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  • Writer's pictureTeddie Casterton

Maidenhead Electrical Career Success: Nominated for SPARKS Learner of the Year

Congratulations to James Barnby, one of our great electrical apprentices at MEL. His college tutor, Steve Butcher, at Activate Learning—Bracknell and Wokingham College, nominated James for the SPARKS Learner of the Year award.


Ben Harvey, one of MEL’s approved electricians, has supervised James as he moves through his apprenticeship and electrical career. Ben says:


“I was really proud to see James get nominated for this award. The competition was a great learning opportunity. He was required to wire a consumer unit in limited time, with the added pressure of being watched by the competition referees.”


Ben joined MEL just over a year ago as an approved electrician. Having already been qualified for five years, MEL offered the opportunity to work on more complex industrial projects, which is Ben’s passion. Ben has also been a fantastic addition to our training team. Talking about his mentor, James says:


“Ben always keeps a close eye on the work I do – building my knowledge and skills by asking me questions as I work. He is a great mentor and supervisor. We are working on some complex projects at the moment but Ben’s easy-going and professional attitude makes learning on the job fun. Our normal working day at MEL is a lot less stressful than the SPARKS Learner of the Year competition!”


MEL has deep roots with Bracknell College. Andy Collins, Director at MEL and James’s tutor, Steve Butcher, did their apprenticeship together. Andy says:


“Steve and the team at Bracknell College are doing a fantastic job educating the next generation of electricians. Alongside James’s success, I was impressed to see another one of Steve’s students, Sarah Little, nominated for the SPARKS Female Skills Competition. We are always looking for the right combination of knowledge, skills, enthusiasm, and people skills at MEL. There is plenty of innovation and opportunities in the industry and with apprentices like James and Sarah I’m excited for the future.”



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