Electricians decry strikes to shut PUCSL
- According to the National Electrician Licensing Scheme implemented under the direction and coordination of PUCSL, this could be disabled
- Around 20,000 electricians have already taken steps to obtain a license
- Says the electricity mafia is behind measures to shut down PUCSL
The Sri Lanka Association of Electricians (SLAE) notes that due to the closure of the Public Utilities Commission in Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the national licensing system for electricians implemented under the direction and coordination of the Commission will also be deactivated.
The Electrician Licensing System was created with government approval to provide recognition and a career ladder to electricians in this country. Currently, nearly 20,000 electricians have taken steps to obtain these licenses. Another 25,000 electricians are expected to apply in the future.
However, due to the sudden decision by the President’s Secretary to shut down the Sri Lankan Public Utilities Commission, the award of electrician licensing has become completely inactive, SLAE Convener Sanjeewa Dhammika said in a statement.
He said all arrangements had been made to hold the opening ceremony of the power licensing last October under the auspices of the Prime Minister, but they were informed at the last minute that it was postponed due to the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.
The statement added that the district-level awareness and education programs to approve electricians are no longer in place.
As part of this program, the PUCSL and the National Vocational Training Authority have introduced a program that gives electricians the National Professional Qualification Level 3 (NVQ 3) free of charge. The commission had also taken steps to register electricians at the district level. None of these programs are currently active.
Under the licensing program, an electrician has the opportunity to move up the corporate ladder and become a professional electrician. This system recognizes electricians in the categories of apprentice electricians, junior electricians, senior electricians, chief electricians and specialist electricians.
Promotions are based on National Vocational Qualification or NVQ. A special feature of this project is the free provision of the NVQ 3 on the basis of the national professional qualification for all electricians who are currently active in the electrical profession.
It was also announced that the program to deliver free NVQ 3 from the Matara district will be launched. The project to make the NVQ 3 available for free and the electrician licensing scheme awareness program are now inactive.
The statement added that a pension system and insurance system are also in preparation after the electricians get the electricians’ licenses, but such programs are all at risk.
“A group of electrical engineers work inside and outside of the Ceylon Electricity Board, which is hindering the progress of the electricity industry. It is no secret that the purpose of the closure of the Public Utilities Commission in Sri Lanka is to take advantage of the electricity mafia by buying electricity at will and throwing the electricity user and electrician in the pan, “the statement said.
It added that more than 45,000 local electricians would work to defeat the plot to shut down the PUCSL, which campaigned to protect the labor and professional rights of electricians.