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According to a survey recently carried out by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), there is a recruitment crisis that's really starting to escalate as we move into 2020. 

In the last quarter of 2019, a record-breaking number of British firms reported that they were having issues finding skilled worker, with a net amount of 52% reporting supply issues. This is the highest this statistic has been in nearly five years!

Contractors are calling for government intervention in the hope for better training programs and more qualified workers to fill the skills gap. The Chief Executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Alisdair Reisner expressed his concerns that;

"The pipeline of planned investment in the infrastructure sector is of a sufficient scale to be transformative to the whole UK economy, but unless the workforce is sufficiently skilled in all part of the UK, our members will be unable to deliver the work to its full potential".

Reisner believes that only co-operation between the industry and the government will lead to the creation of a comprehensive skills plan, a plan that's desperately needed if it's going to be possible to upskill the existing workforce and entice new workers to the trade. An 'infrastructure revolution' is what's required to protect the fate of the British economy in the coming years. 

How can you help to fill the skills shortage gap?

Civil engineering is only one of the many areas lacking in skilled workers in the UK today, there are so many different professions crying out for newly qualified workers - could that be you?

Here at Access Training Academies, we offer a range of courses that will set you up for a lucrative career in the construction industry! Select a trade below to see the courses we offer:

To read more about this story, click here. If you'd like to contact us about learning a new trade, give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

Can an Electrician Install a Vehicle Charger?

 

With more and more people shifting towards a sustainable-focused lifestyle, there is no surprise that the demand and popularity in environmentally-friendly living solutions have increased. More people are buying into and investing in green alternatives in their day-to-day lives, particularly the vehicles that they drive and ride.

Despite both pure electric and hybrid electric vehicles, commonly referred to as EV’s, only accounting for a small share of the new car market in the UK, figures have steadily grown in the past few years. However, one of the primary concerns amongst the public is the lack of charging infrastructure available. This presents an opportunity for individuals who are skilled and qualified in installing electric charging points to accommodate homes and businesses that may require the needed infrastructure. But who can install a vehicle charger? Any qualified, experienced electrician can. Having this skill within your arsenal can be a lucrative opportunity for any experienced electrician. As more people turn to EV’s, more people will need charging points installed, thus creating increased work!

Here at Access Training Academies, we now offer a fantastic 2-day electrical vehicle charging point installation course, designed for experienced electrical installers who are looking to add this niche skill to their range of electrical abilities. Completion of this course will allow electricians to achieve the Level 3 Award in the Requirements for the Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Points and enable them to register on the Rolec approved installer scheme, which can lead to a number of rob referrals and grants of up to £500 per installation through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

Course Requirements

Before applying for our electrical vehicle charging point installation course, electricians are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 18+
  • Experience of installing PVC/PVC cable and SWA cable
  • Ability to provide initial verification on electrical installations (including paperwork)
  • Up-to-date knowledge of 18th Edition Wiring Regulations

As well as possessing the above, the main thing that is required from electricians looking to become qualified in installing vehicle charges is competence. EV charging point installations can be very dangerous as there can be very high charging currents and risk of exporting the PME earth if not installed correctly. Electricians need to understand earthing and bonding relating to EV charge points and the general requirements of the installation such as selecting the correct RCD’s, having the dedicated circuits and isolation. Installing an electric vehicle charger isn’t the same as installing a standard 13A socket. There are specific regulations, such as BS7671:2018 Section 722 and the Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation – 3rd Edition, that outline all of the necessary information associated with EV charger installation.

Benefits

If you feel that you have the required level of competence, then completing our course can be a very attractive option for any experienced electrician. Once approved by OLEV, you will need to provide monthly reports to the scheme. After every install, you will need to provide specific documentation in order to claim back the government grant. If you work in an efficient manner and manage overheads properly, the returns on installing EV chargers can be huge.

If you’re getting an EV charge point installed at your home or business, then you will need to ensure that your installer has sat a necessary course and has achieved the required qualifications. If they haven’t, then these electricians are at risk of breaching the Electricity At Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR 1989) which is a statutory requirement. They could potentially be installed charge points that do not meet BS7671 or EAWR 1989, which puts you at risk.

If you are thinking about adding EV charge point installation to your skill set and would like to learn more about how Access Training can help, then click below to learn more about our course.

Our Electrical Vehicle Charging Point Installation Course >

 

To learn more about our course, the requirements and what happens on completion, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team today.

