Author Topic: Getting a qualification through work  (Read 10570 times)

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Offline Simon

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Getting a qualification through work
« on: April 15, 2014, 09:59:29 am »
Well having figured that I can do a lot of electronics for work and having put me onto a few little projects they have figured that they might want me to have some sort of qualifications. So bearing in mind my employer is a mechanical company they have no idea of what to send me on and as i never even did any schooling in the UK I have no idea of how the system works. I mentioned NVQ which others have recommended but my boss said he thinks you have to be in an apprenticeship in order to do one which I'm not and they can't make me an apprentice as I'm clearly the most qualifies person in my field despite having no actual qualifications (Italian diplomas made out on toilet paper don't count in the UK).

I'm doing at the moment basic electronic designs some involving military stuff and I tend to need micro-controllers. I don't know how important programming skills are viewed but my guess is circuit design is going to be paramount here (and something I've seen some professional suby's fail at).

Any ideas ?
 

Offline KSP

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2014, 10:09:13 am »
No you do not necessarily have to be on an apprenticeship to be able to do an NVQ, as most of the time they are externally moderated anyway.

Having said that... I got all my qualifications through an apprenticeship, and I am the same, I am the most qualified in my department. Apprenticeships are not like the old days where you learn from the old blokes at work, they are government backed schemes where you get sent to college etc.

Mine consisted of:
Engineering ONC (Ordinary National Certificate)
Performing Engineering Operations (NVQ Level 2)
NVQ Level 3 in electronic maintenance
HNC (Higher National Certificate) In electrical and electronic engineering

Getting your company to sign up to this way of study will mean you will need to be given day release in order to attend college, but in engineering there is so much diversity and support available, in my area anyone who gets in to engineering does so via an apprenticeship, degrees dont seem to mean much with the companies round here

Hope this helps
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2014, 10:19:59 am »
that's a help. Problem is my employer is completely mechanical, They have updated their skills matrix but it used to have advanced electronics on it and that had one bloke down on it who made control boxes with relays and had trouble with ohms law. He has retired and now it just has things like continuity.

The day of release should not be a problem I've not got much to work on and if they want me to concentrate on electronics then none of that can happen much until I'm qualified.

Not sure what you mean by an NVQ being externally moderated.
 

Offline Andy Watson

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2014, 10:50:20 am »
I started as an "electronics apprentice" at a mechanical engineering firm. I went the ONC/HNC route on day-release. The electronics ONC was very much theory orientated and did not require any input from the company - so basically, if you can find the funding and time, you can do an ONC in anything you like.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2014, 11:29:35 am »
Is city and guilds relevant these days ? I found: http://www.cityandguilds.com/about-us but I suspect they are just a company reusing a name to gain trust.
 

Offline Codemonkey

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2014, 12:00:15 pm »
I did BTEC ONC and BTEC HNC in Electrical & Electronic Engineering many years ago. Both courses consisted of one full day and evening away from work, plus an extra evening each week and were 2 years each. I can certainly recommend those, they've kept me in continuous employment now for over 20 years!

The City & Guilds stuff seemed more aimed at people who were going to spend their lives fixing things (C&G TV Repair course was run by the college I went to), whereas the ONC/HNC was a good foundation for people who were going to be designing or specifying things.
 

Offline Tris20

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2014, 01:54:58 pm »
Not sure about what city and guilds are. You might be too late to apply for courses now though as they usually start taking applications around December.

 As to which course? You're going to be well above NVQ level. It's extremely basic. Apply to as many local colleges as you can for day release HNC/HND electronic & electrical. You may need to be pretty active about this and phone the colleges etc and may need try phoning again just after the start of the academic year as people start dropping out. The lecturers there will interview and probably give you a few (very basic) tests for the HNC. Then they will either hint that you will be given a place or suggest that you go straight into the HND. If you've been out of education for a while it may be worth doing the HNC first anyway just to get back into the swing of it. There were extenuating circumstances when I went back to education but non the less it still took me about a year/ year and a half to really get back into the swing of things.
 

Offline KSP

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2014, 04:22:12 pm »
Not sure what you mean by an NVQ being externally moderated.

