Deskilling controversy over electricians’ coaching
Hinkley Point C.
According to the union Unite, two training standards introduced by the ECITB (Engineering Construction Industry Training Board) undermine the role of the electrician.
Unite has raised concerns about EDF, the developer of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset, who has agreed to suspend training in the area until the problem is resolved.
The controversial standards relate to wiring and containment work – the “bread and butter” job for electricians on new build projects, Unite says.
Unite was made aware of problems with the training standards at an early stage. There are no electricians working on wiring and safety work at Hinkley Point C as this phase of the project has not yet started. As a result, none of the workers or apprentices’ training was interrupted there.
Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey said: “The undermining of the electrician’s role has been attempted for more than 30 years, most recently in 2011-12 when eight of the major mechanical and electrical (M&E) construction companies promoted the use of non-electrical personnel Carry out qualified electrical tasks within the framework of the so-called BESNA agreement. “
BESNA was the national building technology agreement drawn up by the Heating & Ventilation Contractors Association.
Len McCluskey said, “Unite then defeated the BESNA agreement and we will defeat this latest attempt to train electricians. Our message to the industry is clear. Unite and its electrical membership will oppose any effort to weaken the trading capabilities that will undermine the industry by introducing unskilled workers.
“Any deskilling of electricians would be a race to the bottom and severely damage working relationships across the industry.”