Electrical industry: The crisis we face! PART TWO
What type of crazy world do we live in where the picture in this blog is acceptable on a site? Its not a set up either, that was a genuine picture I took myself a few years ago when I was an apprentice. The worse thing of all? It was connected to a transformer being used by qualified electricians! Just think about that for a moment, someone with a gold ECS card had deemed that acceptable and the site manager turned a blind eye when I raised how dangerous it was. After all I was only the apprentice, the boy on site, what do I matter?
Lets fast forward to 2018, ive been a subby for just over 12 months and every single job I have been on has left me scratching my head with disbelief at how bad things have been done. No earthing on metal containment, wrong size cable being used, lack of RCD protection, circuits lashed into boards and by far the worse and most common is no testing before circuits are switched on.
For me the reason for these things happening is one of two things, “boil in the bag sparks” the ones who do a 16 week course and come out the other side with a gold card or unqualified workers who are used as cheap labour and say yes to every task for fear of being pumped.
Now its very easy to point the finger at the workers and lay the blame with them, which is fair to a degree, they definitely should know what they are comfortable with doing and need to say no when tasked with jobs out of their comfort zone. However we should aim more anger at the fact these quick courses are even a thing and look to eliminate them and second to that educate workers to hold themselves with higher regard and stop being pushed to carry out work they lack the skill set for.
In a perfect world all electricians would have served an apprenticeship over 4 years gaining both the key education and experience needed to be a spark. So why are they not offered to people of any age looking to re-train? Why can’t we pay a 30 year old man or woman a fair wage whilst still offering an apprenticeship? When you consider how many electrical mates are on site earning £100-£150 a day who are un-skilled, not being mentored and pushed to do jobs they shouldn't be dreaming of, surely it makes sense to start offering more to people who are looking to learn but cant secure an apprenticeship because of age and financial responsibilities.
We need huge change when it comes to how people receive training, that much is clear. The EWB is actively tackling de-skilling in the industry and are marching in protest on the 30th October to highlight this as well as the problems with payroll companies, umbrella payments and the rights we should get as limb-b workers.
We would love your support and hope to see as many of you as possible on the day.
All the details are on our website: