Training for the future - The nature of electrical contracting has changed dramatically in recent years

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The economic downturn has meant firms or individuals who previously might have been comfortable carrying out work in niche markets, have had to seek out opportunities elesewhere. Firms are diversifying into into new areas and learning new skills as they look to offer customers a complete solution. A switch to greener thinking also means customers’ demands have changed – and contractors have had to adapt

 

Whether it’s providing advice around energy consumption, installing new, hi tech gadgetry or just offering a range of sustainable solutions there is a requirement on contractors to have the knowledge and skills to deliver these services.

Over the last few years training provider NICEIC has seen a growing number of electrical, gas and heating & plumbing contractors sign up on its various training programmes that look to the future to make sure they have the skillset to take advantage.  Here we take a look at some of the courses and training solutions on offer.

Green Deal
After a stuttering start following it’s official launch in Jaunary this year, Green Deal - the government’s flagship policy to tackle energy efficiency  - seems to be kickstarting into gear.

The finance plans, which were initially seen as a barrier to uptake, are now in place and the number of assessments undertaken in the last two months show interest is on the rise with DECC (Department for Energy and Climate Control) reporting more than 9,000 assesments lodged in April alone.
Green Deal gives people the opportunity to improve the efficiency of their homes, make them warmer and protect themselves from rising energy bills. They can do this by applying a range of energy saving measures to their property with cash incentives available for each.

To successfully deliver the Green Deal a network of approved Green Deal advisors and installers are needed and the number of businesses now getting on board continues to rise steadily.

Almost 50 firms are now authorised as providers, with a further 831 registered to carry out installations and over a thousand individuals registered to offer assessments.

NICEIC is the leading award body for Green Deal accreditation with more than 380 companies now signed up for Green Deal installer certification with the organisation. In addition

NICEIC can also offer accreditation to any firm or individual wishing to become a Green Deal Assessor.

“Green Deal is an exciting new area for  contractors,” said Nick Wright, Green Deal project manager at NICEIC. “The government is committed to ensuring that all work undertaken via Green Deal is carried out by registered firms and with interest in the initiative now ramping up we are seeing more and more firms look to get involved.”

Any business wishing to undertake work under the Green Deal as an installer must have certification against the Green Deal Installer Standard - PAS 2030: Improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings – Specification for installation procedures, process management and service provision.

For organisations that are familiar with the requirements of the Microgeneration Certificate Scheme (MCS), this should be familiar territory.
NICEIC currently runs training courses on Green Deal PAS 2030. The course is for contracting firms of all sizes and provides guidance on the processes required to meet the Quality Management System for PAS2030.

In addition NICEIC also offer a Level 3 certificate in Domestic Energy Assessment (QCF) which enables candidates to carry out energy assessments and perform Energy Performance Certificates. Successful candidates can then progress to the Level 3 Diploma in Green Deal advice to become a Green Deal Advisor.

For more information about Green Deal log on to www.niceic.com/greendeal or email greendeal@niceic.com

Electric Vehicles
As the transport industry looks to the replacement of ‘heavy polluting’ petrol and diesel vehicles with cleaner electrical versions the contracting industry is in a good place to benefit.
The demand for electric cars is growing steadily and so is the need to build a network of charging points across the country. Only electrical contractors with the appropriate qualifications will be allowed to carry out this work.

In preparation, NICEIC has already teamed up with electric vehicle charging point experts Rolec EV to offer specialist training for anyone looking to move into this market.
The one day course is designed specifically for anyone wanting to get involved in the electrical vehicle charging industry. The course covers:
• a general introduction to the electric vehicle industry
• an overview of the type of EVs available
• an insight into government legislation and incentives
• BS7671 supply, installation and protection requirements
• the IET code of practice

Successful candidates will have a fundamental knowledge of the supply, installation and protection requirements necessary for the installation of electric vehicle charging points.

They will also have the opportunity to go onto a centralised register which will be distributed throughout the EV industry enabling them to contact a contractor who has completed the course.

Home Automation
Just as the transport industry is looking to the future so too is the building sector.

The design of homes, and the way we interact with buildings has changed immensely over the past decade. The use of hi-tec electrical systems around the home has imploded – whether it’s for security, entertainment or just to reduce energy demands.

Homes are being designed around technology and this will only increase in the future. This is driving innovation and creating more and more opportunities for electricians who are needed to install all this new technology.

NICEIC currently runs a one day training course for electrical contractors looking to branch out into home automation work.

Working in partnership with Click Scolmore and smart home product specialist iNELS, the course covers work involving a range of transmitters and receivers. By the end of the day candidates have gained practical experience of programming and be able to control lights and blinds via a transmitter. They will also be able to identify situations where the iNELS RF control system might be suitable.

In addition the course programme covers: component recognition and design, wiring regulations, lighting and blind controls, RF pilot installation and control, touch installation control, and heating controls explained.

The course costs just £99 plus VAT with £50 of goods also included.

Conclusion
In an increasingly competitive market it is vital that contractors who want to grow and develop their business can adapt to change and extend the range of services they offer.
The Green Agenda offers many opportunities for contractors with the appropriate skills. NICEIC is at the forefront of delivering courses that reflect these changes.

All the courses are developed and delivered by leading industry experts whose wealth of knowledge and experience ensures the training is clear, manageable and relevant.
Asad Majid, national training manager at NICEIC, said: “We are committed to providing the most appropriate and up-to-date knowledge, so that attendees to our training courses are equipped with the necessary skills to face the challenges of working in the trades profession.”

For more information about the courses on offer call 0870 013 0389 now or contact training@niceic.com or log on to www.niceic.com and click on training.

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