Careers Newsletter: June 2023

Careers Spotlight: Electrician

An apprenticeship is the preferred route into the electrical industry. You’ll earn while you learn and train to industry standards, building your skills and knowledge over time. In England, apprenticeship funding is available for all ages.

The electrical industry presents a whole host of opportunities. From electrician to Chartered Engineer, with an electrical apprenticeship under your belt you can move up the career ladder and, if you wish, progress into a variety of specialist areas such as fire and security, network cabling, data communications and building energy management systems.

Career Routes and Specialisms

Once you’ve completed an electrical apprenticeship there’s a wide range of routes you can follow – you may wish to stay in a site based role or look at something such as design or project management. The options are varied depending on your skills, strengths and what sort of career path you’d like to take.

Technical - Electrician

If you like to be specific and precise this is a great job for you, as you'll need great attention to detail to not just install the systems in line with the technical drawings, but also test them carefully to ensure they're working properly and safely.  Depending on which route you take and what further training you do, you can start to move into more technical responsibility as you gain more experience.

This route includes roles such as:

Site-Based Management

As a skilled person, you can also in time move into a supervisory or site manager role where you'll have more responsibility and will be overseeing others and keeping your colleagues and clients informed about the project. This route includes roles such as:


As an Estimator, your job is to work out how much a job is likely to cost so that you know how much to charge the client. To do this you'll be working with special estimating software and producing documents like a ‘Bill of Quantities’ which lists all materials, parts and labour that will be used for the project.  As you can imagine it's a big responsibility to ensure all costs are accounted for and have been calculated correctly! So if you love numbers and accuracy this is a great area for you.

This route includes roles such as:

Electrical Contracts

Contract management and project management can often overlap depending on what size of the company you're working for, but it's all about delivering the job and meeting the customer's requirements. Once you win a piece of work from a customer and start work on the project, you'll need to make sure everything is running smoothly and is not going over-budget.

You will be attending meetings, making sure the site team is performing to target, producing progress reports and keeping an eye on valuations and expenditure. Good organisational and planning skills are a must!

This route includes roles such as:

Electrical Design

This is a great role if you're creative and technical – as an electrical designer, you'll look at what electrical systems the customer needs, then design all the plans and equipment to turn the wish into reality! You'll learn all the important things you need to take into account, such as equipment, power requirements, cable sizes and building regulations. Using specialist computer software you will create the designs for each project and work with colleagues and clients for approval.

As the project progresses you might need to adapt your designs to overcome certain challenges or restrictions. So good problem-solving skills will come in handy! You'll also need great communication skills to help explain your designs to those who need to work with them.

This route includes roles such as:

If you would like to find out more about a career as an electrician click on the links below:

Boosting your CV

In this section we have looked at how boost your CV.  A good CV will get you noticed and invited for an interview, but no further.  The key to a successful interview lies in soft skills.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills relate to how you work. Soft skills include interpersonal (people) skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, and empathy, among others. They are among the top skills employers seek in the candidates they hire, because soft skills are important for just about every job.

Emotional intelligence

What does it mean to have high emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, evaluate, and respond to your emotions and the emotions of others. This means that you're able to think empathetically about the people around you and the interpersonal relationships that develop in the workplace.

This is another of those soft skills employers want to see, and it's taken on new meaning for 2023. As we emerge from the shadow of the recent pandemic, many people continue to struggle with their place in the workforce and the world. Having the ability to read the emotions of your co-workers and respond with compassion is essential. 

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence can be defined in two major parts. First is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions. Second is the ability to recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of others. Psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman breaks this down further in his book titled “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.” He introduces the idea as a set of skills including self-motivation, empathy, social competence in interpersonal relationships, and control of one's impulses.

It may sound complex, but don't fret. Essentially, emotional intelligence is all about understanding yourself and the people around you.

Why is emotional intelligence important for your career?

Like any hard skills, interpersonal skills are essential for success in the workplace ‒‒ and those are informed by your EQ. Most importantly, they affect the way you work with those around you. Traits like empathy and self-awareness, for instance, directly improve your ability to collaborate, resolve conflict, and handle pressure.

Say you're in a brainstorming session with your colleagues. One of your co-workers presents an idea that you don't think would be effective, but you have an idea that you think could be the answer to the issue at hand. Your task is now to communicate both of those things tactfully, suggesting this solution without putting down your co-worker or appearing overbearing. In order to navigate this tricky situation, you need to understand the way your actions may affect the people around you and choose them accordingly.

If you are looking to move up to a leadership position, EQ becomes even more important as much of the dynamics of the team will be determined by your decisions and behavior.

How to display emotional intelligence in an interview

There's no objective test you can pass to show a hiring manager during the hiring process that you have the EQ needed to be an effective addition to their team. Therefore, you have to demonstrate it throughout your interview through your responses and interactions. Here are some of the ways you can do that.

Actively listen

To show EQ in a job interview, you have to start with active listening. This means doing more than simply waiting for the interviewer to finish speaking before you dive into your pre-planned answer to “What's your greatest strength?” ‒‒ quite the opposite, actually. Don't start planning your response or jump to conclusions about what they want to hear from you. Instead, when the interviewer is speaking or asking you a question, take time and really listen to what they are saying and only respond to that. Consider that every word they say to you is as important as what you will say to them.

