When Schneider Electric contacted Warrington & Vale Royal College’s Dave Love, he didn’t expect to receive ‘more than £90,000’ of products for students.
But that’s what happened! Now, thanks to this donation – which arrived on eight pallets – the students have access to the most up-to-date equipment in the industry.
Schneider Electric, Platinum Sponsor of the SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year competition, had been contacted by the e5 group who had visited the college earlier in the year.
Investing in the future
Deepak Sharad, Marketing & Offer Development Manager at Schneider Electric, decided to donate a large chunk of stock to the college.
He said: “I was surprised – we are educating people through colleges, but not all students will have had the opportunity to use new equipment and be familiar with what is normal to use in the working environment, up to regulation with the changes in 18th.
“I thought it’d be really beneficial for the college if we could support them. We do things in our electrician programme, why can’t we do something to help?
“We have problems in this industry with grey markets, counterfeit products, mixing and matching of devices – which is frowned upon.
“We provided a load of products they would generally use to train and upskill electricians and apprentices. It was mainly commercial/industrial distribution boards, consumer units for residential focus, some RCDs, RCBOs.
“When it arrived on a 40ft trailer and eight pallets, they were a little shocked!”
‘Creating the next industry leaders’
Dave said receiving the donation ‘was like Christmas.’
He said: “I cannot tell you the feeling when we unloaded the pallets. I was so happy that we have been given an opportunity to provide such equipment to the students.”
“The total value of the consumer units was over £90,000.
“Donations such as these are invaluable to the enhancement of the curriculum. It is allowing students the opportunity to use the industry-leading technology which puts our students at the forefront of knowledge and skill development.
“We are creating the next industry leaders, what better way than providing them with the latest kit?
“These boards will be used by all electrical students and apprentices in the college across both campuses. They will use them in the workshops on all their installations.”
David Watts, aka SparkyNinja, is a member of e5, which he says originated out of the desire to ‘Inspire, Influence, Inform, Educate and Support’ those within this industry.
He said: “Having visited a number of FE colleges we recognised that many of the materials being used were not representative of the real world modern standard quality and in some cases were at a state of disrepair.
“We came away from Warrington & Vale College full of hope and support for the staff there as they were doing great things opening up their college for visitors and running competitions. This transparency is essential through many areas and something we have great respect for.
“This was an incredibly generous contribution by Schneider to support the college to generate what we hope will be the best that the North West has to offer in the coming years.
“We all learn from our failures, and the safely controlled college environment is where those failures should occur. So we need to keep sending our industry back into the FE Colleges so these young apprentices can truly be prepared for their journey.
“e5 will continue developing good communications and relationships with manufacturers in this industry and will continue its work with Warrington & Vale Royal College, among others that are now approaching e5 for support.”