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Greetings, I'm currently living in NY (way Upstate, above Albany). The wife & I are considering to take an extended stay to borders in Scotland. Obviously no time too soon because of COVID. We've visited for a few weeks at a time before & want to do a few months next time. Not being independently wealthy, we would need employment.

I started in 1996, 24 years in the trade. I have completed the IBEW 5 year apprenticeship about 15 years ago. I've worked industrial, commercial, & residential; from 13.2KV to 24v fire alarm & signal wire, including CAT6e & various telephone cabling. Ran a crew at a 250KV substation, to wiring outlets in houses. I even worked at Nine Mile Point Nuclear Generating Station for a few weeks on a maintenence shutdown. Did a few years at Global Foundries, the new microchip fab here in NY. Worked from up near Canada down to South Carolina. I realize you use 240/400v 50 Hz. But the fundamentals of electricity are the same (science rules).

Where the hell do I start to look for work? Here in NY, being Union, I'd sign my local Unions' Journeyman Electrician out of work list. And as need arrises I'd look through the list & pick which one I want. Whether by how close they are to my home or by company, etc. Then the referral agent dispatches us, in order of whomever signed the out of work list first. I have also signed books in other jurisdictions, but I'd sign as a traveler, local JW's would have preference or first pick.

Any insight would be appreciated.
Kevin Kerr
 
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James

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Arms
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Esteemed
Welcome to the forum.

Please don’t read this as obstructive,

but there are a few hurdles that you need to jump over before working as an electrician in the uk, and Scotland has a few extra rules on top of the uk requirements.

Firstly, it is an open job market. Anyone can apply for any job they take a fancy to, in theory the applicants are sorted by the company that is recruiting and a handful of most likely to be chosen are offered a chance to be interviewed.

Company’s are likely to look at qualifications, work history, experience etc. When choosing who to interview.

Your residential status is likely to go against you for most permanent positions but may well be fine for some temporary work.

BS. 7671 is our book of rules,
It may not be a bad thing for you to purchase a copy and have a good read.
It is a mixture of some hard and fast rules that should not be broken like access to live terminals should not be possible without the use of a tool or a key.
Some rules are far more open to interpretation and knowledge of the subject.
Like cables should be selected so they are suitable for the environment they are installed in and the loading they will carry in both normal and fault conditions.

The first step in being a qualified electrician in the uk would be to have a city and guilds 2382 certificate.
It is normally a 2 to 3 day course followed by a multiple choice exam.
I expect someone with your experience to walk through the exam with half the allotted time spent twiddling your fingers and wondering what’s for dinner.

As far as uk electricity itself, as you know voltage and frequency are slightly different. Fundamentally, as you know, it’s all the same.

We normally distribute 3 phase and neutral to end users, domestic and small users will only be provided with 1 phase and a neutral 230v nominal.
This is generally distributed around the property as supplied, transformers are not used in a dwelling to reduce voltage to sockets etc.
Earthing to ground is a whole subject matter on its own for you to research.
The only time we refer to a cable as hot, is when it has so much current passing through it that the insulation is beginning to get soft or smoking.

For your first experience in uk electrical work, I would suggest if you can find it, some work as a mate to an experienced electrician.
It will help you convert your knowledge to the uk way of thinking about electrical safety.
It is in fact quite different to the US way of thinking.

We also have more emphasis on testing new and old installations to ensure they will stand up to faults if they arrise
Such as testing loop impedance of a final circuit to ensure that in the event of a short, the fuse or breaker will activate in the required time to prevent damage.

I wish you good fortunes in your travels.
 

telectrix

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what he said^^^^^.
Post automatically merged:

if you are going to be on Scottish Borders, you can also seek work in the north of England, obviously close to the border. Passport not required. :p
Post automatically merged:

where did kermit come from?
 

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littlespark

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Arms
Esteemed
Don’t come to the borders! I’m the only sparky in the village!

seriously though, welcome to the forum and the neighbourhood.
Kerr is a traditional borders name


where in the borders are you coming to? I could loan you my BS7671 for reference or a handbook.
I’m sure we do things different over here, as described above.

oh, and we drive on the left over here.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Welcome to the forum.

Please don’t read this as obstructive,

but there are a few hurdles that you need to jump over before working as an electrician in the uk, and Scotland has a few extra rules on top of the uk requirements.

Firstly, it is an open job market. Anyone can apply for any job they take a fancy to, in theory the applicants are sorted by the company that is recruiting and a handful of most likely to be chosen are offered a chance to be interviewed.

Company’s are likely to look at qualifications, work history, experience etc. When choosing who to interview.

Your residential status is likely to go against you for most permanent positions but may well be fine for some temporary work.

