Published: 11:31, 14 November 2018
| Updated: 13:16, 14 November 2018
Are you a self employed tradesperson working strenuously long hours for an irregular income and no paid holiday?
What if there was a chance to earn a steady salary with great benefits coupled with ample paid holiday for teaching the trade you know so well to others.
The high demand for skilled trades - such as plumbers, electricians and carpenters - has prompted the East Kent College (EKC) Group to reach out to tradespeople and persuade them into making the transition into teaching.
Chris Butterworth had been an electrician and owned his own company before he decided to become a lecturer. Today, he faces different but exciting new challenges.
“If I was in my own job now and it was lunchtime, I would be covered from head to foot in dust, probably smacked my head on some joist about three or four times and then gone out for a sandwich,” pondered Chris, who is an electrical installation lecturer at EKC Group’s Canterbury College.
“If somebody was to make the jump into being a lecturer, then they wouldn’t be in their van all day long running around to different jobs. Instead, they would be in one place, which to me is a real benefit.”
For Chris, job satisfaction is another plus side when it comes to passing down his knowledge of electrics to others.
“I love working with our students. I really enjoy the fact that what I’m teaching them here will be a transferable skill that they can use to go out and get a job right away.”
But being lecturer doesn’t only offer attractive benefits, holiday time and a steady salary. For many, it is the ideal chance to move up in the world.
Greg McGregor has come a long way since his days as a plumber. Today, he is head of building services at Canterbury College which is part of the EKC Group’s family of colleges, and is happy to have some of those laborious days behind him.
“The benefits here as opposed to being a tradesperson are the security and regular pay while the hours are much more sociable. The fact that you get holiday pay, sick pay and pension benefits is also a big plus.
“If I wasn’t here today I would probably be still in the business but complaining a lot more about my knees.”
Being a lecturer has also presented him with precious time to be with his family, particularly during the winter and summer holidays.
And paid holiday is another huge bonus for Greg.
“When you’re self employed, a lot of things are up to you. So for example, when you go on holiday you’re paying it for twice - once going there and also for the fact that you’re not able to work that week.”
A few years ago, subcontractor carpenter Dane Simonds was working through the Christmas holidays to earn his living fitting and installing kitchens and roofs.
Dane is now head of construction at Canterbury College and uses his experience to steer students towards skill shortage gaps in the industry that need to be filled.
“You’ve got constant work here and you don't have to worry about being potentially out of work due to weather conditions,” he noted.
“During my time as a tradesman, there were a good number of apprentices that didn't know how to assemble hip roofs.”
“By working here, I can help focus my students towards doing it. I can also gear up people that I know are still working in the trade and hand them extra skills in that area.”
The EKC Group aspires to play a leading role for East Kent in developing the economic and social prosperity of the local communities we serve. There are EKC colleges and campuses in Broadstairs, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone, Sheppey.
If you are skilled tradesperson interested in becoming a lecturer in one of EKC Group’s colleges, why not visit their website by clicking here or even visit one of their recruitment events at Broadstairs College on Thursday, November 22 between 5pm and 7pm or Saturday, November 24 between 10am and 12pm.
You can also drop in at Canterbury College on Saturday, December 1 between 10am and 12pm as well as on Tuesday, December 4 between 5pm and 7pm
More by this authorJohn Leonidou