When I did my NVQ Level 3 with my previous employer they just had to supply me with work that would meet the criteria, the criteria was set and moderated by West Anglia Training Association, though some people do their NVQs through college. It is a formal qualification, therefore has to be done via some kind of examining body. West Anglia Training would periodically send a training advisor to my place of work to see how I was getting on and make sure I was meeting the criteria set under the NVQ guidelines. Of course, the work is still done in the workplace, there are no classes to attend, but your work needs to be graded by an authorised training body.

Thats all I meant by externally moderated :)

But as Tris20 pointed out, it is very basic and probably beneath you. I found it was only good as an accompaniment to my other studies, if the NVQ was all I was doing (no ONC/HNC) then I can honestly say I wouldnt have learnt very much from it.
In short, an NVQ proves you can already do the job and know how to write about it, if you actually want to learn stuff then ONC/HNC teaches you theory etc.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2014, 04:25:31 pm »
hm well I think the aim is to cover what I can already do although learning a bit more would not hurt. I think it's mainly so that the company are covered but I'd like to take the opportunity to learn a bit more.
 

Online IanB

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2014, 04:41:14 pm »
This link may be a good starting point to find further information:

http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/higher-national-certificates-and-higher-national-diplomas

If your employer wants to provide help with training and further education you should certainly take advantage of that.

« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 04:43:01 pm by IanB »
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2014, 06:28:12 pm »
yea I intend to, although I don't want to make a rod for my own back either, HNC or HND sound about the level I need.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2014, 09:27:50 pm »
This link may be a good starting point to find further information:

http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/higher-national-certificates-and-higher-national-diplomas

If your employer wants to provide help with training and further education you should certainly take advantage of that.

Yes that is helpful. The other snag is that I have no UK qualifications at all so entry requirements might be a problem.
 

Offline Tris20

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2014, 11:41:20 pm »
Seriously, I wouldn't worry too much about entry requirements. So long as you provide a decent amount of information about your work and the things you can already do they'll consider you. If you get a rejection letter simply send them and email asking them how you can strengthen your application for next time. When I did that it turns out they've overlooked my application because of the initial entry requirements but then looked at what else I'd done and offered me a place.
 

Offline djsb

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2014, 08:33:38 am »
I left school with a CSE grade 2 in General science thats all.
I stated out by doing a City and Guilds in Electronic Servicing at a Adult education college whilst working as a Janitor in Manchester when I was 30ish years old.
I also studied Maths to A level on a POLYMATH (google it only 2 places in the UK do it anymore)course at Manchester Metropolitan University in the evenings. Did some additional maths on an open maths GCE course as well whilst out of work.

Eventually gave up my Job as a Janitor and Enrolled on a BEng Electronic Engineering course at the University of Bolton. The course was a HITECC course and had a 1 year foundation year. Left with a HND in Electronic Engineering (could have stayed an extra year for the BEng Honours) as I wanted to get back into work asap.

Where I work now (Brunel University) I've been told I can study for a degree at any time. Not sure if I want to or need to at the moment though as I favour picking up skills on my own at my own pace. Still, I have the option.
If I can do it anyone can.

David.
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Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2014, 08:48:19 am »
Well seems that i need to find something that can be done via distance learning as they don't want to loose me for a day a week (it all sounded too good to be true  :-DD) so while there is a local college that does it it's not going to be an option.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2014, 08:54:50 am »
www.edx.org but not sure if they will meet qualification in the UK or anywhere for that matter, I just take courses there for fun and to keep up.
BTW done by very reputable universities and colleges. (MIT, Rice, Harvard, Cornell, Berkeley, Caltech, Columbia. But not much EE in there but some.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2014, 09:02:10 am »
well might be a great source of material I can use but this for my employer is an arse covering exercise, I need to be accredited so that when I design something for their customer they can feel they are covered. I have skills at the moment and have designed stuff, but they are itchy about a hobbyist designing stuff for military. Most of our stuff is non critical but we are getting closer these days to life/death stuff that just cannot fail. I don't know if this is a move to try and get me to do the work they have so far paid a subcontractor for as I've just been fixing the subcontractors stuff  :-DD and making small boards to solve afterthoughts or to do simple stuff that did not warrant the cost and time of subbing it out.
 

