Training

  • Expert training for electrical apprentices in Northern Ireland

    Eaton’s Electrical Sector, a manufacturer of components and systems for electrical engineering and automation, joined forces recently with the Electrical Training Trust (ETT) in Northern Ireland to deliver specialist training for apprentice electricians as part of the ETT’s Apprentice Week training event.

  • BSRIA launches introduction to BIM training course

    Interest around BIM (Building information modelling) is gathering apace, driven by the government’s requirement for Level 2 BIM to be used on all of its capital projects by 2016.

    A one-day course from BSRIA will give delegates a clear understanding of what BIM is, how it works, the UK Government’s strategy and what it means for construction projects.

  • Clarkson Evans training expands

    Electrical training specialists Clarkson Evans plans to open a new training centre in Birmingham this June. The centre has been purpose-built for delivering a wide range of City & Guilds courses and bespoke electrical training.

    Clarkson Evans is already well established in Gloucestershire, where it has trained several thousand electricians and apprentices since 1998.

  • Purpose-built renewable training centre for Devon

    Bicton EaRTH (Environmental & Renewable Technologies Hub, will be opened on the 11 May by Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, secretary of state for education.

    Bicton College in Devon, is officially launching its renewable skills training centre after only two years from conception to design and completion. Bicton College is historically a land-based college, and this move into the renewable energy sector demonstrates their awareness of the pressing need for sustainability in land-based industries.

  • Don’t waste taxpayer cash on worthless training courses, warns ECA

    The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) is calling on government to clamp down on substandard apprenticeships and ensure taxpayer cash goes to courses that will get people jobs, following the publication of a report on adult apprenticeships.

  • Introduction to Machine Safety training workshop

    Leuze electronic’s next free-of-charge Introduction to Machine Safety training workshop is on Tuesday 31 January, at the offices of the HMK Direct in Congleton, East Cheshire.

    With the support of HMK this is the first time these popular half-day training workshops have been held in the North West.

  • Government pilot gives employers more control over skills training

    Steve Bratt, CEO of the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), has welcomed today’s announcement from the prime minister that a £250m fund will be made available to employers over the next two years. The fund will enable employers to design, develop and purchase vocational training programmes which they actually need.

    Bratt said: “Skills are integral to the growth of our economy, so this new pilot should offer the government a strong return on investment. By making training options employer-led, firms can ensure that their workers have the skills required. Currently, businesses are shouldering the cost of training but this is a huge strain, especially for SMEs, given the current economic climate and particularly in sectors such as electrical, where an apprenticeship takes three years to complete.

    “However, the government must ensure that approved applications represent a real benefit to businesses by providing meaningful, hands-on work experience, and industry-recognised qualifications.”

    Bratt added: “The ECA recently launched a campaign called ‘Wired for Success’ which aims to make the electrical industry more accessible to women – who currently constitute less than one per cent of our industry. Traditional training routes can act as a barrier to entry, but Wired for Success has created a flexible training model. We believe this programme is a blueprint for success which can be applied across other sectors and hope that money can be drawn down to fund innovative initiatives such as this.”
    For more information on Wired for Success, please visit the website or follow the campaign on Twitter: @wiredforsuccess, or watch the video on YouTube:

  • Opinion/training - Pulling together

    Confusion reigns but QCF promises to deliver tangible benefits to the electrical  industry says Ann Watson, managing director of EAL (EMTA Awards)

  • Opinion/training - Green light for the electrical industry to flourish

    Iain Macdonald, head of education and training at the Electrical Contractors'  Association (ECA), discusses what the sustainability agenda and the Low Carbon Skills Consultation will mean for the electrical industry

  • Opinion/training - Funding shortfalls

    It has been widely reported the new coalition government refuses to rule out a rise in university tuition fees. It has also been widely reported that the Russell Group of leading universities is calling for a fee rise, arguing that students should pay more towards the cost of their courses. Engineering degrees are expensive to deliver, and the natural worry is the subject could see dramatic fee increases, which would deter students from applying, exacerbating the country's skills shortages

  • Launch of new training facility

    EPIT Group has announced the opening of its newly completed, custom built, training centre in Blackburn, Aberdeen, UK.

