"Well that was interesting" - That was my facebook and twitter response on Stirling Weather to being caught up in the heavy rainfall on Monday evening (24 June 2019). A tweet and phrase I came to slightly regret saying after seeing and realising the damage the rainfall and subsequent floods brought to some businesses and homes in parts of Stirling.
While "it was interesting" to be out and about during our worst flooding in many years it certainly is not how those who's properties have been affected by the water damage will feel.
But as the week progressed the word "interesting" could again be used to describe our weeks weather in Stirling.
Starting with the heavy rainfall and floods, followed by a few days of glorious sunshine and high temperatures, to high humidity resulting in a thunderstorm and then ending with windy conditions.
The saying "if you don't like the Scottish weather then wait 5 minutes" could perfectly sum up this past week.
After Monday's floods I was contacted by our local newspaper Stirling Observer to give my thoughts and more information on the heavy rainfall. (See image below)
Just before speaking to the newspaper I had just finished looking at our rainfall stats for the flooding as well as for 2019 so far. Many conversations I had heard recently were stating how recent weeks and 2019 and had been wet, so it was time to turn to our Stirling Weather stats to find out.
They say that figures and stats don't lie (well unless it's to do with politics) so let's see what our rainfall figures say for 2019 - There's still a few hours to go in the month of June and as it's a showery last day so the June 2019 figure could be a few millimetres out.)
2019 Total = 489mm
2018 Total Jan-Jun = 508mm
So as you can see, unless there is another sudden deluge of rain in the last few hours of June then there will be just under an inch of rain less so far in 2019 than in 2018 - so despite the recent wet weather 2019 is so far a drier year than last.
But do you see from the figures above why predicting the weather in Scotland can be difficult - look at the rainfall figures in January and March each year - the same month from one year to the next can be so different that it's not easy to plan outdoor events in Scotland - arrange your next BBQ at your own risk!!
This past week has also seen our highest 2019 temperature so far of 25.3°C while during the first six months of 2018 the highest temperature was 32.3°C.
It should be noted that 32.3°C has been our highest event recorded temperature at Stirling Weather since our records began ten years ago.
So lower temperature and lower rainfall during 2019 while our thoughts from the past week would suggest that 2019 has been worse than recent years.
If you are interested in looking back on the Stirling Weather historical weather data then you can visit the below two links .
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An article in our electrical trade magazine highlighted a new report that's estimates that up to 15,000 extra skilled electricians will be required in the UK over the next 5 years.
New technologies around smart homes, electric vehicles and Wi-Fi were amongst the main new services stated for increasing demand for skilled installers but it was the section on apprenticeships that caught my eye.
It was pleasing to read that an electrical apprenticeship is still a highly rated initial career move and that it was still evident for employers to receive a return on investment to employ apprentices.
What was worrying but not surprising though was one of the reasons given for new apprenticeship numbers being insufficient to meet the increased demand in recruitment - candidate attitude and behaviours.
I have had to deal with a fair share of attitudes and behaviours from youngsters over the years and while some of them just could not be helped, it does make me wonder whether some of them would've had a better attitude to our type of work if trade apprenticeships had been sold by the education establishments as a positive long term rewarding career move for school leavers.
This in my mind has been confirmed by one of the solutions highlighted in the report which is the "development of new careers resources, promotion of industry-recognised qualifications and activity to forge closer ties between industry, schools and further education".
More needs to be done to change the attitude of the school system to promote apprenticeships equally as they do to promote University which is why I recently engaged with one of our local high schools to offer work experience at Stirling Electrical Services to a fourth year school student which turned out to be a success and well received by the student, school and us.
I have offered future dates over the coming year to host more work experience school students and I will further engage with local schools to highlight the rewarding career their students can have in the electrical industry.
Work experience while still at school is a good move to see if a career in the electrical industry may suit the youngster, with the main education being a 5 year apprenticeship under the guidance of SECTT the electrical training body in Scotland.
SECTT plays a pivotal role between the apprentices and employers and their role is vital in making sure apprentices have a successful 4-5 years and go on to become skilled electricians.
Enrolling to undertake the industry pre-apprenticeship exam via the SECTT website is also one of the first actions a prospective apprentice needs to do.
With the correct attitude, work ethic and willingness to learn apprentices can have a rewarding and long term career in the electrical industry and our own apprentice intake for Autumn 2019 will begin soon, so if you are interested in taking a step to becoming an electrical apprenticeship email us with your CV and details to this address - but only DO SO if you have already sat and passed the above pre-apprenticeship exam.
Being involved in the construction / services industry I like from time to time to highlight some useful websites, tools and advice that can help with your latest home improvement project.
Sainsbury's bank have published a home renovation calculator that tries to give an indication of what different types of home improvement projects may have on the value of your property.
* The below link is direct from Sainbury's Bank and I have no affiliation or opinion on the details contained at the below link.
Check out the handy Sainbury's Bank Home Renovation Calculator.
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