BS. 7671 is our book of rules,
It may not be a bad thing for you to purchase a copy and have a good read.
It is a mixture of some hard and fast rules that should not be broken like access to live terminals should not be possible without the use of a tool or a key.
Some rules are far more open to interpretation and knowledge of the subject.
Like cables should be selected so they are suitable for the environment they are installed in and the loading they will carry in both normal and fault conditions.

The first step in being a qualified electrician in the uk would be to have a city and guilds 2382 certificate.
It is normally a 2 to 3 day course followed by a multiple choice exam.
I expect someone with your experience to walk through the exam with half the allotted time spent twiddling your fingers and wondering what’s for dinner.

As far as uk electricity itself, as you know voltage and frequency are slightly different. Fundamentally, as you know, it’s all the same.

We normally distribute 3 phase and neutral to end users, domestic and small users will only be provided with 1 phase and a neutral 230v nominal.
This is generally distributed around the property as supplied, transformers are not used in a dwelling to reduce voltage to sockets etc.
Earthing to ground is a whole subject matter on its own for you to research.
The only time we refer to a cable as hot, is when it has so much current passing through it that the insulation is beginning to get soft or smoking.

For your first experience in uk electrical work, I would suggest if you can find it, some work as a mate to an experienced electrician.
It will help you convert your knowledge to the uk way of thinking about electrical safety.
It is in fact quite different to the US way of thinking.

We also have more emphasis on testing new and old installations to ensure they will stand up to faults if they arrise
Such as testing loop impedance of a final circuit to ensure that in the event of a short, the fuse or breaker will activate in the required time to prevent damage.

I wish you good fortunes in your travels.
All good suggestions! I thank you, James. I was looking for exactly what you told me. As I researched a bit, I thought just what you suggested, to be an Electrician's mate first (we call them helpers here), which is not the same as an apprentice. This would also be a good short term thing as well. We'd be limited to 6 months max stay in UK at a time.

It is mostly an open market here in US too. Some states have a higher Union density than others. I chose to be Union 20 years ago, so I could be the best trained & paid as well. In/around Albany, NY, the open market or nonUnion, top hourly is around $30 +health insurance & possibly a 401K. As a member, I get $41 + Health insurance, an annuity, & a defined benefit pension.

I look forward to using this forum to help.
Post automatically merged:

Don’t come to the borders! I’m the only sparky in the village!

seriously though, welcome to the forum and the neighbourhood.
Kerr is a traditional borders name


where in the borders are you coming to? I could loan you my BS7671 for reference or a handbook.
I’m sure we do things different over here, as described above.

oh, and we drive on the left over here.
Right. My grandmother had a Kerr crest plaque at her home for many years. I never paid it much attention. We have Highland games here stateside. I went to them for many years & enjoyed the caber ----ing, sheef ----ing, music, Guinness, Newcastle, & the clan tents. My wife thought it'd be nice to host a tent ourselves. We attended 3 different games over the years & never saw a Kerr tent! In order to have the tent at one, I had to join an association. I found one, Kerr Family Association of North America. Doing that, sparked our interest to visit the land of our ancestors. (Also, my wife started watching Outlander)

So, to answer your question of where, we're not sure yet. Still planning & waiting for the COVID thing to blow over. (I wish my Pres. would at LEAST take this more seriously. I digress...) I thought it may be easier for work/living purposes to shoot for a bigger city, at least at first. Like Edinburgh or possibly Glasgow. So far we spent a week in northern Edinburgh near Leith in August & visited the Fringe. Highlights were, a great David Bowie tribute & a suprisingly wonderful Blues Brothers tribute as well, great fun. Had spectacular stuffed potatoes at a vendor while there too. Also spent a week in Melrose. Ah, Melrose... what a gem! We stayed at Burt's. Visited Jedburgh too, unfortunately the Abbey & the castle/prison were closed that day. So we walked the town & ate at The Carter's Rest for a great meal & fell in love with sticky toffee pudding! Spent a few days in Oban too & went to their local highland games while there. Much smaller then ours here but still fun! I didn't have to drive AT ALL while I was there. But I do know the lefty rule.

My brother researched our family on many of the internets' usual places. My 3rd great grandfather came to the states in mid 1800's: George Kerr – b.Feb 1842 Ochiltree, Ayrshire, Scotland. My Gr. Gr. Grandfather was born 15 Nov 1880 in North Vineland, NJ.

I've gone on long enough. Thanks for the info & I hope to see more of the country soon. CHEERS
 
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Kevin
As well as general domestic/commercial work there is also industry specific work such as oil, wind and electricity supply, you will still need tickets of some sort but it might be easier to get a start than the traditional route. Have a look online for agency's that supply labour such as Vital or Maze 8 phone them up and have a conversation. They only get paid if they can get you a job so they will have the best advice. Hope you can come and enjoy Gods country.
 
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