Is now the perfect time to train as an electrician?

The demand for skilled electricians is expected to be higher than ever as the UK pushes to meet net zero targets.

29 January 2024

With delivering on the promise of net zero energy, transport and built environment a priority, the electrical sector is set to be a pivotal player in shaping the UK's transition to a low- carbon economy. With the demand for qualified electricians set to soar, we explore the evolving landscape of the electrical sector, the increased demand for skilled professionals and the inclusive career pathways that City & Guilds provides, inspired by The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) guidance and framework.

Demand for Electricians

According to a survey conducted in the final quarter of 2023 by multiple key trade bodies, nearly two in five electrotechnical businesses felt labour shortages were the biggest threat to their business. Both the lack of applicants for vacancies and those applicants not having sufficient skills were cited as significant issues impacting hiring. This is supported by findings from the UK Trade Skills Index which indicate a growing skills gap in the sector and increased demand for electricians, with 104,000 additional professionals required by 2032.

Taking the pivot to a greener future into account, the demand for skilled electricians has never been higher. From renewable energy installations to smart home technologies, electricians are at the forefront of driving sustainable change. For businesses and consumers to be able to make greener choices it’s vital that employers, politicians and training providers recognise this growing demand and are ready to equip the workforce with the essential skills needed to thrive in the dynamic landscape of the low-carbon economy.

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A career gateway for all

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A growing strength of the electrical sector is its renewed commitment to fostering inclusion, diversity, and equity. To meet the increasing demand for skilled electrical professionals the sector needs to become more attractive to individuals who might not previously have considered a role as an electrician. And, these individuals need to have access to the training and development opportunities that will help them succeed.

Inspired by The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) guidance and framework, which set out four pathways that aspiring electricians can follow, City & Guilds has prioritised developing career routes that cater to learners of all ages and experiences.
  • Apprenticeships: For those who prefer hands-on learning, apprenticeships provide a structured and immersive experience, combining on-the-job training with classroom education.
  • Full-time education for under 19s: Young enthusiasts can kickstart their electrician journey through full-time education, gaining foundational knowledge and skills early on.
  • Diploma route: City & Guilds acknowledges the importance of self-driven learning. For individuals eager to invest in their own education, self-funded/ part-funded options are available to pave the way to a rewarding career.
  • Experienced Worker Route: Recognising the valuable expertise of seasoned professionals, the Experienced Worker Route allows those with industry experience to formalise their skills and qualifications.

Regardless of career or educational background, there is an entry point to the electrical sector available for everyone.

These career routes have been designed to be accessible, with funding options available through employers or public funding. Moreover, City & Guilds encourages an earn-while-you-learn approach, allowing individuals to gain valuable experience in the field while advancing their skills. For apprentices entering the sector for the first time, this offers the opportunity to practice their skills in real workplace scenarios with the support of experienced electricians – encouraging the development of both technical skills and understanding of working life.

Your pathway to excellence

train as an electrican image 2As both the demand and the esteem for qualified electricians increases and as we move towards a low carbon greener future, there has never been a better time to either embark on a career as an electrician or expand your skill toolkit with City & Guilds.

Whether it’s through full-time education, as an apprentice or as an experienced worker, our career routes and CPD guide outlines clear pathways to choose from for both aspiring electricians and established professionals. Our goal is to support people at every stage in their career – from young people starting from scratch or adults pursuing a career change to electrical professionals looking to enhance or formalise skills with full qualifications or with our range of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses.

We work with employers, industry stakeholders, professional and trade bodies to ensure our courses and qualifications enable learners to develop their skills to the highest and most up to date recognised industry standards. We support our approved centres to deliver our qualifications at the highest level to ensure City & Guilds learners are well prepared to excel when joining or progressing in the electrical sector. We’re committed to helping you succeed at every stage of your learning and career journey.

Electricians have always played a vital role in our lives and now, more than ever, they’ve become a critical enabler of our low carbon greener future. Thanks to 145 years of experience in the sector, City & Guilds is well-positioned to offer a roadmap to excellence in electrical training, guiding you along the stepping stones to success.

Explore career routes into the electrical sector

View our Electrical qualifications portfolio