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J

jjnr78

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Its not been a great start to the week, so what better way to spend an evening than by having a rant! Let me paint the picture; I help my dad run his electrical business that has been trading over 30 years. Since coming on board I have fought everyday with the old-school ways of thinking and running of the business. I’m proud to say that I stuck to my guns and ever since Part P was introduced we have played the legitimate game whilst a great many around us didn’t bother and still haven’t. Today we are Approved Contractors, MCS for Solar and on our way to some Cedia recognition. We are also product trained in quite a few control systems etc. I have also rebranded the company with shirts, vans, stationary, testing software all consistent. This has had a significant cost implication which has been spread over nearly 10 years, but obviously annual costs in memberships etc. I still face opposition to my ambitions within our small company which is draining, but you have to believe right? Well, today I learned that the whole team is being made redundant as we cannot afford to employ people. Everyone will be reemployed as a subbie. I was stunned. It turns out that the owner’s salary was just over £20k and the business is in Hertfordshire- not a decent wage for senior manager with over 40 years experience. We have already shed 1 employee this year, but this news really hurt. To be honest, I knew matters weren’t brilliant, but this has really whacked my plans of growing the business. Now here’s the gripe; we are an honest company that have contributed year on year and carried out work the correct way, to high standards, to the letter of the regs with transparent pricing, but it clearly doesn’t always pay to operate like this and something needs to be done about it on a macro level.
The government has royally shafted people and companies like ours. I never thought we would be so affected by the migration of eastern European labour, but it has completely slaughtered our business in the last 12 months. How are UK businesses supposed to compete with firms that are mostly repatriating their earnings when the standard of living is so vastly different. It costs about £5k for a house in Romania! My mortgage alone is £1500/ month. Add to this the ridiculous number of training centres qualifying “electricians” with a couple of months of classroom study and the domestic market is a joke. I spoke with the local Building Control manager about how Part P is policed and it simply isn’t. Its different from 1 council to the next and it makes a mockery of the scheme
I left a career in the City to retrain and help change the perception of our game, but everywhere I turn is what seems to be a shut door. I won’t even approach the subject of Solar, where I will just put it down to unfortunate timing on our part.
I would never encourage anyone to enter into this game, even if some aspects are enjoyable as you simply cannot compete these days and earn a good living. And I thought the government were supposed to encourage entrepreneurialism?

  • :banghead:

Rant over
 
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telectrix

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Mentor
Arms
Esteemed
i think that rant just about sums up the present state of the industry. whilst all trades have been hit by foreign workers to some extent, i think ours is the worst hit. unqualified cheap labour taking all but the more technical work away due to the greed of the big players.
 
H

hadleigh sparks

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
you rant on matey,
Been in the game 25 years , in 2007 i had 30 guys on the books . i am now back on my own just me the missus and the dog . The government has taxed in cash and also in regulations , which like you i have kept up with all the way through. even with absolutleyl ZERO overheads winning jobs is virtually impossible with so many low standard electricians with little or no training we are competing against .
Its a struggle for definate . My NICEIC inspector takes great glee in telling me i earn the same as a tiler !!
 
S

sedgy34

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
well im going to hang my self now thanks lol
 
S

sedgy34

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
i think that rant just about sums up the present state of the industry. whilst all trades have been hit by foreign workers to some extent, i think ours is the worst hit. unqualified cheap labour taking all but the more technical work away due to the greed of the big players.
the cheap labour part here is the newly 5wwders getting on the part p and trading as a spark,and even the bodies dont like this part p they continue to sign them up (double standards)
 
the cheap labour part here is the newly 5wwders getting on the part p and trading as a spark,and even the bodies dont like this part p they continue to sign them up (double standards)
It used to be 2 year diluteys we would complain about lowering standards etc so it's not really that much of a new thing mate, also it's not just our trade that's suffering. There's a centre about two miles from our house which promises to turn out plumbers, plasterers, tilers, joiners, brickies and sparks within a matter of weeks so it's spread throughout the whole construction industry.
A couple of years ago I got turned down for two jobs on the olympic site, one because I couldn't speak Italian the other because I couldn't speak Polish.
 
Colleges are turning out "qualified electricians" at an alarming rate. No longer do we have a batch of newly-qualified every year who have finished a 3 or 4 year apprenticeship, but droves every few weeks.
Those of us who are conscientious and spend a fortune on part P membership, training, calibrated test equipment etc. are fighting for work against many more who don't even possess test equipment (and often don't know how to use it). The Government MUST do something soon, or the only sparks left will be the ones who don't give a damn about rules and regulations!
 
