JTL Blog

Celebrating 30 years of training people

2020 marks a very special year for JTL as we celebrate our 30th anniversary – an occasion we’re delighted to have achieved. We’re proud to now be the leading national training provider for electrical and heating & plumbing apprenticeships. Whether you’ve been with us from the very start or you’re new to JTL, here is what the last 30 years has looked like…

The JTL Story

Established in 1990 by the Electrical Contractors’ Association and what is now known as Unite the Union, JTL became a registered charity in 2000. Two years on, we started offering apprenticeships in plumbing, as well as maintaining our electrical opportunities, with professional short courses being introduced across the country in 2011.

In 2014, JTL acquired CompEx – a scheme developed following the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988. Established over 25 years ago, CompEx is now a recognised global scheme for the protection of oil, gas, chemical & pharmaceutical workers in both offshore and onshore activities. Four years later, we announced our partnership with Certsure to develop the new 18th Edition qualification. Then in 2019, we added to our portfolio with the acquisition of Develop Training, which is one of the UK’s leading accredited providers of Compliance, Technical, and Safety training.

Over the years, we have also introduced a number of initiatives including a free tool kit scheme, celebrated the achievements of JTL apprentices at our annual Apprentice of the Year awards, as well as supporting and giving back to the building services engineering sector by offering free, bite-size digital courses through our new resource, Power Up.

Today, we proudly work with over 3,800 businesses, training more apprentices than anyone else in the building services engineering sector, and supporting 8,000 young people across four apprenticeship disciplines (Electrical, Plumbing, Heating & Ventilating and Engineering Maintenance). We are extremely proud that JTL is an OFSTED recognised ‘good’ provider and, as a registered charity, we reinvested every penny back into the training we offer.

A message from JTL’s chief executive, Jon Graham

“We have seen many changes in the industry over the last three decades, and 2020 has certainly been the most challenging to date with the outbreak of Covid-19. JTL recognises that this is a worrying and unpredictable time, so we are continuing to raise the profile and appeal of apprenticeships, as well as supporting both learners and employers, to ensure the pipeline of skilled tradespeople continues.

“This year marks a truly special anniversary for everybody involved with JTL as we celebrate thirty years of training people and continue our vision of supporting our learners with opportunities to build futures and change their lives. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported JTL over the years, from apprentices and staff to employers and industry bodies, plus all those working behind the scenes to help establish JTL as the leading training provider it is today.”


After 30 years of training people, we are privileged to have people in the business who have been with us from the very beginning. We caught up with Chris Skinner, Electrical tutor and Ian Stoneham, Assistant Manager to find out more about their time at JTL.

What are some of your fondest JTL memories of the past 30 years?

Chris: “My fondest memory is getting the job, meeting my colleagues for the first time and socialising with work colleagues at various functions. One standout memory is being recognised in the Extra Mile Award at the annual staff conference – this was a very proud moment.”

Do you have a standout achievement in your career?

Chris: “An achievement which particularly stands out is having an entire group of learners pass the hardest exam, and remembering the learners shaking hands with me and thanking me for all the help I had given them.”

What do you believe to be the greatest strengths of JTL?

Chris: “Having worked at JTL for all these years, the passion of the staff to do the best for their learners is undeniable and truly sets JTL apart from other training providers.”

What does JTL mean to you?

Ian: “A few years ago, one manager suggested I was like a stick of rock – if you cut me in half, you’d see the letters JTL running through the middle. I believe passionately in apprenticeships and the success they can bring to so many. Working for JTL has been my life over the years and it gives me great pleasure to hear of those apprentices I supported over the years who end up running their own businesses.”

For you, what have been the greatest developments in in the electrical/plumbing and heating sector over the last 30 years?

Ian: “We are now entering a phase where the world has a better understanding of environmental issues that affect us all. The sector is now having to adapt to meet the requirements associated with these challenges resulting in the development and installation of new technologies. Perhaps the greatest developments are yet to come, but the way in which renewable energy systems have been introduced in recent years has to be considered.”

What advice would you give future apprentices?

Ian: “Over the years I’ve seen thousands of young people come into this industry, with some not knowing one end of a screwdriver from another. With the majority achieving their goals and having very successful careers in the industry an apprenticeship can be so rewarding. If you are prepared to work hard and have a passion for what you do the opportunities are limitless.”

For more information and to learn more about the apprenticeships JTL offers ,visit jtltraining.com/apprenticeships.

Here’s the next 30 years!

Other posts

Darke and Taylor winter 2023 update
Darke and Taylor winter 2023 update
Read post
Building a stronger workforce: JTL’s new academic criteria for apprenticeships
Building a stronger workforce: JTL’s new academic criteria for apprenticeships
Read post
Gas Safety Week 2023
Gas Safety Week 2023
Read post