Offline bookaboo

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2014, 09:26:10 am »
Have you looked into a HNC (or whatever they are calling that these days). I was in a very similar situation to you when I did mine, it was basically the first 16 modules of a degree so you can progress on if you wish.
Strictly speaking you are supposed to do a foundation course, usually that's done at age 17/18. However if you call up the lecturer they may be accommodating when you explain you have industry experience. Also call a few different places to see what modules they run, one of the places I went was maths crazy and they swapped a PLC module out for a mechanical engineering math one  :-//
 

Offline djsb

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2014, 09:39:56 am »
What about this?

http://www.northampton.ac.uk/study/courses/courses-by-subject/engineering/engineering-beng-hons

Or another similar course at the same university.


David.
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Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2014, 09:51:01 am »
What about this?

http://www.northampton.ac.uk/study/courses/courses-by-subject/engineering/engineering-beng-hons

Or another similar course at the same university.


David.

thanks David, again it's not distance learning, the highest I can find with distance learning is a level 3 betec and it's pathetic: http://www.icslearn.co.uk/distance-learning-courses/btec-level-3-certificate-in-electronic-engineering.aspx
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2014, 12:44:44 pm »
Well I give up, it seems that in this shit hole of a country that is supposedly concentrating on engineering to "get the economy going" there are very few electronics qualifications going and virtually none as dis6ance learning. Apparently welding and mechanical engineering are going to get us out of the shit!
 

Offline djsb

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2014, 02:28:11 pm »
You could try getting your company to pay for a Microchip course or two. I get an email now and then from Microchip with details of a course on how to use MPLABX etc.
The only distance course I know of is the open university. Problem is their courses are VERY expensive. Also if you wan to do a degree with them you have to go through several MANDATORY start up courses so you can decide on what is going to make up your degree.
Also Oxford or cambridge uinversity do some CPD (continuous proffessional development) on specialist topics like RF design etc.
There is also the London Electronics College in central London.

http://www.lec.org.uk/

Hope I've given you some ideas.

David.
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Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2014, 04:05:53 pm »
Thank you David, they don't seem to do distance courses and I can't possibly travel to London. All in all I'm pissed off, it is clear that "Britain is not open for business" when it comes to electronics. The OU only does full blown degrees and I have absolutely no qualifications so all I can do is a HNC and still need the nod to get into that with no previous qualifications. All that seems to be available is one BETEC L3 qualification that basically seems to go no further than a bit of analogue stuff (probably op-amps) and a "glimps" at modern digital stuff without touching on MCU's so well below my level in many respects and pretty pointless for my employer unless it can be used as a springboard for a HNC. Bottom line is my employer want to save money by getting me a qualification so that they can use my skills instead of paying for a subcontractor but they won't spend much in my opinion and certainly won't let me out for a day, I have do do it in my own time.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2014, 04:49:37 pm »
You could try getting your company to pay for a Microchip course or two. I get an email now and then from Microchip with details of a course on how to use MPLABX etc.


Tell me, what is the value of a qualification in how to use a peice of secondary software ? learning MPLAB does not neccesarily teach me C and won't teach me circuit design, I'm supposed to be doing one better than the subcontractor ;)

Also i tend to use AVR anyway, I'm not a fan but the datasheets are easier and they are morte feature rich, find me a cheap pic that can produce a 64MHz clock out of 8MHz to run the PWM timer on...... all for £0.60
 

Offline djsb

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2014, 09:57:20 am »
I'm only trying to help. Until the online providers are able to offer accredited electronics modules or even degrees (MIT etc) there is not much else available.
I had to give up full time employment to get the qualifications, but it was worth it as I'm earning more. Unfortunately that is not an option if you've got a mortgage,children etc. It's about time the UK government gave more support for part time mature students. I'm going to keep this in mind when I vote next year.

Sorry I could not be more helpful.

David.
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Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2014, 10:17:20 am »
Hello David, yes thank you. It is a bit frustrating. When i see a young subcontractor make one cock up after another despite having qualifications (I would assume or in the UK you can't get a job) that I have to fix despite not having any yet when I try to get a qualification I hit a blank wall despite all the political rhetoric about promoting engineering and in work study to "get Britain moving". It seems our politicians think that everything in this country is mechanical and welded and the fact that anything that moves and is controlled has underlying electronics escapes them.