    The new facility will allow the group to accelerate its growth strategy, as it increases the capacity for providing specialist training and assessment services to engineers working in hazardous and industrial environments. With three additional training rooms and a purpose built electrical/instrument practical area, HV/LV and cable glanding courses are catered for as well.

    EPIT Group will be delivering an extensive portfolio of nationally recognised, competency based courses, in this new accredited training centre including the CompEx scheme, as directed by EEMUA, and Competency Plus courses, which are certified by OPITO.

    Delegates are assured of a first class training experience and will also have access to a modern canteen area along with the use of an internet cafe.

    JCE Group
    01224 798600
    www.jcegroup.com

  • Environmental training still has way to go

    The amount of environmental technology training available is not enough to meet potential demand, and could lead to rogue traders and poorly installed kit, according to a new report by SummitSkills, the sector skills council for the building services engineering (BSE) sector.

  • Click Scolmore provides boost to NICEIC Training

    Training facilities at the NICEIC's head office in Luton have received a boost with the installation of training boards produced and supplied by Click Scolmore.

  • The Faraday Training Group

    Wind Turbine High Voltage Safety Operations Training

    Web: Click here for The Faraday Training Group website

    Tel: 01642-467236

    Since its establishment in 1991, The Faraday Centre has become one of the UK’s leading organisations specialising in electrical power training.

  • Training - Staying ahead of the game

    The Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) and leading awarding body EAL have   worked together to develop qualifications specifically tailored to meet industry needs. Here, Iain Macdonald (pictured), Head of Education and Training at the ECA, and Ann Watson, Managing Director of EAL, look at issues faced by contractors, and the importance of training to stay ahead of the game

    Challenges to Training

    Iain MacDonald outlines the challenges to training:
    Recent years have seen dramatic and rapid changes to training and skills requirements in the electrotechnical industry, resulting from; advancements in technology, changes in regulation and legislation, and the government's sustainability agenda. To remain competitive, firms are faced with the issue of keeping operatives up-to-date, leading to an increased need for workforce training.

    Training is costly and requires a significant investment of time off the job. In light of this, I believe it would be fair to say that many firms only train when they have no other choice; when legislation dictates or accreditation is required by third parties. In an increasingly competitive market, this attitude to improving and consolidating skills may now put the future of businesses at stake. In an era where clients and specifiers are increasingly asking contractors to demonstrate competence and qualifications in the work they carry out, one of the best ways for them to do so is to train their workforce.

    Faced with a wide choice of contractors in a highly competitive market, clients are increasingly likely to employ firms with the credentials to satisfy their expectations and legal obligations. Those with a trained and qualified workforce make a statement that they are likely to be competent and up-to-date with industry best practice.

    There are, of course, always firms that rely solely on their track record, reputation and experience to win business, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, in a market that is increasingly defined by specialist areas such as fire, security, datacomms and now, sustainability, conventional electrical contractors that would traditionally see such work as ‘their' business are finding that clients are increasingly looking for proof that a firm is ‘qualified' to carry out the work. The result is a rapid growth in the certification of firms, often underpinned by a requirement to prove the skills and qualifications of the workforce.
    There are many reasons why contractors should ensure that training remains a priority even in the current downturn, however, the ECA's ‘Incentives and Barriers to Training' report, published last year, identified several significant challenges to training. The two central issues were financial constraints, and a lack of understanding amongst employers of competency requirements and the wide range of training options available. These challenges, and ways around them, will be analysed in more detail later. First, let's examine the main drivers of change:

    Sustainability
    The government has set an ambitious target of 60% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. The construction industry plays a key role in this and is experiencing a marked impact in terms of growing legal and technical requirements on projects at all levels from design to completion.

    As the demand for intelligent building solutions grows and technological advancements increase, specialist firms will undoubtedly capitalise on the business opportunities their skills and qualifications provide by creating a niche market for a particular discipline, thus presenting ever more competition for the general electrical contractor.

