Skip to main content
Innovation & Success
14 Feb 20242 minute read

Insights from the ECA Edmundson Apprentice of the Year

Insights from the ECA Edmundson Apprentice of the Year

ECA Edmundson Apprentice of the Year Adam Allen and employer Neal Robinson share advice for young people interested in pursuing a rewarding electrical contracting career

At a ceremony in London in September 2023, Adam Allen of ECA Member-firm Geoffrey Robinson Ltd was recognised as one of the country’s leading electrical apprentices, winning the coveted ECA Edmundson Apprentice of the Year Award.

After overcoming fierce competition from the other finalists, Adam won prizes including £3,000 and an overseas study tour sponsored by industry manufacturer Zumtobel Lighting.

We spoke to Adam and his employer about the Award, and their advice for prospective new starts and new apprentices looking to advance their careers. 

According to Neal Robinson, Managing Director of Geoffrey Robinson Ltd, “When we heard that Adam had been nominated for this award, everyone at Geoffrey Robinson felt an immense amount of pride and delight for him. Fast-forward to hearing his name announced as the winner, and the sense of achievement and elation for Adam and the wider team was incredible. It’s certainly an afternoon we won’t forget in a hurry.”

Adam added, “I am so grateful to everyone who supported me throughout my apprenticeship and helped me get to where I am today. To be recognised as Apprentice of the Year means a great deal to me and I am looking forward to acting as an ambassador for electrical apprenticeships in the coming year.”

So what makes a great apprentice?

When taking on apprentices, Geoffrey Robinson looks for certain qualities in their applicants. 

“The apprenticeship routes we offer combine on-the job training and academic studies, which isn’t always easy - but as Adam has proved, is incredibly rewarding” says Neal. 

“First and foremost, we want to take on people who are genuinely interested in the industry” . “It’s much easier to teach and inspire at this stage of a career journey if you have a genuine interest and desire for the role.”

“Other skills would include looking at any relevant work experience, any hobbies that align with more practical skills and ways of working as well as great communication skills – we’re a people-based business so this is really important.”

From Adam’s perspective, securing an apprenticeship is all about putting the work in, and being able to see concrete results from his efforts. “I would advise all aspiring apprentices that, although it can be competitive to secure an apprenticeship at a company that suits you, it’s more than worth the work you put in,” he said. “Those who actively seek out opportunities will be able to secure an apprenticeship and start the incredibly rewarding journey to becoming a qualified electrician.”

Routes to success

Adam is keen to emphasise that an electrical apprenticeship opens doors to a wide range of satisfying and well paid career options. “Becoming qualified in your trade does not set you on a single career path,” he said, “but rather it opens more doors and exposes you to a world of opportunities and different routes to find exactly where you fit best within the industry.”

For the next year, Adam will act as an industry ambassador to young people thinking about taking the leap into the electrotechnical industry. To those interested in the sector, he says, “you will be able to do hands-on work while applying your technical knowledge and problem-solving skills. 

“The electrical industry is always advancing quickly – especially in the low carbon technology sector – so there are so many paths you can choose once you become qualified. I have always maintained that choosing a career in the electrical industry was the best decision I could have made. Because the industry is so expansive, there will certainly be a rewarding career path for you too – you just have to reach for it.”