New structure sets the bar high for network infrastructure industry

The Network Infrastructure industry has developed a new Occupational Qualification Structure leading to Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) Card recognition, which aligns with the future of the industry and addresses the need to bring together the wide-ranging skills which exist in the current workforce.

Developed by an industry wide  group formed of the ECA, JIB, SELECT, CNet Training and a large group of employers, the new Occupational Qualification Structure follows the launch of the Network Cable Installer Apprenticeship Standard. It sets the benchmark for new entrants to the market at Level 3 but also crucially addresses the need to recognise professionals currently in the workforce that already benefit from hands-on experience, previous education and training and industry recognised qualifications.

Formerly known as datacomms, the Network Infrastructure Industry covers the installation of data cabling, hardware  and other devices which enable computing and communication between users, services and other networked applications.

This new pathway serves two important purposes, it clarifies the differences in education, training and experience for those already in the industry, and sets out a route for those entering the network cabling infrastructure industry.

Jay Parmar, Chief Executive of the JIB says: “The introduction of the new Occupational Qualification Structure for the Network Infrastructure Industry is an exciting  step forward  as we strive to upskill the industry to deliver an infrastructure for a ‘Digital Britain’ by setting a  a benchmark for new entrants and recognition of the skills and qualifications of those already working in the industry.

“A key strength of ECS and its partnership with CSCS is that it provides assurance and proof that cardholders working across sites in the UK have a high level of skills and experience and the appropriate  qualifications. We are delighted to be working alongside the Network Infrastructure Industry as they work to promote a higher degree of professionalism in the industry and, in keeping with the Construction Leadership Council’s target, ensure that all ECS cards are issued against an industry recognised qualification standard by the end of 2020.”

Following the introduction of the new structure the following suite of ECS cards is now available which recognise a range of Network Infrastructure Industry occupations:

  • Network Infrastructure Installer Apprentice
  • Network Infrastructure Installer Trainee
  • Network Infrastructure Assistant
  • Network Infrastructure Installer (Level 3)
  • Network Infrastructure Installer Gold Card
  • Advanced Network Infrastructure Installer
  • Network Infrastructure Supervisor
  • Network Infrastructure Manager
  • Network Infrastructure Designer

From 1 January 2021 all new (initial) applications must comply with the Structure which includes the requirement for a Network Infrastructure Assessment for those applying for the Network Infrastructure Assistant card. From 1 July 2021 all card renewals will also need to meet the requirements of the new Occupational Qualification Structure.

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