ECS updates scheme for greater recognition of digital skills

Last year was a particularly busy year for ECS, with the construction industry generally still under immense pressure with ongoing restrictions caused by COVID-19, issues with supply chains and materials shortages, and availability of centres for training and assessment also an issue for some. 
ECS introduced a number of new systems and technologies to assist such as a new CPD recording system and the development of market-leading AI monitoring software to allow ECS health and safety assessments to be taken remotely, saving travel time and cost. 

ECS also worked with industry and Government to update a number of apprenticeship and occupation requirements, and expanded ECS to recognise a greater amount of training and qualifications. This included the development of Digital Support occupations for the first time including:

  • Digital Support Technician and Operative
  • Network Security Technician
  • Digital Network Engineer
  • Digital Support Manager

To develop these routes to personnel certification, ECS worked with the Department for Education, Institute for Apprenticeships, British Computer Society – Chartered Institute for IT, awarding organisations and providers, such as Pearson, CompTIA and CNET, a number of large employers and industry stakeholders. 

These occupations cover those using digital technologies across their organisations (likely as part of IT and/or telecoms infrastructure) in areas such as digital communications, network systems, data centre operations and management, network and cyber security, programming, software, support and user skills.

Not only are these areas essential skills for organisations of all sizes in a growing digital age, but there are also growing overlaps between the traditional craft electrotechnical skillsets and the development of greater automation, controls, and programming requirements for those working within the built environment. 

As part of this work to ensure ECS is keeping up to date with employer and industry requirements, we are inviting those organisations who are involved in these areas of work to further develop the occupational structure around these digital occupations.

Graham Hunter, Vice-President for Skills Certification at CompTIA, EMEA, Asia Pacific and Canada, says: “Technology innovation is progressing at an extraordinary rate and as the systems we use continue to become even more interconnected, it’s vital that those responsible for supporting and installing these systems have the skills required of them to keep pace with new practices and ways of working. New entrants and seasoned professionals alike will benefit from industry-created certifications based on recognisable job roles which help guide businesses in the latest developments.”

He adds: “Additional awareness of topics such as security by design and system hardening are widening the skills required of professionals and by having agreed standards created by industry peers this can help create a foundation for employee development programmes. The Joint Industry Board & Electrotechnical Certification Scheme understands the importance of life-long learning and we are excited to work with them to create and support upskilling programmes that are engaging and relevant for their Digital Support Operatives and Technicians.”

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