    Standards to underpin training and qualifications in support of sustainable technologies are still to be developed and, in the meantime, firms should be careful to obtain qualifications from reputable sources. It is hoped that, once developed, qualifications such as this will provide contractors with quality-assured instruction, assessment and certification, enabling them to comply with increasingly strict environmental legislation, and distinguish themselves from competitors.

    17th Edition
    Last year we saw the most complete overhaul of the basic industry regulations in sixteen years, in the form of BS7671: 2008 The 17th Edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations.
    Significantly, the new regulations now impose a legal requirement on the client to take responsibility for ensuring that any work commissioned is in compliance. The client's duty is no longer to simply go with the best price, but also to ensure competence, safety and quality by contracting those with sufficient technical knowledge of the regulations. As a consequence, we now see clauses in contracts specifying that contractors demonstrate competence to carry out work that complies, with the most effective way of satisfying this requirement being proof of up-to-date industry recognised qualifications.

    These changes will have had most impact on those contractors with plentiful experience but little in the way of formal training. New entrants to the sector, and operatives who have not undertaken any formal qualification on the 16th Edition since 2001 require a full course, while those with qualifications taken after 2001 may only need to undertake a shorter update course. The ECA has worked with EAL and other awarding bodies to offer both the full and update 17th Edition diplomas. Another valuable qualification is the Level 2 Certificate for Domestic Electrical Installers, incorporating the necessary knowledge requirements for the majority of Part P Competent Persons Schemes.


    Business Benefits of Training

    Ann Watson continues on the business benefits of training:
    We have seen that during times of financial uncertainty, training and the additional associated costs become less of a priority for businesses. In the current financial climate, many companies will be tempted to slash training budgets. But during a recession, companies investing in training are 2.5 times less likely to go under. So, however difficult it might be to sustain investment in training during this time, to do otherwise could lead to substantial problems in the long term.

    There are significant business advantages associated with investment in training. Whilst it may be tough to secure the required budgets during the recession, if training can be sustained, the return on that initial investment will include benefits for both employers and employees alike. For example, certain qualifications and training courses can help improve business knowledge, performance and productivity, making companies more robust and successful. By increasing efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace, training can aid turnover and reduce business costs, as well as boosting employee confidence, morale and motivation, therefore assisting with recruitment and retention. Similarly, demonstrating the high quality performance of a skilled and motivated workforce to existing and potential customers could lead to new or repeat business.

    By providing employees with the opportunity to work towards nationally recognised qualifications and obtain transferable abilities, skills and knowledge, training will aid employees' career development opportunities. With the future of the industry dependent on training as a method of easing the skills crisis, investment in training is crucial in order to secure the future strength of the industry.

    Funding & Advice
    Government funding to undertake training programmes may be available to employers, regardless of their business size, through initiatives such as Train to Gain. Further information and advice on these initiatives, including details of how to apply, are available from Sector Skills Councils such as SummitSkills. Members of the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) may also be able to access the ECA Training Fund, a £10m fund created to help member firms by reimbursing the course costs of approved adult training programmes. Level 3 and Level 4 Electrotechnical NVQs approved by SummitSkills are included in the ECA's list of qualifications that are available for funding, such as EAL's Building Service Engineering Technology and Project Management NVQs at Level 3 and 4, along with NVQs focusing on management and in-company career development programmes.

    In Summary
    I believe that through sustained investment in high-quality training relevant to business objectives, employers can ensure that their organisations are equipped with a competitive edge in preparation for eventual economic upturn. High standards of skill and expertise remain very much in demand in the electrical industry. By undertaking the necessary training and striving to deliver best practice, electrical contractors of all sizes can remain competitive. Firms that face the challenges brought about by changing training requirements and turn them into business benefits will be best placed to survive difficult times and prosper in the future.

    Securing the future of the industry is of paramount importance, and this can only be achieved through sustained investment in training. We will continue to work with industry bodies such as the ECA, along with our own specialist in-house experts, to ensure that our qualifications are fit for purpose, flexible and of the high quality required. Doing so will enable us to assist businesses and the industry as a whole to remain strong, despite the current downturn.