Show your emotions genuinely

Human resource professionals and interviewers need to see that you care about what you do, and answering that call will also help you demonstrate EQ by showing off your emotional availability. Luckily, some of the most popular interview questions present you, the candidate, with the perfect opportunity to do just that. Take advantage of queries like “Tell me about yourself” and “Why do you want this job?” to demonstrate to an interviewer your genuine passion for your career (and the job opportunity).

Talk about your growth

No one likes to talk about their failures, especially at a time when you're supposed to impress a stranger. Still, the ability to acknowledge mistakes and learn from them is a strong indicator of high EQ. Therefore, don't shy away from questions like “What's your greatest weakness?” or the behavioral-interview staple, “Tell me about a time when you experienced failure.” Talk openly about a shortcoming from your professional past and then add the positive spin: what you learned and how you've applied the lesson since.

Ask questions about company culture

The questions you ask at the end of an interview can say a lot about who you are, and you can use that to your advantage. By asking to know more about the company culture and team environment, you'll demonstrate that you have an active interest in the motivations and personalities that drive the organization.

Learning to code

In last months edition of the newsletter the careers spotlight was on how to become a computer game designer.  If this is something you are interested in it is important to start building your skills as soon as possible.  With this in mind we would like to introduce Edublocks and Google for Developers.  Both websites help students develop their programming skills.  Edublocks will help students learn to code while Google for Developers will help students learn how to develop websites and mobile apps.

Careers in Hertfordshire: Hospitality

A career in the world of leisure, tourism and hospitality is full of opportunities, often with fast progression to management level. Particularly within hospitality many a famous face started out as an apprentice or a school leaver.

The catering and hospitality sector serves up a host of different apprenticeships in restaurants, cafés, pubs, bars, nightclubs and hotels. The sector also includes customer service roles, as well as working in the supply network that provides food and drink to other industries. You could train as a chef in a restaurant, or learn how to cook on a large scale for institutions such as the NHS. You could also be 'front of house' welcoming guests or helping management ensure effective day-to-day operations.

Looking further afield, the travel industry is an exciting place to be right now. Travel companies are experiencing huge demand and with this growth comes many different and exciting career opportunities. The jobs in travel are wide ranging, from sales, marketing, IT and digital transformation, to managing sustainability programmes and working abroad. 

Skills needed in this sector include teamwork, time-management, interpersonal, communication, creativity and organisational skills.  The sector naturally has a very hands-on approach to work, with lots of ‘on the job’ learning and direct interaction with customers. The sector has been involved in offering apprenticeship and school leaver opportunities for years - so you’ll find lots of opportunities out there for you, not just in the UK but worldwide!

People's leisure time is so important to them and it is not to be underestimated how much impact you can have on a person's wellbeing by being involved in hospitality, leisure and tourism. The sector provides fun, relaxation, culture, music, laughter and friendship, so rest assured by having a career in this sector you are making a difference to people's lives.

Hear from local residents working at Lussmanns, a popular Hertfordshire based sustainable restaurant, Paradise Wildlife Park, a fun tourist attraction and Hanbury Manor Marriott, a luxury hotel, about their career pathways into Hospitality and Tourism.


You will never be stuck for things to do in Hertfordshire, from stunning stately homes, wild days out, cultural escapes and magical memories - Hertfordshire (or Herts as we like to call it) is the perfect place for leisure.

Just 20 minutes from London by train but still far away from the stresses of the big city, our lush, green county is brimming with exciting things to do and some seriously great places to stay. Explore famous sites such as St Albans Cathedral, Hatfield House, Knebworth House, or capture the magic of Harry Potter with a visit to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. And if you're looking for wild beasts, Roman ruins, sculpture gardens, year-round snow, traditional English villages, 5* luxury or boutique B&Bs, Hertfordshire is the place to be

For more information please go to 

Current Opportunities

This month we have a session from the Careers and Enterprise Company about quantity surveying as well as another session about T-levels and apprenticeships.  In addition to these the Side Hustle competition gives those students with a business idea the opportunity to turn it into reality 

Quantity Surveying

Registrations are now open for this week’s HOP Careers Webinar that will focus on Quantity Surveying. We will feature three local Quantity Surveyors working for local Hertfordshire construction main-contractors and will learn about what they do in their jobs and the routes they took to get there.


Please direct students to the HOP registration page here -



Taking place on Wednesday 14th June from 17:30 - 19:00 online, this free of charge event is designed specifically for parents and carers who would like to explore the apprenticeship and T Level options available to their child.

This event will be interesting for all parents and carers, but will be particularly useful for those supporting children in year groups 10, 11, 12 and 13.

There are many benefits of coming along to this event, including:


Computacenter, Morgan Sindall, CareTech, Sky, Warner Bros, Herts Police, ISales Academy and many more to be confirmed.

Also representatives from all four FE Colleges and independent training providers.

Side Hustle

Hi Everyone,


The Side Hustle Initiative is back for its third year, this year hosted by our lead judge, The Apprentice star Tim Campbell.


The competition is designed to make entrepreneurship more accessible to all young people aged 14-18.

Registration is open until 15th July


Every year we give away £10,000 and mentorship to help students with either an operational side hustle or a new business idea. 


The 50 students who make the final will have all travel expenses paid and the event will take place in October half term.


Students can enter in teams of up to 4. 


All other information can be found here -