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In the first of our trainee stories, we meet Dean Wholey, an electrician taking his career in a new direction.

Hi Dean, what do you do at Arc Partnership?
I’m a junior electrical design engineer. I’ve been with Arc since day one, starting as an electrician, but about six months ago the opportunity came up to take a new role and learn some new skills.

Where did you work before you joined the Arc team?
I’d been at Nottinghamshire County Council for nearly 20 years before coming to Arc. I’ve lived in Nottingham all my life – in the same house actually! So Nottinghamshire County Council was my first job after school. I went there on a YTS apprenticeship, trained up as a full electrician and worked on projects like schools, libraries and offices.

So what’s different about your role now you’re a trainee?
As an electrician I was installing someone else’s designs. Now I’m getting to do my own designs for someone else to install. I do all kinds of electrical systems, from feasibility to full design, construction and on-site checks. It’s really satisfying to see projects from the other side.

What appealed to you about joining the training scheme?
To be honest, people in the office had been telling me to do it for quite a while and it just felt right. They’re a really supportive team so you can talk to any of the other electrical engineers any time. It seems to be going pretty well – everyone’s happy!

How are you finding the experience of learning again?
Well I’m nearly 40, so it’s a bit different! It’s something that’s always been an interest for me though. It feels like a natural progression. I’m learning a lot here in the office, but I’ll be starting at college on day release in September, studying for my HNC in electrical engineering.

What happens once your course finishes?
Well you never really stop learning in this job. There are always new things coming out – new technologies, methods and regulations. There are plenty of CPD courses you can do internally and we often have manufacturers in to tell us about new developments. Electrical regulations are changing very soon too, so we’ll be learning how to design to those.

What are your ambitions for the future?
I want to build up my experience so I can take on bigger jobs. At the moment there are some very, very big projects on the go that I just couldn’t do on my own yet. My aim is to get to the point where I’d be able to handle jobs like that.

I’ve always been interested in fire alarm design, so I’d like to do more of that, but I enjoy the variety in the job too. We cover everything from taking the client brief and designing systems across all the disciplines to handing over the finished project – it’s a colourful spectrum!

Look out for more trainee stories here on our news page soon.

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