Investment in apprentices pays off for EDA Members, Devondale

August 7, 2017
James Horrell of Devondale Electrical Distributors Ltd

Independent electrical wholesaler Devondale Electrical Distributors Ltd has appointed one apprentice to a full-time position whilst taking on three new apprentices across its branch network.

Devondale’s apprentices were recruited through the EDA’s Apprenticeship Programme, delivered in partnership with EDA Apprenticeships Plus.

Full-time role for James

James Horrell joins the Exeter team at Marsh Barton after a year-long apprenticeship. He studied physical education and engineering at Exeter College.

“Being at Devondale has been a really good learning experience. Some of my family members work in the trade so I had a connection already,” he explained, “I’m pleased to be staying in the industry on a permanent basis.”

6 apprentices

The company has also taken on another 3 apprentices through the EDA’s programme, taking the total number of current apprentices to 6:

  • Matthew Baker at the Barnstaple branch
  • Jack Smith in Taunton and
  • Duncan Howlett in Glastonbury

Devondale’s Managing Director, Paul Wood said:

“Devondale is committed to the apprenticeship ethos, and we have seen great results so far.

“One previous apprentice, Ryan Peryer is now branch manager of Paignton, whilst Jack Shortridge – who won an EDA Apprentice of the Year award in 2016 – and has recently been appointed assistant manager at our Barnstaple branch.”

College tie-up

In a new move for Devondale, a work experience partnership has been implemented with Exeter College. Due to the nature of electrical work it can be difficult for the college to find work experience placements and for their learners to gain any experience in the trade.

Being able to shadow the branch team means students experience the trade from the supply perspective and learn about the vast range of products used by the electrical contracting sector.

They also get to understand the service provided by Devondale to contractors via the sales office and trade counter.

Paul said:

“Although our work experience students won’t ultimately work for a company like Devondale, they will now go into their trade with a solid understanding of products and of the need to build up a relationship with a wholesaler.”

For more about the EDA’s Training & Apprenticeship Programme call the EDA head office on 020 3141 7450.

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