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ECA and NICEIC deliver 2021 Vision

THE ECA AND NICEIC HAVE worked together to produce 2021 Vision: The Future of the Electrical Contracting Industry. This major piece of research is designed to provide a long-term vision of the position the industry is likely to be in 10 years from now. It is also the first tangible results of talks to see how the organisations can work together to provide unity and leadership for the industry. Emma McCarthy, chief executive officer of the NICEIC, and Steve Bratt, group chief executive officer of the ECA, made the decision to jointly fund 2021 Vision as they felt it was important to provide long-term guidance for the industry at a time when many contractors are recovering from the recession and concentrating on short-term survival. A survey of 1,000 members of the ECA and registrants to the NICEIC forms the basis of the research. The survey found that there are many perceived threats to the industry but also many opportunities. The research findings are inextricably linked to the UK’s sustainable future. As the UK strives to achieve ambitious targets for carbon

reduction, the electrical industry finds itself in a leading position to take advantage of the opportunities that the drive for carbon reduction brings. According to the 2021 Vision research, 96 per cent of respondents see the Green Deal as an opportunity, while 95 per cent view smart meters in the same way, and 97 per cent consider more training for small businesses in new technology and skills as a positive. However, 2021 Vision also identifies a range of threats to the electrical contracting industry, which must be tackled head on by the industry as a whole. Some 98 per cent see a lower skilled workforce doing work currently done by tradespersons as a threat, while 79 per cent see off-site manufacturing in the same way. Sixty per cent also consider multi- skilling as a threat to existing trades. Steve Bratt commented: ‘I’m delighted that the ECA and NICEIC have collaborated on 2021 Vision. As leading organisations in our field, we have been looking at ways we can bring the industry together for some time now and this is the first of what we hope will be many joint ventures

that help provide leadership. We hope that the electrical contracting industry will use 2021 Vision to grow and develop as the role of the electrical contractor evolves into the next generation.’

Emma McCarthy added: ‘2021

Vision is a unique and interesting view of what our industry will look like in 10 years time, funded and facilitated by NICEIC and ECA and entirely for the benefit of the electrical contractor. The challenge now is to take this information and apply it to day-to- day working life – we look forward to helping electrical contractors do this.’ n Visit

SummitSkills marks ‘coming of age’ of BSE sector

BUILDING SERVICES ENGINEERING (BSE) is coming of age after years of work to bring together the industries

which make up the sector, with SummitSkills recently celebrating the successful completion of important milestone projects.

The sector skills council recently announced two big steps forward for qualifications and apprenticeships in the BSE sector, with the completion of a new Qualifications and Credit Framework and a set of Skills Funding Agency integrated Apprenticeship Frameworks for England. Its new set of Apprenticeship

Keith Marshall, CEO of SummitSkills

Frameworks includes environmental technologies, providing clarity on the skills required by employers to help the sector fulfil its potential

6 ECA Today September 2011

to drive the UK towards achieving its challenging carbon emissions reduction targets. Keith Marshall, chief executive of SummitSkills, said: ‘With the public and government looking to tradesmen to progress the installation and maintenance of new technology, the sector has needed a single point of information to bring together widely recognised standards. As this demand continues to rise, SummitSkills will carry on working with employers to guide businesses, advise new learners and apprentices and work with government to support future development.’

WHILE THE OFFICE OF LOW Emission Vehicles (OLEV) continues to oversee the completion of the Plugged-in-Places project, BEAMA is urging private investment to lead the way in the development of a mass market for electric vehicles. Already there are significant achievements in infrastructure developments and the government subsidy – the Plug-In Car Grant – has encouraged early adopters in this new market. However, now the challenge lies in how the market is to develop when public sector initiatives have been completed. BEAMA’s CEO Howard Porter

said: ‘To ensure the appropriate level of private investment it is essential consumer confidence is gained in the new technologies for electric vehicles. For this to occur, the appropriate standards need to be developed to provide interoperability between a national network of charging infrastructure which is safe and secure. It is a key aim of BEAMA’s activity to facilitate a joined-up working approach as we ensure our members engage with all aspects of the market.’


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