In light of the impending closure of industry standards body SummitSkills at the end of March, electrotechnical employer representatives have reassured the sector that there will not be any vacuum as a result.
Back in 2014, The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) was formed by industry partners, including the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), SELECT – the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland, the Joint Industry Board (JIB), the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) and Unite the Union.
Since its formation, TESP has been involved with a number of industry initiatives, including:
• Collaborating with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the employers group on developing the electrotechnical apprenticeship trailblazer;
• Launching an ongoing training initiative to upskill workers within the industry; and
• Creating an online careers hub for young people to develop their interest in the sector.
ECA director of employment and skills Alex Meikle comments: “We already have a strong foundation in place within the electrotechnical sector, having set up TESP some three years ago. This leaves us in an ideal position to take up the reins from SummitSkills, and indeed TESP has already been leading on many issues in recent years.”
TESP partners undertake a range of representation activity collectively. Recently, TESP chair Steve Burley, who is director of ECA member firm Derry Building Services, wrote to the government to express concern over apprenticeship funding in England. In the letter, Mr Burley raised concern over potential training funding levels available to non-payers of the new ‘apprenticeship levy’ – who are all SMEs.
In addition, TESP is working closely with the JIB and the SJIB to ensure the ECS fits the needs of the entire sector, including a suite of new fire and security cards, which link to the trailblazer apprenticeship. On behalf of TESP, the JIB runs a free training helpline for employers, apprentices and stakeholders.
TESP and National Electrotechnical Training (NET) are also collaborating to maintain the rigorous and respected nature of the AM2 and FICA end point assessments.
TESP and its partners will continue to work in collaboration with other bodies within the wider engineering services industry, including the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), and the newly formed ‘Plumbing and Heating Skills Partnership’.