I have found: http://www.logis-tech-assoc.co.uk/hnc-electrical-electronics-modules-edexcel/ but to be honest I'm not overly reassured by the quality of their website and take it as sign of how competent a course provider they are but I might be wrong it could be they are a great company that just can't get web design right (try the home page button......)

What I don't want to do is get on a course from some 2 bit company and then find I get no support or quality of material is crap and I fail. I don't have time to waste as I'll have to do it in my own time despite running my own business too which I am not giving up because the qualification only has something in it for me in the fact that as a self employed person I can tender my services as a qualified person.
 

Offline djsb

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2014, 10:46:26 am »
Maybe you could suggest to that your company gets involved in this?

http://www.netpengineering.co.uk/

Problem is you could only get involved in this if you where already doing a degree at Northampton. Then you'd go on a 12 month placement/internship at a company that is partnered with the university.

They do the same where I work. The students dissappear for 12 months on a placement/internship, come back for a year and are often offered a job where they worked. It's all kinds of companies (Dyson, McLaren, Rolls Royce and small ones).

I don't know how it works out for mature students as they seem to be declining because of the costs involved.

David.
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Offline Codemonkey

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2014, 10:50:09 am »
all I can do is a HNC and still need the nod to get into that with no previous qualifications.

You need to do the ONC first, before the HNC. You stand absolutely no chance of walking straight into a HNC course without having done the ONC first, not just cos they won't let you, more cos you need to know all the stuff from the ONC first!

I don't know where you're based, but I did mine at Chesterfield College of Technology & Arts. Now is a good time to be looking around for local colleges that run it since the courses will all start in Sept and you'll probably need to get down there in person on enrollment day and get your place, pay your fees etc.
 

Offline djsb

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2014, 10:57:46 am »
Admissions tutors DO take into account relevant industry experience for mature students. The main problem is financial not relevant experience. If you can get your company to sponsor you then thats great.

For instance this page says a HNC takes 1 day a week

http://www.netpengineering.co.uk/hnc-engineering

Maybe you could talk to your manager about getting sponsorship for this scheme.

David.
David
Hertfordshire,UK
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Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2014, 11:10:57 am »
Maybe you could suggest to that your company gets involved in this?

http://www.netpengineering.co.uk/

Problem is you could only get involved in this if you where already doing a degree at Northampton. Then you'd go on a 12 month placement/internship at a company that is partnered with the university.

They do the same where I work. The students dissappear for 12 months on a placement/internship, come back for a year and are often offered a job where they worked. It's all kinds of companies (Dyson, McLaren, Rolls Royce and small ones).

I don't know how it works out for mature students as they seem to be declining because of the costs involved.

David.

The key point is here that I'm working for a bunch of cheapskates that won't let me out for a day never mind having me go off to another company as part of my qualifications. They want their cake and they want to eat it. They will lay the money down but i have to do it in my own time. I'm only willing to do that because as they also realize it will do me good for my own business and I personally enjoy the subject.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2014, 11:13:53 am »
all I can do is a HNC and still need the nod to get into that with no previous qualifications.

You need to do the ONC first, before the HNC. You stand absolutely no chance of walking straight into a HNC course without having done the ONC first, not just cos they won't let you, more cos you need to know all the stuff from the ONC first!

I don't know where you're based, but I did mine at Chesterfield College of Technology & Arts. Now is a good time to be looking around for local colleges that run it since the courses will all start in Sept and you'll probably need to get down there in person on enrollment day and get your place, pay your fees etc.

I spoke to bedford college who like any other had no problem. they said that as a "mature" student in work and with practical experience they would interview me to check i have the aptitude etc and then let me into it. snag is it's a long day away from work. They want me studying in my own time while at work I'm designing mechanical stuff (that I'm also unqualified to do....)
 

Offline bookaboo

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2014, 11:37:42 am »
all I can do is a HNC and still need the nod to get into that with no previous qualifications.

You need to do the ONC first, before the HNC. You stand absolutely no chance of walking straight into a HNC course without having done the ONC first, not just cos they won't let you, more cos you need to know all the stuff from the ONC first!