Essential Tools for Electricians

No matter what trade you happen to work in, you’ll most definitely have a preferred set of tools that you use to get a job done. For electricians, there will be some tools that you will swear by, whilst others may believe they’re not that important. However, there are a number of tools that are absolutely essential for all electricians not only to get a job done safely but effectively and to an excellent standard.

Here we provide a list of some of the essential tools for electricians and what they are used for:

  1. Multimeter

A multimeter measures a number of electrical properties such as voltage, current and resistance. They are available as analogue or digital devices with newer models featuring a host of sophisticated bells and whistles such as thermal imaging cameras and Bluetooth.

 

  1. Voltage Tester

Working as an electrician, it’s crucial to know whether a wire or device is ‘live’ because if you do find yourself working on something that is live, there could well be some dangerous consequences. Used for a fast safety check to ensure there is no voltage in an electrical wire or device, voltage testers absolutely vital. If available, it’s recommended to use a non-contact voltage tester as these can detect electricity without ever touching the wire or outlet.

 

  1. Wire Strippers

With a variety of holes to enable you to work with different size wires, strippers are used to cut and strip insulation from the wire. The handle of the strippers should always be comfortable to hold and easy to grip. Some wire stripper will even be made with cutting teeth so you can trim the wire ends at the same time.

 

  1. Circuit Finder

Circuit directories are not always easy to find in some homes and at times, the service panel is very rarely matched with the complementary breaker. This is where a circuit finder comes in! Simply plug the transmitter into the outlet and detector will figure out where the matching directory is. Circuit finders are also a very handy piece of equipment to trace a circuit.

 

  1. Specialised Screwdrivers and Nut Drivers

Even though they may not seem like trade-specific pieces of equipment and indeed, they’re not, as most people around the world are sure to have some form of screw or nut driver in their personal toolbox. However, there are some screw and nut drivers that have been manufactured specifically for electrical work.

 

Aside from specialised drivers, it’s important to make sure you always have Philips head and flathead screwdrivers with you at all times. Whether it’s removing and installing switches, outlets, cover plates or other devices, these tools will always come in handy. Be sure to have a variety of size options also, as this will keep you well-equipped for any task.

 

  1. Pliers

A good, solid pair of pliers is a must-have for any and every electrician. Handles need to be comfortable and easy to grip, that open and close is a nice, smooth manner. Having several size options again would be ideal to suit a range of tasks. Besides the traditional pair of pliers, there are others that will most definitely come in handy for any sparky. These include:

  • Side-cutting and diagonal-cutting – Used to cut wires to specific lengths
  • Tongue and groove – Used to remove knockouts from metal electrical boxes and tighten clamps.
  • Needle-nose or long nose – Made with thin, grasping ends, these pliers make it easier to reach small spaces.

 

  1. Fish Tape

Also known as ‘draw wire’ or ‘electricians snake’, this handy tool is used to pull and push stranded or sold wire through a conduit or fishing cables across ceilings or down walls. It can be retracted and deployed when needed as it comes on a reel which always means it’s easy to grip.

 

  1. Multi-Functional Tester

Without a doubt, one of the most essential tools for an electrician, the multi-functional tester or MFT is a requirement for any electrician to ensure that any installation is correctly installed and that all test readings meet the requirements as laid out in the IET regulations.

 

  1. Battery Drill

Battery drills are used by electricians to drill holes in wood, walls or other tough surfaces and fixing screws and fasteners onto surfaces. The type of drill used will vary depending on the task-at-hand, for example, a lower-voltage cordless drill might be used when fastening work is required. Whereas for drilling into concrete, a hammer drill would be used as this provides increased impact and will drill holes at a faster rate.

 

  1. Electrical Wall Chaser

A fantastic time-saving tool, electric wall chasers are used to cut narrow grooves and channels into walls in order to install cables or a conduit. The electric motor powers electric discs similar to those found in angle grinders and some even come with a vacuum cleaner connection, allowing for great dust-free working environments.

 

And there you have it, the best and most essential tools for electricians! For those of you just starting out your career in the electrical industry, we hope our list of top tools can help provide you with some quality additions to your toolbox to help make your electrical work safer and much more efficient. To those of you who are considering entering the electrical industry, we can also help with our range of electrician courses! All of which guarantee the skills, knowledge and qualifications needed to embark on a successful career as an electrician.

Browse Our Electrical Courses >