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Gate Safe introduce new MOT service

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 19th August 2016

 

Gate Safe, the charity that originally started the campaign toward safer automated gates, has recently launched a ‘Gate Safe MOT’ initiative. The drive aims to create more awareness of correct installation and the on-going maintenance of the gates within people’s home. The annual MOT also allows customers and members of the public to recognise a safe gate with the newly designed sticker that will be prominently displayed near or on the gate.

We spoke to Gate Safe founder Richard Jackson about why they have introduced the MOT service and how electricians can get involved.

What were the reasons behind the MOT launch?

We have wanted to introduce gate safety awareness since 2010 but didn’t have enough people to follow through with the project. Since then, we have been working hard to develop the programme and have over 750 people qualified to undertake a gatesafe MOT across the UK.

What does the MOT mean?

The MOT enables gate installers, electricians, house owners and members of the public to have a clear indication that the gate is safe. By displaying the new sticker that identifies the month and year of issue to gate users they will know the device has had the adequate safety checks or is overdue a service or maintenance visit.

How is this going to benefit electricians?

It will benefit electricians as they can add another string to their bow. They can attend gate safety training which we hold across the UK every other month, early bird bookers will receive the price for £195. Whilst on the training, electricians will gain a level of understanding of how to install an electric gate safely taking into consideration the foundation and the wiring.

Once the training is complete, electricians will be eligible to conduct an MOT within the home. They are also given a manual to take away as reference as we know this isn’t something they would install or check on a daily basis!

We here at Trade Skills 4U, believe this is a great certification to possess. We know it’s rare for an electrician to be asked to install an automated gate but we need to remember that these gates can pose a serious danger to customers when installed incorrectly. By understanding how to install and conduct an annual MOT legally and correctly will limit the amount of accidents that occur with electric gates. The certificate will also protect an electrician if anything went wrong, in the past, many electricians have been taken to court over incorrectly fitted gates resulting in hefty fines. The MOT will protect customers as well as the electrician.

To find out how sign up to a Gate Safe MOT course click here.

Categories: electrician, gatesafe, automated gates, electrical gates

Halogen Ban 1st September 2016 - What You Need To Know

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 11th August 2016

As part of the European energy saving scheme, the European Commission (EC) has been voting on when to ban halogen light bulbs in favour of CFL bulbs and LED’s.

The initial vote was to start the ban in September 2016, but recently there has been conflicting information regarding when the ban will take effect. The EC set the September 2016 date back in 2009, giving the industry a 7 year preparation time to gradually phase out the use of halogen light bulbs in households whilst also enabling suppliers to sell halogen stock.  However, there is also conflicting news indicating the ban will be postponed until 2018. 

So which date is it?

Well the answer is both are right and that it depends on which type of halogen bulb you are looking at. 

As a simple rule directional halogen reflector lamps given a D rating (also known as GU10 lamps) will be phased out on the 1st September 2016

The ban on on non-directional halogen lamps has been pushed back and is currently scheduled for 1st September 2018.

The ban on non directional lamps has been pushed back to September in 2018 due to the industry not being ready to produce the adequate amount of LED’s that will be demanded by consumers. The industry also argued the quality of LED’s would not be developed in time for the 2016 ban, as required features such as dimming, multi-directional light-beam and good colour rendering would not be ready for consumers at an affordable price.

Why are halogen bulbs being phased out?

Halogen bulb consumption is 5 times higher than its rival the eco-friendly LED bulb. Many Halogen bulbs fall under the energy efficient class D which has resulted in the EU phasing the energy guzzling bulb out. There is also the cost of running halogen bulbs against LED’s and the amount of Co2 produced that has prompted the EC to consider the best course of action.

Below is a comparison of the halogens and LED's

Bulb Type5W LED50W Halogen
kWh PY 9.1391.25
Cost electricity PY£1.37£13.69

Although halogen bulbs are generally cheaper to purchase, switching to an LED or CFL bulb would last the household owner for a longer duration, cost them less in electricity bills and will produce less Co2 throughout the year.

Clearly LED’s are winning in the energy saving department, but there has been some complaints from users. Including the amount of time it takes to reach full brightness, the white clinical colour compared to the warm glow of halogen and the light quality that LED’s emit.

Why the delay?

The delay, some suggest it’s down to giving manufacturing companies time to produce high value creation for the market whilst ensuring there are employment opportunities. It’s predicted there will be 6,800 job losses if the halogen policy passes; gradually phasing the ban can help overcome some of the negative impacts.

What does this mean for electricians?