Not true, if you have practical experience with a reference or two then most lecturers will be only too glad to have you in.
You will need day release though. A HNC aren't all that hard (if you can learn practical electronics you have the capacity to learn HNC material) but there is a lot to do in 1 day. Around here it's 10 hours of class packed into a single day then homework after that.
 

Offline Codemonkey

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2014, 12:20:08 pm »
I understand what you're saying, but a but of practical experience doesn't come anywhere near to covering the 2 years of theory learned. I already had some experience as a hobbyist before starting (was already etching my own PCB's before I started), but I know for a fact that without the specialist knowledge gained on the ONC, the HNC would have been a complete waste of time as I would have been completely out of my depth.

I don't wish to offend, but having read many of Simon's posts, I suspect he'd struggle to walk straight into a HNC. The ONC on the other hand assumes no prior knowledge of electronics and is a perfect starting point, its certainly not a numptys starter course, It covers a hell of a lot during those 2 years. I learned a lot when I did mine, much of it now forgotten but still contained in the many many pages of notes taken for reference!
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2014, 12:26:26 pm »
I could probably do with a simpler course if it's a harder course yes. The only other thing i can find is a BTEC L3 which will probably be a good starting point. Although like I said it does not seem to offer anything I don't know already.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2014, 12:37:27 pm »
All I can do before going for a HNC is this: http://www.icslearn.co.uk/distance-learning-courses/btec-level-3-certificate-in-electronic-engineering.aspx which to be honest sounds a bit wishy washy to me.

I also want to avoid a situation where once I have "A piece of paper" my employer not understanding jack shit about the subject takes it as a convenient copout to say they have helped me and have something to "show off" in their next company presentation as having an onsite electronics engineer......
 

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2014, 12:45:19 pm »
I've emailed logis  and asked their advice on entry level. I am in a dilema of not doing something that is pointless while not going in over my head bearing in mind that it is now clear that I am mildly dyslexic (may account for some silly posts, brainstorming and second opinions always help).
 

Offline M0BSW

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2014, 12:47:23 pm »
You most certainly DO NOT have to be an apprentice  to obtain NVQ's in the UK, I've been a Trucker for 40 Years, last Year I got my NVQ's in road haulage, parts 1 to 32. Also,in the last Year I got my CPC, no apprenticeships in this career., So just get the NVQ course you need ,and crack on.
Paul
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Offline M0BSW

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2014, 12:50:35 pm »
I've emailed logis  and asked their advice on entry level. I am in a dilema of not doing something that is pointless while not going in over my head bearing in mind that it is now clear that I am mildly dyslexic (may account for some silly posts, brainstorming and second opinions always help).
If the course you choose is with a good company they will help you work it out, don't  let dyslexic put you off, I want to hear you passed it.
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Offline Simon

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2014, 12:58:01 pm »
I've emailed logis  and asked their advice on entry level. I am in a dilema of not doing something that is pointless while not going in over my head bearing in mind that it is now clear that I am mildly dyslexic (may account for some silly posts, brainstorming and second opinions always help).
If the course you choose is with a good company they will help you work it out, don't  let dyslexic put you off, I want to hear you passed it.

Well put it this way, I started out as a nobody testing faulty radiators, moved into the quality department and then into design where i was supposed to be just doing minor mods to drawings and ended up with my own project within 6 months and now they want to have me handle the electronics side of things as the sole person in the company that knows didly squatt about the subject so I guess I'm capable providing i don't try to go to far too fast. The guy that proceeded me out of QC and into engineering took 4 years to do it with all of his so called qualifications whereas I moved in 3  :-DD his only consolation is that we have interests in entirely different fields.
 

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2014, 12:59:18 pm »
I was advised not to bother with NVQ and to worry more about the actual level whatever it is is at. It seems to be a case of calling the same thing different names.
 

