Father and son launch A COVID success story in Hertfordshire

16 Dec 2021

Sometimes, when you’ve got a dream, you just have to follow it. Father and son team, Sezai and Tolga Aramaz had ambitious plans to set up a training centre and decided that the COVID pandemic wasn’t going to stop them!  Tracy Harker caught up with Tolga recently at his vocational training centre, Learn Trade Skills, in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, to find out how he and his father are getting on.

TH: We first met in January and, almost a year later, it’s amazing to see how far you’ve come.

TA: Yes, we’ve worked hard to set the centre up from scratch. We started at the beginning of the year and were ready to run our first courses at the end of May. It’s great to have been one of the pandemic success stories as so many businesses have been closing down during this period.

My father was the one who wanted to set up a training centre. He’s been an electrician for forty years so there’s not much he doesn’t know! For the last twenty years he’s been sharing his skills by teaching, and I think he wanted to set up his own place. Run things as he wanted to.

I bring management experience to the business. I’ve worked in local government for many years and was elected as a Councillor for Enfield Council in 2018.

TH: Do you think the fact that you’re a family business has helped things work?

TA: Yes, I do. We’re a close-knit team and set the business up with the help of family and friends. It’s really good to have a support network like that.

The support we’ve received from LCL Awards has been excellent. We chose to go with you because we liked the range of electrical courses LCL Awards offers, especially Domestic Electrical Installer 2020, which has been designed to give people a greater understanding of the health and safety requirements of working with electricity. We also liked the Level 3 Certificate In Installing, Testing & Ensuring Compliance of Electrical Installations in Dwellings, designed to meet the high standards set by the electrical industry for domestic installers.

It was very useful to have the guidance of you and your team when we were setting up the centre. For example, the electrical boards we put in our workshops were designed to meet LCL Awards standards, specifically to suit the courses we teach.

TH: As most of your courses are aimed at new entrants, what made you decide to add LCL Awards’ Level 3 Certificate In Installing, Testing & Ensuring Compliance of Electrical Installations in Dwellings?

TA: This Level 3 qualification allows those who already work in the trades and have some experience working with electrics, but no qualifications, to make a career change. Once they’ve successfully completed the course, they can sign up with NICEIC or NAPIT and start earning decent money at a quicker pace.

Most of our learners are twenty-one plus. We’re aware that they have responsibilities and don’t have the time or advantages around funding, that school leavers have. Their time and money is precious and most can’t go down the college NVQ route, taking two years out to train.

TH: What sets your training centre apart from others?

TA: We’ve made our courses more affordable than others and yet we offer training at a high standard. Class sizes are limited to ten and because we’re small and able to offer our learners a personable experience, they don’t get lost in a large training centre system. 

As a training centre, we recognise the climate emergency and actively support an environmentally friendly approach to business. All products supplied are sustainable, reusable or recycled and we operate an active travel plan to discourage the usage of cars where possible; we’re only ten minutes from Cheshunt station. 

TH: You’re primarily an electrical training centre, but I understand you plan to offer plumbing, gas and renewables training to grow the business.

TA: Yes, we’re planning to expand into renewables and plumbing. Plumbers are the second highest paid tradespeople, after electricians, and we know that the ability to earn decent money is something that attracts our learners.

We’re looking into renewables too. Engineers who have qualifications in EV charging, and solar panel and air source heat pump installation are all in high demand and we’d like to be able to provide our learners with training in these areas too.  Eventually we’ve plans to expand and open a number of training centres under the Learn Trade Skills brand.

To find out more about the training that Tolga and his father offer learners in Hertfordshire at Learn Trade Skills, please click here.