EAL is a company with electricity running through its veins. The specialist awarding organisation – that has helped more than 500,000 people from a variety of sectors embark on one of its qualifications over the last two years – has earned an unrivalled reputation for service and quality of customer care in electrical building services.
It may not enjoy such an exalted profile as some of its bigger brasher ‘competitors’, but having been flying somewhat below the radar for a number of years has paid dividends for the company and the industry.
EAL really is ‘Closer To Industry’
EAL works hand in hand with leading electrical employers and professional trade associations like NICEIC, to award qualifications that carry weight and respect with employers.
Its electrical qualifications are recognised by the Joint Industries Board (JIB) and trade associations.
Trailblazer standards and the introduction of the new 17th Edition amendment three is due out at the beginning of 2015 and EAL is ready for action.
Managing director Julia Chippendale said: “EAL has emerged as a key contributor to the sector – building a solid foundation of knowledge regarding regulations and qualifications and trust with our clients.
“Our product specialists are without doubt the best in the business – committed to quality of care – steeped in knowledge and hands on experience – and ahead of the curve in terms of regulatory change.
“EAL is here for the long haul. We take great pride in playing our part in skilling our nation – more than 50% of engineers in the UK have taken an EAL qualification – and we will continue to bring our expertise to bear in building services.
“City & Guilds is certainly bigger than us – but they are in no way better than us. Feedback from our clients shows how much our added value care and attention is cherished.
“Connectivity and flexibility are key – EAL customers have 24/7 access to our product specialists – and meet regularly to feedback and discuss any issues. This gives us total flexibility to ensure satisfaction and make any necessary tweaks that might be required.
“Regulations are changing on a continual basis – with the 17th amendment due out in January – and EAL prides itself on being in the best possible position to react and realign our awards accordingly.
“Having built a strong platform skilling the building services sector – we are committed to expanding and strengthening our activities and influence.”
Competition is Key
EAL – Playing Key Role in Regional Heats and National Finals
The clock is counting down and the pressure is on – 75,000 pairs of eyes straining to see who is going to crack under pressure or rise to the challenge and emerge victorious.
Sweat breaks out on the brows of a dozen young men as the competition reaches an agonizing crescendo.
No – it’s not a top sporting occasion – the Olympics, a rugby test or a major marathon – but the national finals of Electrical Skills competitions at the Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham.
These intrepid souls are putting the finishing touches to their wiring boards, which are about to be inspected by the best brains in the businesses – EAL external verifiers and product specialists.
If you have never been to the annual event at Birmingham’s NEC, go – if you think you have got what it takes, enter.
Hundreds of young apprentices with a vast array of skills gather to do battle to be the best in Britain – some will earn the right to represent their country at the World finals in far flung exotic places such as Sao Paulo or Abu Dhabi.
The ‘man in the middle’ refereeing the final is none other than Darren Oates, EAL building services product specialist. He is a man on a mission – to find the best of the best.
Darren, the 40-year-old father of two from Port Talbot, and a number of his colleagues give up hundreds of hours of their time, unpaid, each year to oversee these key competitions.
“This is my way of putting something back in to the industry that I love” said Darren – “Building services has given me a great living and a great life.
“I was an apprentice at 16 – and have known that I will always make a living. There is always work there if you want it. It’s a skill that society will always have a need for.
“New technology is emerging every day – there is always something to learn and master.
“Competitions are so important – to hone the skills of those that enter – but help set the bar high for the industry.
“We are a stakeholder in the competition – and revel in our role. We ensure consistency throughout the competition process.
“More than a hundred competitors underwent the rigours of what we threw at them this year – with regional heats in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.
“Our job is to decide who is the best of the best.
“I get a tremendous buzz out of it – witnessing at first hand competitors under extreme pressure producing work of an absolutely fantastic standard. Speed, agility and accuracy in action.
“Electrotechnical is on its way back – the sector has been in the doldrums for a while during the recession – but we are coming out of the bad times.
“A lot of smaller companies have emerged in recent years that have brought new life and vigour to the sector.”
Darren believes EAL is best equipped to deal with customer demands.
“Our regional electrotechnical forums are vital. We invite customers in and have a full and frank open session. We have a special relationship. Everyone has a contact number and email address – and they have direct contact whenever they have an issue.
“We are able to respond almost immediately, where other AO’s cannot, due to EAL employing a full time team of EV’s and product specialists. “It gives us an edge over all our competitors.”
Tel: +44 (0)1923 652400
Managing Director, EAL. Julia is responsible for shaping the future of EAL through strategic partnerships with government, industry bodies and Sector Skills Councils, in order to guide the provision of qualifications and services that meet current and emerging employer needs. She has previously worked for Semta which is Engineering Skills for the Future.
Product Specialist, EAL. electrical engineer trained in electrical/mechanical installation & maintenance. Darren said: “It’s my goal to be an integral team member for a leading awarding body. Ensuring that the high quality standards are maintained and to assist in expansion of the existing client base. It would also be my aim to ensure best practice is key, by consistently assisting, communicating and supporting customers.”