Offline Codemonkey

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2014, 01:06:54 pm »
I've just had a quick read of some of the BTEC L3 stuff, and from what I can gather, that is basically what was the old ONC (ONC = Ordinary National Certificate). I seem to recall my certificate just said "National Certificate". So, it would appear that the level 3 thing is what you would need to do before a HNC. Certainly looking at the prospectus of my old college, they describe the HNC course as being level 4 (https://www.chesterfield.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/cc_part-time_guide_web.pdf)

It certainly wasn't wishy washy. I agree that at first read, it looks a bit pants, but things like "electrical principles" and applications covers a hell of a lot. For example, we spent a good chunk of time learning to design a dc motor, right down to the number of turns required on the windings, how many poles, supply voltage, current, torque etc. Then again with transformers, and we're not talking design of a little 5VA thing for a PCB, this was calculating stuff for substation size, taking into account power factors of loads, iron and copper losses (resistances in the copper and eddy currents in the core, not pikeys nicking the metal  :-DD). Also designing single and multiple transistor amplifiers from scratch with just the desired impedances and gain specified.

If that is indeed the replacement for the ONC, and you can do it in 12 months as a distance learning course, its well worth doing.
 

Offline M0BSW

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2014, 01:07:48 pm »
I've emailed logis  and asked their advice on entry level. I am in a dilema of not doing something that is pointless while not going in over my head bearing in mind that it is now clear that I am mildly dyslexic (may account for some silly posts, brainstorming and second opinions always help).
If the course you choose is with a good company they will help you work it out, don't  let dyslexic put you off, I want to hear you passed it.
You'll be fine,sounds like you have a decent boss too,I'm only a hobbyist+radio ham,my friend who owns a tv shop got an old tv in none working, said to me here it is , you know where not to stick your fingers, fix it so I go in on a Saturday, and I'm slowly working my way through it,all about confidence, and a little shove in the right direction, plus I'm getting to use some really good test equipment.

Well put it this way, I started out as a nobody testing faulty radiators, moved into the quality department and then into design where i was supposed to be just doing minor mods to drawings and ended up with my own project within 6 months and now they want to have me handle the electronics side of things as the sole person in the company that knows didly squatt about the subject so I guess I'm capable providing i don't try to go to far too fast. The guy that proceeded me out of QC and into engineering took 4 years to do it with all of his so called qualifications whereas I moved in 3  :-DD his only consolation is that we have interests in entirely different fields.
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Offline M0BSW

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2014, 01:13:42 pm »
I've always wanted to get some kind of qualification in electronics,I have contacted the open university,waste of time that was, then the local college who only do, Radio amateur course , which I did 12 Years ago,I so pretty much give up on it.
Guess I'll always be a hobbyist.
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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2014, 01:14:41 pm »
I've just had a quick read of some of the BTEC L3 stuff, and from what I can gather, that is basically what was the old ONC (ONC = Ordinary National Certificate). I seem to recall my certificate just said "National Certificate". So, it would appear that the level 3 thing is what you would need to do before a HNC. Certainly looking at the prospectus of my old college, they describe the HNC course as being level 4 (https://www.chesterfield.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/cc_part-time_guide_web.pdf)

It certainly wasn't wishy washy. I agree that at first read, it looks a bit pants, but things like "electrical principles" and applications covers a hell of a lot. For example, we spent a good chunk of time learning to design a dc motor, right down to the number of turns required on the windings, how many poles, supply voltage, current, torque etc. Then again with transformers, and we're not talking design of a little 5VA thing for a PCB, this was calculating stuff for substation size, taking into account power factors of loads, iron and copper losses (resistances in the copper and eddy currents in the core, not pikeys nicking the metal  :-DD). Also designing single and multiple transistor amplifiers from scratch with just the desired impedances and gain specified.

If that is indeed the replacement for the ONC, and you can do it in 12 months as a distance learning course, its well worth doing.

Well if it really covers that then yes it could be what I need and will teach me something. I'm always wary of private companies and advertising statements. I want value for time (I'll leave the money to my boss).
 

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2014, 01:16:28 pm »
I've always wanted to get some kind of qualification in electronics,I have contacted the open university,waste of time that was, then the local college who only do, Radio amateur course , which I did 12 Years ago,I so pretty much give up on it.
Guess I'll always be a hobbyist.

that is sort of where I am finding myself
 

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2014, 01:32:09 pm »
What about City and Guilds? Thats how I started out with a C&G in Electronic Servicing. C&G is well respected and has been around a long time.
Here is one for Electronics

http://www.cityandguilds.com/courses-and-qualifications/engineering/electrical-and-electronic/8030-electrical-and-electronic-engineering

Just a thought.