J

jdd

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
I feel your pain mate, in a similar situation, me and my old man have had a small limited company for 6 years. Last week we started discussing whether to fold or not. We have decided to give it till to April and see if anything changes. It truly depresses me as we do everything by the book but are simply undercut by others. Can't see what is going to change between now and then though. The biggest problem I find is when pricing is that I am pricing for something completely different, especially when it comes to landlords. The only way I can see this being sorted is for the government to step in immediately. Sadly though not for one second do I think is it going to happen. :(
 
M

Mainman

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
I don't see it as a rant but reflects on what many people think. I've just had my MCS renewal fee £509 + VAT. Approved membership invoice to follow. Part P is just not being policed. When we joined the schemes I thought it was a good idea - just not gone far enough but hey - it was a step in the right direction, anything to control the industry is a good idea. Now I hear that next year the Government are relaxing the rules on Part P to "reduce the administration and costs on local authorities" - Not sure whats happening. Its already driven the cowboy underground to carry on working without certifying and notifying.

How many out there actually get requests from customers or "weekend electricians" to issue certs or notify? Is it up to us to police it and report it?

As for these 6 week electricians from Colleges - many of these people can't get jobs because they don't have the NVQ3 or experience so what do they do? - become weekend electricians
 
A

axel132132

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
You'll be happy to know i did a 4 year apprenticeship ;D! I don't really know how it is out there as I got laid of due to boss being an idiot..........

My girlfriends sisters bf seems to be busy, he earning around 1k a week.. Thats what im aspiring to lol!
 
S

Swicade

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
Unfortunately that is the state of the industry at present.

There's 2 main BIG problems....mass foriegn labour and fast track retraining.....both of which are taking the quality out of not only the electrical trade but alot of other trades aswell.

While it all sux at the moment all we can do is hang on in there and do what we collectively can to try and keep standards up.

Gone are the days of 'loada-a-money!'....at least for now until the next FOTM trade gets hit hard and the retrainers go for that trade instead (remember afew years back when alot of people retrained as Plumbers and hit that trade hard?)...though unsure what trade that will be.

25yrs back i left school and went straight into electrical apprenticeship...back when sparkies where sparkies and the guy training you wouldn't let you connect anything until you could pass him the right tool without him asking. Now you get people expecting to work straight on the tools from the first day! AND then someone comes along to sign the work of for them without checking too much (at times i've seen jobs signed off by a QS while sat at thier desk!).

To the OP all i can say is hang in there and i admire the fact that instead of just folding up your continueing to use your staff as subbies...many companies wouldn't give thier staff that much consideration so i'm sure behind the few moans and whines your staff appreciate you'll keep using them all. When the dust has settled and certain 'electricians' have returned home or hit another country there's going to be a big gap to fill so be there ready and set up to help fill it.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

diditrain

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Arms
Everyone who comes on here seeking advice about how to retrain as an Electrician, should be directed to this thread.
 
S

Swicade

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
imported "tradesmen" and 5 week short coarses (sorry Guitarist but the word 'apprenticeships' in this regard just feels wrong *winks*) have only added to the skill shortage so for once the government are correct in thier assessment
 
imported "tradesmen" and 5 week short coarses (sorry Guitarist but the word 'apprenticeships' in this regard just feels wrong *winks*) have only added to the skill shortage so for once the government are correct in thier assessment
I always knew the Government must know what they are talking about :)

Btw, it was a Minister I heard on the radio last year who used the term "apprenticeship" when describing the new short training courses.
 
J

jjnr78

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
Well i have clearly hit a nerve. I'm not quite sure that a problem shared is a problem halved in this particular instance. I'm now considering writing to the government. Does anyone know if someone is already lobbying for the 'community'? Perhaps I can draft something outlining the biggest problems we face and perhaps have some sort of support from the forum organisers as a reference petition or similar?

I genuinely have thought of all the different angles about how to survive in this climate and we are trying. However, I dont think that it is a fair playing field and the staus quo is actually encouraging foul play.

I believe the practice of electricians was developing a better reputation, but this is fast disappearing. I'm so sick of putting right other people's work- its so demoralising. But, its work and we all have bills. Very sad
 
S

sedgy34

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
just look at the thread MP theres a letter i had from westminster email that nobhead
 
Unfortunately, I don't think MP's actually have a clue about trades in general, let alone ours. I will be writing to my MP soon, as I believe (hope) he is one of the more down-to-earth politicians. I'm sure there will be lots of "assuring you" and "fully understand" phrases, but nothing will actually come of it. Oh well, at least we have to try, if only to fail....
 

diditrain

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Arms
Maybe we should all email our MP`s and ask them if they will create a Electrical Trainee aprentiship/fast track to becoming an MP as our trade is no longer viable
 

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