Wales, where everyone is given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Apprenticeships are a genius decision for young people who want a proven route into employment that provides the opportunity to learn from professionals in their industry, all while earning a wage.

“I wish Caethan the very best in his career and encourage others to explore all the many options available to them through the Welsh Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee, including apprenticeships.”

 

The Apprenticeship programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

To explore what apprenticeship opportunities are currently available in Wales, visit the Apprenticeship Vacancy Service.

 

For more information about becoming an apprentice, visit www.gov.wales/apprenticeshipswales or call 0800 028 4844.
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