It’s important for electricians to start communicating the new changes to customers and explain why opting for the slightly more expensive LED will save them time and money in the long-run. It would be a handy idea for electricians to keep up to date with the policy changes as companies continue to develop better quality, cost-effective and a larger variety of LED’s. Obviously moving forwards it will be important to make sure that you are not fitting the banned directional D rated lamps.

Categories: light design, electrician, policy

Warrington Apprenticeship Taster Week

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 2nd August 2016

Are you looking to start out as an electricians mate or apprentice? Not sure if it is the right career for you? Well to help we are hosting our first apprenticeship taster event at the brand new Warrington training centre. The training week will take place between the 10th and 14th October. For more information visit this page.

We understand that choosing the right career path can be difficult and committing to a 3 year apprenticeship can be daunting if you’re not 100% sure. That’s why we are giving 16 – 19 year olds the opportunity to get a real feel for the electrical industry and the training to expect on an apprenticeship or electrical training course.

The course will run from Monday 10th – Friday 14th October at £50 per person. If you decide to take further training with us then you will be given £50 off a future course booking.

Throughout the week you will learn:

• Background to electrical contracting

• Different career paths

• The basics to electrical science

• Basic health and safety regulations

• Basic wiring regulations

• Hands on electrical installation skills on a domestic level

• Take part in a practical workshop

Our tutors will provide theory work as well as give individuals the chance to try their hand at some basic installation. You will also be given background information to electrical contracting, advised on the different ways into the industry and given a brief overview of electrical science. At the end of the week individuals should have a clearer idea of whether or not a career in electrics is for them.

For more information on the taster week contact a course advisor on 01293 529 777. Places are available to those aged between 16 – 21 years old. Spaces are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.  

Categories: apprentice, apprenticeships, electrical training, electricians

Why Soldiers Make Great Sparkies

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 11th July 2016

At Trade Skills 4 U we believe those from the forces possess the best characteristics to work as an electrician. As the company is ELC registered, service men and women can use enhanced learning credits towards any of our resettlement courses. Providing them the help they need to start a new career.

Traits between an electrician and soldiers are very similar including; discipline, patience and the ability to problem solve. Combine this with the UK’s current need for qualified electricians, there’s no better time to consider a long and fruitful career in electrical field.

They’re disciplined

Electricians have to follow a logical structure when it comes to installation, inspection and testing. There’s also policies and regulations to adhere to as well as a pattern and sequence that need to be undertaken on each job particularly when inspecting and testing. Soldiers are also excellent listeners and have been trained to follow instructions to the hilt.

They don’t mind hard graft

Soldiers are keen and committed to taking on a challenge and completing a job so it’s finished on time. They are used to both physical and mental hard work, which sets them in good stead to get a job done- big or small.

They don’t mind physical labour

Being an electrician is a hands on job, and can be physically demanding at times in a domestic or commercial setting. Coming from an Army background can be hugely beneficial when entering the electrical trade. Soldiers are at the peak of their physical fitness where stamina is part and parcel of the job. Therefore, they are the perfect candidate to take on a hands-on job.

They like to use brains and brawn

Completing an electrical job requires a combination of strategy building, design work, problem solving and manual labour. Being part of the forces requires soldiers to use their brain to retain information and think quickly. Some electrical jobs can be complicated but with the skillset of a soldier a hard task can be finished competently.

They are honest and usually true to their word

Everyone has heard of the horror stories about tradesman not being completely honest. Soldiers possess a sense of integrity and loyalty. Not only that they are used to following a code of behaviour which sets them apart from the average tradesman and makes them standout as the right man for the job.

They often have a great network of contacts

Being part of a troop and creating a close bond with those you work with in the army has many benefits when a soldier is out of the forces. They will generally have a wide network of connections which can be useful when either calling for additional help or planning a project that requires different disciplines.

They are organised, clean and tidy

There’s nothing better than an electrician who tidies up after them self! Strict regimes and structure are embedded into those who enter the forces from day one. Meaning there should be no mess during or after a job.

There’s many different courses that those from the forces can consider. A C&G 2365 will enable you to work in commercial, domestic and industrial settings, whereas the Bronze and Silver packages will give you the skillset and qualifications necessary to undertake domestic wiring. The qualifications are flexible which means some courses can be split into 4 parts at 1 week intervals (Bronze) that can be adapted to suit your needs. Whilst the 2365 is 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. This means if you are working whilst undertaking the qualification it gives you the option of working part time. You can also come back and complete elements of the qualification at a time that suits you.

Trade Skills 4 U is very supportive of those who have served in the forces. We want to help them succeed in any way we can which is why we offer a Forgotten Heroes bursary scheme. We offer free training in our centre every week for someone who has been recently injured in military conflicts or to one of our many Forgotten Heroes who are struggling to find their feet following their discharge from the armed forces. To find out how to access the courses speak to a member of the team today 01293 529 777 or click here for resettlement courses or the Forgotten Heroes Scheme.

