John O’Neill, Director of Technical for NICEIC & ELECSA, gives us his take on the bigger picture for the years ahead and offers his predictions for training patterns in 2020.
The last decade was not a great one for reputation of the construction industry in many ways. We witnessed the tragedy of Grenfell and felt the criticism of the Hackitt review of building regulations. Whilst we can’t change the past, we can change what we all do in the future.
Now more than ever, as we face increasing demands on our skills and time, the electrotechnical industry must come together to promote what we do. We must become a positive force, supporting each other and making our profession more attractive to younger generations and customers alike.
The new Government has already begun to outline changes to policy and consumer expectations and demands are starting to alter too. All of this will drive challenge and opportunity.
The ability to demonstrate competence is set to become increasingly important in a post Grenfell world – but what needs to sit alongside it is a willingness to stay committed to our industry. As proud tradespeople, we know that competence is fundamental to ensure that we operate safely and effectively, but beyond that we also need to commit to:
-discuss, debate and treat each other with respect
-accept when things haven’t gone right and make changes to improve
-keep our skills, knowledge and experience up to date
I’ll be working with colleagues across the industry to ensure that we keep to these pledges and hope that 2020 will provide opportunities to show this in action.
EV will be the training option of choice
According to Neil Vincent, NICEIC’s Head of Training, these commitments, especially the focus on skills and knowledge, are already beginning to take shape. He predicts that many electricians will make electric vehicle courses their training option of choice this year.
He says: “We’ve seen a huge rise in contractor interest in training regarding electric vehicles. Over 1,000 contractors came through our doors to complete the 96 EV courses that we held last year.”
With the TESLA Model 3 becoming the third bestselling vehicle in the UK, the second-hand market for this type of vehicle is growing steadily. Volkswagen has also announced that it expects to produce a million electric vehicles by 2023. As such, Neil believes that consumers are starting to show their willingness to commit to electric vehicles.
“Our training provides the basis to develop knowledge and skills in this area. It is provider agnostic, meaning that it is not linked to any of the manufacturers but provides a sound understanding of the requirements surrounding installation and OLEV funding”, he explains.
“It covers the requirements of BS 7671 with regards to the new section on electrical vehicle charging points, discussing how the electrical supply can be delivered from both private and public supplies. It allows participants to understand how to install these points in compliance with BS 7671, the Electrical Safety Quality and Continuity Regulations and the new IET Code of Practice, and will be updated as/when the first amendment lands.
“With 67 courses scheduled for the first quarter of this year – across 20 locations – there are plenty of options to choose from.”
Get dates, availability and booking details for the NICEIC EV training course at: https://www.niceic.com/contractor/training/electrical-courses/electric-vehicle-charging-course