*A person who is Intelligent, full of energy and enthusiastic

Welcome to aspire, the all singing, all dancing graduate programme

We like can do attitudes, positive thinkers and get the job done people who seize every opportunity.

As a bright, young and talented graduate, you’ll not be afraid to use your initiative and take the lead. We’ve created our graduate programme for people just like you and we’ll invest in you all the way.

We’re looking for graduates who go the extra mile, who hit the ground running and eat pressure for breakfast. We’ll push you, it’s tough; but the end results will set you up for a successful career and future.

We’ll immerse you into every aspect of CEF life from day-to-day operations right through to manufacturing, all the while preparing you for a role in management.

Time spent away from home will be required (not to mention great fun!). You’ll travel throughout the UK, meeting new and exciting people and regular training courses.

Career progression is our primary objective and promoting from within is one of our core values. People development is high on our agenda and we’ll nurture your talent to bring out the very best in you.

‘Aspire’ is a two year, fast-paced, jampacked programme focused on finding bright sparks and developing them into future leaders of our business.

Rise to the top

Join a growing, industry leading, award winning company...

You may not have heard of us before, but to say we are a large company is a bit of an understatement; we now employ almost 7,000 people. With a UK national network of 390 branches, we have a bigger footprint than any of our competitors. We are still growing at an impressive rate, which is great news for you, as growth means opportunity.

We’re in an industry worth £4bn per annum in the UK, with a diverse and interesting customer base. Our National Account customers include; Amey, British Telecom, Coca-Cola and Norland Managed Services. We’re also global; with businesses in the USA, Canada, Ireland, Spain and Australia.

We work with the very best suppliers, which means you get to develop your skills with the top supply chain partners. These include global organisations such as Schneider and Siemens. Plus we’ve got over 10,000 other suppliers helping us to deliver the right products and services to our hundreds of thousands of customers every single day.

We also boast dozens of our own industry leading brands, many produced right here in the UK, in our own manufacturing plants (yes, UK manufacturing!).

We won not one, but two awards at the Electrical Wholesaler Awards in 2016. Best Website Award for and the Training Excellence Award for the Aspire training programme; the very scheme you are reading about now.

With such a variety of content covered on the course, there’ll never be a dull day. We’ve structured the course so you’ll gain and develop the essential skills required to reach the top.


  • Day to Day Operations
  • Customer Service Excellence
  • Commercial Business Training
  • Product Knowledge Training
  • Professional Sales Training
  • Management Training
  • Human Resources
  • Electrical Contractor (Three Month Placement)
  • Accountancy
  • IT and Marketing



    DAY 1

    Hit the ground driving...
    You’ll be introduced to your new colleagues and get to say hello to your new company car! Vroom, vroom!

    MONTHS 1 - 3

    Spend your first three months working at a CEF branch, becoming familiar with the company and our ethos whilst also learning about day to day operations.


    Just to make sure you have settled in...

    MONTHS 4 - 6

    Life on the other side of the counter
    Gain a unique insight into the expectations customers have of CEF whilst working on-site with one of our trusted customers.


    Let’s see how your first few months with the company have gone...

    MONTHS 7 - 9

    Out and about
    You’ll be given a variety of product training and get your first insight into the manufacturing side of the business.


    How have you developed since your last review?

    MONTHS 10 - 12

    Don’t get too comfy
    During the next three months you will continue to learn about our vast product range and get a taste of what life is like on the production line.


    Celebrate your success, review your first year at CEF and get ready for year two!


    In year two you will move quickly into the commercial side of the business, focusing heavily on sales and management ensuring you are ready to take on your first sales and management position with CEF.



    A warm welcome
    and wheels await you;
    so buckle up


    We have a master plan
    in place to ensure
    your success


    Keep hitting your
    targets and reap
    the rewards


    Woohoo! Your first
    sales management
    role starts now

    We kick start your year with a competitive salary of £18,250 plus a bonus of £750. We’ll also welcome you on your first day by handing over the keys to your fully expensed company car; after all we want you looking the part.