  • Cross-skilling to reduce costs with MCP’s Mechanical to Electrical Training

    Maintaining and upgrading the skills of operators and technicians is imperative to success  and can be achieved through cross-skilling.  Teaching operators basic electrical skills such as MCP's Mechanical to Electrical training course provides them with the knowledge they need to perform maintenance and fault-finding on the production line.  With 24 hour manufacturing, operators skilled in basic electrical skills will have the level of competency required to get a line up and running quickly should a fault occur.  It also reduces the need for qualified electricians to be called out.

    MCP has trained over 1000 people in the City and Guilds accredited Mechanical to Electrical training course.  The programme is designed for technicians who have no previous electrical background, to enable them to work on specific electrical tasks competently and safely. 

    Organisations who have participated in MCP's course include Muller Dairy, United Biscuits, Johnson Controls, Stansted Airport, Scottish & Newcastle, Haydens Bakeries, Mars Snack Foods, Robert Wiseman Dairies, Apetito, Tilda and Sara Lee.

    Book onto MCP's Mechanical to Electrical Course now, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call 0121 506 9034.  www.mcpeurope.com/training

  • Cummins Power Generation delivers IET endorsed training

    The design and specification for diesel generator set installation can be a challenging task for project engineers. Whether existing systems are being updated or new installations selected it's vital the specifying engineer understands the size, type and characteristics of the load to be supplied by a generator in any particular situation in order to deliver a smart solution that saves  time, labour and money.

    In response to this, Cummins Power Generation, a world leader in the design and manufacture of power generation equipment, provides the industry's first training course specific to high speed diesel generator technology to be fully endorsed by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

    The two-day power training course, held at its European headquarters in Ramsgate, Kent, is aimed at those involved in specifying and designing diesel generator systems. It provides engineers with an understanding of the mechanical and electrical aspects of installation. Covering fundamentals of installation, controls, generator ratings, exhaust emissions and sound attenuation, as well as ISO application model expertise in generator set sizing, the information is delivered through a mix of classroom presentations, hands-on product demonstrations, a plant tour of the 300,000 sq.ft. facility, and an open discussion forum.   Delegates  have the opportunity to expand their understanding of diesel generators and learn how to avoid common pitfalls of the specifying process.

    Information is delivered directly by experts in the field. The course instructors each draw on decades of application and installation experience with diesel generator systems. Andy Underwood, general manager, Cummins Power Generation Europe says, "Engineers are not experts in terms of diesel generator technology, it's a small part of their job, but if they are not armed with an understanding when specifying diesel standby systems, it can result in wasted time and money. By learning from the experts, the course arms them with the knowledge they need to provide smart solutions, shorter quoting times and reduced specifying times."

    Power Training runs four times a year and covers all aspects of specifying solutions from standard to non-standard applications. For standard applications, the delegates are shown the benefits of using standard fully integrated and pre-integrated products as a cost-effective solution. These products are beneficial to the end user in terms of saving time, labour and money, as well as reducing space requirements of added equipment and reducing installation costs.

    The course is designed so the information the experts deliver is not only presented from the point of view of Cummins Power Generation generators but is also easy to generalise to other manufacturer's products.

    Further Power Training course dates are now planned for 6 - 7 July, 14- 15 September and 7 - 8 December 2009.   For more information or to register please visit cumminspower.com/en/services/training/powertraining/

  • ECA and LIF tackle training and efficiency

    Two trade associations representing the electrical contracting and lighting industries have become partners to bring lighting training and qualifications to the electrical contracting industry. 

    Under the agreement signed this month by David Pollock, group CEO of the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA) and Eddie Taylor, chief eExecutive of the Lighting Industry Federation (LIF), the two bodies will collaborate to jointly build training qualifications and expand the development of the existing training courses to satisfy the changing needs of those engaged in lighting installation and maintenance work.

    David Pollock said "We are delighted to be able to work with our LIF colleagues to progress qualifications and training standards for electrical contractors involved in the hugely important lighting sector. ECA and LIF also share a mutual objective to drive forward the energy efficient lighting agenda".

