North East Connected

Generations of Apprentices Spark Success at Family Firm

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FAMILY electrical firm Ridley Bros of Gosforth is sparking success for a Newcastle student, who joins its apprenticeship scheme under the guidance of the company’s first ever apprentice.

Currently studying NVQ3 electrical installation at Newcastle College, 21-year-old Liam Wylie from Wallsend, is learning the ropes from Scotswood-born Eddy Calvert, an approved electrician who first joined the family business as an apprentice himself in 1964.

Newly-appointed Liam Wylie now works at Ridley Bros gaining experience across both domestic and commercial sides of the business, and with electricity being named one of the highest earning sectors in the UK by the Edge Foundation*, Liam said he is excited about his career prospects with the firm.

He said: “Working with Ridley Bros has opened so many doors for me and allowed me to learn the trade through practice and experience of their team.

“It can be quite difficult to find industry training when you’re young and don’t have any experience but the firm welcomed me straight away, allowing me to take the first step into paid employment. And with electrical services recently being named a one of the highest earning industries it seems I’ve made a great career choice.”

As vocational vacancies in the North East rise by 45%, Ridley Bros is keen to continue investing in the future workforce of electricians by sharing their years of experience with the next generation of young people.

66-year-old Eddy said: “I started working for Ridley Bros when I was 15 years old and had just left school. I had been knocking on local electricians’ doors asking for work. My father knew the Ridley family who took me on and trained me up.

“As an apprentice I learnt everything I know today from the team around me, who took me under their wing. It’s important to pass that knowledge on to help the next generation establish themselves within the trade, and I’m keen to show Liam everything I know.

“Over the years I’ve seen the business grow from strength to strength, even during periods when the economic climate could make life difficult and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.”

In 2007, brothers Andrew and David Ridley stepped into the shoes of their father Fred Ridley, and Uncle Thomas Ridley, who retired from the helm of family business. Since then, the firm has seen year-on-year growth and has expanded to offer commercial services to the region’s business community. Commercial clients include Lloyds BMW and a number of the region’s independent schools.

Andrew Ridley, co-director of the business said: “The aging workforce and skills gap is a growing problem in the North East, so investing time and effort in sharing our lifetime of expertise with the talent of tomorrow is a key value of the business, alongside training and up-skilling our current workforce.

“Eddy has been a cornerstone of the business since its establishment and is testament to the career opportunities apprenticeships can open. Liam is already showing his leadership abilities, strong work ethic and responsible attitude to working on jobs alone, and we look forward to watching him to grow and develop within the industry.”

Ridley Bros of Gosforth are certified electricians providing domestic and commercial services to homes and businesses across the region since 1959.

For more information visit or call 0191 285 5221.

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