    You’ll also be given a development plan personally tailored to you with performance reviews throughout the year. We do like to take good care of you and make sure you’re settling in. With so many rewards and benefits there for the taking, the higher your achievements the higher your reward.



    The Aspire programme has allowed me to hit the ground running and I’ve already gained a wealth of experience and knowledge with the training provided. Learning the business from the ground up ensures I understand all aspects of our trade and the value each team member brings to the branch success. The contractor placement has proven to be invaluable in understanding our customer base and the hands on experience of products was fantastic! I would highly recommend the Aspire programme to anyone who is driven and willing to work from the grass roots to reach their full potential.

    Miss Sarah Hayhurst
    1st year Aspire

    Scotland East Group


    The Aspire Programme is a challenging yet exciting course, where I have learnt a huge amount. The diverse range of skills you are exposed to really puts you in good stead for when the programme finishes. I have now completed my 2 year training course and I’m proud to have been offered a position within National Accounts. The programme opens many doors, both in and outside the branch network. I have enjoyed the past 2 years and would recommend anyone who wants a challenge to highly consider this opportunity.

    Miss Charlotte Cross
    2nd year Aspire

    National Accounts - starting September 2016


    The Aspire course was by far one of the best experiences in my working career. It has enabled me to have a full understanding, in not only product knowledge but most importantly, how CEF works as a business. I have met some great people from all ver the nation that work within our company. Now just over a year after finishing the Aspire course I am extremely happy to say that I have recently started running my own branch at Greenwich. CEF really is such a great company, and I am very excited to see what my career holds.

    Mr Charlie Harwood
    Former Aspire Trainee

    Greenwich Branch Manager




    Our Senior Managers all worked their way to the top.

    Here’s where they all started:
    • 12 Van Drivers
    • 14 Sales Assistants
    • 1 Office Trainee
    • 11 Account Managers

    We also have colleagues who began their careers with CEF in the UK but are now located in many of our international businesses.

    Who knows where the future will take you, with 390 branches, 17 manufacturing operations, 16 distribution centres and operations in 5 other countries?

    We’ll also give you the opportunity to participate in the EDA (Electrical Distributors Association) product knowledge modules.

    How great would that be to achieve a recognised City and Guilds qualification along the way? It’s just another perk to the job!


    Let’s talk long term...

    On successful completion of the programme, you’ll go on to your first sales management role as an Account Manager (celebratory dance - woohoo!).

    This is just the beginning of a fast paced and rewarding career with CEF.

    From there you will then have the opportunity to progress to a Branch Manager role where you can expect to receive an average salary of... (drum roll please) £48K. Our top performers achieve in excess of a whopping £80K plus a company car to the value of £50K.

    Now that’s something to strive for!

    There’s no doubt about it, a career with CEF requires 100% commitment, dedication and hard work; bags of initiative and a real desire to succeed. But for the right bright spark, the rewards are there by the bucket full.

    Does this sound like you?

    You’ll also have the following minimum qualification: Bachelor of Honours Degree (any discipline), minimum 2.2 and a full UK driving licence. Do you tick all these boxes?

    Yes? Well then you’re just what we’re looking for!

    Why not come and meet us for yourself and hear first-hand what it’s like to be part of CEF from our graduates and senior staff members.

    We attend a number of graduate events up and down the country each year. Find out when and where we’ll be by visiting

    We can’t wait to meet you!

    STAGE 1

    Reckon you’re a BRIGHT SPARK*? Send us a copy of your all singing all dancing CV complete with cover letter to [email protected]

    STAGE 2

    Stand out above the rest and you will be asked to take part in a pre-screening telephone interview.

    STAGE 3

    Impress us over the phone and you’ll be invited to one of a number of UK locations for a face to face interview and we’ll take this chance to put your writing and numeracy skills to the test.

    STAGE 4

    Make a good first impression and pass our tests with flying colours and you will make the shortlist to meet with one of our Group Managers for a final interview where you will get a real taste for CEF and what we have to offer you!