    The agreement paves the way for the development of joint courses and other training projects, and both Associations are keen to promote increased specification and installation of cost and energy saving lighting solutions within existing buildings as well as new properties.

    Eddie Taylor said "Training in lighting knowledge and skills is vital to the development of our members' businesses and the customer service they offer. ECA and LIF have co-operated closely over many years on areas of common interest to both industries, I'm very pleased therefore with this new initiative with respect to training between the two organisations."

    The partnership also brings immediate benefits to members of both Associations, who can take advantage of reciprocal member rates across existing ECA and LIF training courses.


  • Update for troubleshooting training software

    Simutech Multimedia, a specialist in simulation-based electrical troubleshooting training software, has announced the release of Version 4 of its Troubleshooting Skills Series software, for immediate availability. The new version of the software has been completely re-designed and re-developed with comprehensive learning modules, improved simulation capabilities and an enhanced evaluation system.

    The updated titles in the Troubleshooting Skills Series V4 include Troubleshooting Electrical Circuits, Troubleshooting Control Circuits, and Troubleshooting Motor Circuits.

    A significant improvement in the Troubleshooting Skills Series V4 is the inclusion of more informational content. Each title in the series now includes in-depth instructional content modules that teach specific troubleshooting skills and strategies. These content modules contain much more information and feature new videos that demonstrate specific concepts and techniques.

    "The additional content really focuses on helping learners to develop a strong foundation of the most critical troubleshooting concepts," said Warren Rhude, President of Simutech Multimedia Inc., and former troubleshooting trainer. "The new hands-on practice simulations and labs provide users with immediate practice and valuable experience using newly learned techniques."

    Using a completely new development platform and completely rebuilt simulations, the new version of the Troubleshooting Skills Series offers improved simulation environments with more realistic simulation behavior. Users now have the ability to remove multiple wires, trace wire paths, and inspect components in the circuit for defects.

    The enhanced simulations also offer more accurate component behavior, such as realistic behavior under fault conditions, accurate transformer regulation, and accurate motor voltages and currents under varying load. Another added feature is the ability to customize regional settings for North American or European standards including prints, diagrams and equipment design considerations.

    The new programs are also equipped with a powerful evaluation system which offers more thorough scoring and makes this version of the software a much more valuable training tool. Streamlined Fault Evaluation summaries and at-a-glance Level Evaluation summaries allow both learners and instructors to easily track and evaluate progress and find areas for improvement.

    With this new release, each title now includes more built-in faults and is available in four editions. The Student and Expert Editions are available for personal use, while the Business and Enterprise Editions are available for use in business and industry, as well as the educational sector.

    Simutech Multimedia

    www.simutechmultimedia.com

  • NICEIC introduces alternative to classroom training

    17th Edition training can currently involve up to three days in a classroom, plus a fourth day allocated for sitting the online examination.

    NICEIC has recognised how difficult and expensive it can be for electricians to take four days out of work to attend classroom-based courses. Working with e-learning experts, Virtual College, NICEIC has put the face-to-face training delivery into an online course.

    This means delegates can access 17th Edition training at a time, place and pace to suit them, potentially saving them from losing four days of site work.

    The online course keeps track of your progress and bookmarks where the delegate has got up to; so small bite-sized chunks are just as possible as larger online training sessions.

    Delegates can sit the course over a number of nights, weeks or months - it's totally flexible and NICEIC has structured the course into short interactive e-learning modules. Once these are completed one can undertake a number of online revision tests that will check the user is ready for entry to the final assessment.

    "The fact electricians can now access a 17th Edition course at a flexible time and place to suit them is an important step, especially in the current economic climate," says Alan Wells, head of electrotechnical, NICEIC Group. "This online learning facility, as well as the introduction of our virtual reality PIR course, means NICEIC is truly pioneering electrical training methods in the UK today."

    The course is available from 1 February 2010. For more details visit www.niceic.com and click on training or call 0870 013 0389.

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