David.
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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2014, 01:33:47 pm »
Well from what I gather C&G, NVQ and BTEC it does not really matter, they will all give me a good foundation to then look at a HNC
 

Offline M0BSW

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2014, 03:16:24 pm »
I've always wanted to get some kind of qualification in electronics,I have contacted the open university,waste of time that was, then the local college who only do, Radio amateur course , which I did 12 Years ago,I so pretty much give up on it.
Guess I'll always be a hobbyist.

that is sort of where I am finding myself
I look forward to see how you get around it,as I will have to go the same way.
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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #48 on: April 17, 2014, 04:12:51 pm »
Simon I'm just enquired to ICS about a Btec 3 course for electronics/servicing £600.that would give me some qualififcation for the 48 Years apprenticeship as a hobbyist, from tube to I C's.
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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #49 on: April 17, 2014, 04:20:36 pm »
Well I'll speak to my boss tomorrow and suggest I do that BTEC L3 first to make sure I have all the basics covered as it's a small amount compared to the HNC that will cost a lot more to flop with. That assuming that that HNC course is still available.
 

Offline djsb

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #50 on: April 17, 2014, 05:19:13 pm »
A foundation degree is another option. Most are 1 year full time though and are used as a pathway to higher qualifications. I wish the government would expand opportunities (and financial support) for part time mature students. It would also help if support was given to smaller employers to allow employees to get training.

David.
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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #51 on: April 17, 2014, 07:34:03 pm »
what is a foundation degree ? I thought it was way over a HNC and next up from a HND
 

Offline djsb

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #52 on: April 17, 2014, 10:12:21 pm »
It's at a similar level to a HND. It is NOT the same as a degree program with an integrated foundation year. Best doing a google search on this to get an idea as I don't know that much about them really.

It's late and I'm tired.

David.
David
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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #53 on: April 17, 2014, 11:24:58 pm »
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #54 on: April 18, 2014, 06:43:01 am »
Hm, I'd definitely need to do that BTEC level before a foundation, I suppose it's an option if I can't get the distance HNC
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #55 on: April 18, 2014, 12:43:38 pm »
Try to see if you can persuade your employer into allowing you to have a day off, once per week, even if it means working extra hours on the other days. They will not always loose you for one day per week, as there will be school holidays.

I'm very cynical about distance learning. It's probably true you'd struggle if you went into an HNC class next week but you won't be doing that. The start date will be in September so you have the rest of spring and the whole of summer to prepare yourself for starting the course. You can spend time asking here and reading about what your need to know on the Internet. I'll even give you some of my old notes for the HNC/HND I completed 8 years ago if yoou like. Not much will have changed since the, you'll still have to learn algebra, calculus, Ohm's law, Kirchhoff's circuit laws, LRC circuits, Laplace transforms etc.

Back in 2006, the course was a bit Micky Mouse but going from what the apprentice where I work said, Bedford college has improved a lot in recent years. They've invested a lot in engineering and now have a dedicated engineering block and have made the course much more rigorous than before.
 

Offline M0BSW

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #56 on: April 18, 2014, 12:49:57 pm »
That's interesting Bedford college not to far from Peterborough,Our college in Peterborough doesn't even cover the subject.
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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #57 on: April 18, 2014, 01:55:45 pm »
Very few colleges do electronics at all, the OU does not do electronics. It seems that britain is going to "weld" it's way out of recession.

I won't be able to get a day release. We are a mechanical company that sees little value in electronics other than the cost of what we have spent on a subcontractor. the one guy that did a course in mechanical engineering (our bread and butter) had to do it as distance studying. We don't seem to be very good in investing in equipment or people and the offer is just past a cop-out in my opinion so that they feel covered for the work I do (saving large suby costs).

I've agreed to do the BTEC L3, I should be able to get through it no problems and it will ensure I have what I need for a HNC or similar. It's cheap so no arguments, once I've got that under my belt I may be able to take another qualification especially if they want to put more electronics work on me.
 

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Re: Getting a qualification through work
« Reply #58 on: April 18, 2014, 01:57:29 pm »
apparently a BTEC L3 means:

    ability to gain or apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding, at a detailed level
    appropriate if you plan to go to university, work independently, or (in some cases) supervise and train others in their field of work
 


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