Elliot chooses the apprenticeship route over university

Posted on by karen.smith

English | Cymraeg

Coleg Cymraeg Learner, Elliot Wigfall












Elliot Wigfall, originally from Ynysybwl near Pontypridd, is an electrical apprentice with social landlord Trivallis in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area.

Elliot is working towards NVQ Level 3 in electrical installation with Coleg y Cymoedd. He is also one of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Ambassadors for the apprenticeship sector. But why did he choose to do an apprenticeship? Here’s his story.

What subjects did you do at school and is this your first job?

I did A Levels in Chemistry, Biology, Music, and Performing Arts at school then I went to Trinity St David’s University to do a degree in Music Theatre and Media.

After graduating, I got my first job with the university as a marketing and community engagement officer.

So how and when did you decide to do an apprenticeship to be an electrician?

In my job with the University, I was going around schools and colleges telling young people ‘come to our university, come to our university’ but I also came to realise that university was not the best option for everyone.

I then started thinking about myself, my career and if I really wanted to do that job for the rest of my life.

That’s when I started looking at apprenticeships and saw that there was a lot of problem-solving work, which suits me, as an electrician. You do maths and science for a reason – not just to pass an exam – and learn how it applies to real life.

And what is the best thing about your job now?

I’m out learning how to do my job, on the job, and every single day is different.

Even if the task is the same, there are different elements every time – maybe the cables run in a different way, maybe something is in the way, maybe the house is a mess…and you must deal with it all and solve the problem.

You are an ambassador for the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol – what difference does the Welsh language make to you in your job as an electrician?

If you speak Welsh, having the person who comes to fix your shower or light also able to speak Welsh makes a difference – especially in this area where not many people can speak it.

It gives them the opportunity to speak the language they are most comfortable with.

What would be your advice to someone thinking of doing an apprenticeship?

If you don’t enjoy learning in the traditional way, an apprenticeship offers something different. Although I’m at college learning theory one day a week, the rest of the time I learn practical skills at work.

It’s a good way to learn and gain qualifications, while also getting paid.

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