Categories: electrical, training, qualifications, gatwick, help for heroes, warrington

Top Electrical Exam Techniques

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 23rd June 2016

Exam Cloud

Love them or hate them, you will have to take an exam at some point throughout your electrical qualification.

At Trade Skills 4 U, we understand that some people find tests stressful and nerve racking. Using effective techniques can go a long way. Try to plan, prepare and take the right approaches on board to help limit the anxiety you feel before undertaking an exam to help you achieve top marks.

Take a look at the handy tips listed:

Theory Exams:

Read the question

Read the question more than once to understand what the examination requires of you.

Look out for negative and double negative questions. You will have a choice of four answers giving 25% chance of getting it right.

Two answers are probably completely wrong, with one answer nearly correct and one answer correct. This increases you chance of a correct answer to 50%.

A good calculated guess is better than no answer at all, and may gain you valuable points.

Flag the question

You also have the opportunity to flag a question and come back to it at a later time.

If you’re still unsure of the answer, make a guess, select your guess AND flag it. You may have answered it correctly and possible marks gained are better than no marks at all.

Don’t dwell on a possible answer, save time to answer the questions you know.

Double Check

On completion of the exam go back and check your flagged answers, a later question may have given clues to answer a previous question correctly.

Use your time wisely. If you have the time check all your answers.

Practical Assessments:

Know the correct procedure for single and three phase isolation and practice it to perfection, showing the assessor you can work safe

Look and research at what is required of you so you can plan ahead. Building an assessment will also require its Inspection and Test

Build the assessment neat and correct, to show professionalism

Before performing Inspection and Testing, check the condition of the leads and probes. Are they GS38 compliant?

(Don’t forget to null the leads!)

Before doing the first insulation resistance test, prove the meter is working OK. Sort out the test leads with crocodile clips, press the test button and confirm you are getting a 0.00 MΩ reading

Show the assessor you know your stuff

Check your readings and confirm to yourself, they are as expected. Don’t be frightened of querying test results, it may be a faulty circuit?

Complete any assessment including paperwork and testing paperwork neatly and as professionally as possible

One of the best tips we can probably give is- remember, keep cool, calm and collective and don’t let your nerves get the better of you!

When the exam is over, don’t obsess with what you could’ve done. Relax and praise yourself for doing the exam in the first place.

Or failing that, head to the pub for a pint!

Good luck everyone!

 

Categories: test, exams, electrical exams, qualification

Rapid Charging Equals Rapid Growth for EV

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 21st June 2016

If you watched Top Gear at the weekend you may have seen the review of the Tesla Model X. This electric car has a range of 250 miles and this was tested to the max by the Rory Reid who covered 200 miles in it and beat a ford mustang in a drag race. After all that he still had 21 miles range left. In the show Rory said "The future is now!" and it really seems to be the case with EV coming of age in 2016. 

Recent news also confirmed that by 2025 Norway has pledged to ban the sale of all petrol based vehicles. This is a clear indicator of the future for electric vehicles and the possibilities for installers of EV charging points. 

Not only is there more noise about electric cars in the media but what is more apparent is just how common place they are becoming on UK roads. Simply take a drive and you are almost guaranteed to see an electric car on your journey. This is in part due to the increases in range for many vehicles making them a much wiser choice when customers are looking to upgrade their current vehicles.

For instance the new Nissan Leaf has a 155 mile range and if you buy one Nissan will lend you a car 14 days a year for those longer journeys. When you add to that the savings you could make by going electric it almost becomes a no brainer to buy one for those with long drives to work. If you currently spend around £200 a month on fuel a switch to electric would save you around £175 in fuel costs and that’s before we even start looking at road tax and other costs.

This is why all of a sudden we are seeing an increase in demand for electric cars, not just because of the environmental benefits but also because it is now financially viable.

So What’s Happening with Electric Car Sales?

This can be seen in electric car sales which have increased by around 60% per year for the last few years. This is the same rate at which sale of the original Ford Model T grew back in the early 1900’s before cars replaced horses as the travel.

It is expected that around 2020 – 2024 electric cars will make such a big impact upon the world economy that we will have a surplus of oil as demand for petrol and diesel cars drops.

What’s happening with charging point installation?

There was a big push to get the network up and running back in 2011 and then steady growth since then. However the latest in technology rapid charging points are likely to drive the market forwards over the coming years. Many of these rapid charging points will require an upgraded supply meaning the installation is likely to be a larger job. The growth in installations is mapped below and broken out by charger type.

Zap Map esitimate that currently as of the 21st June 2016 the UK currently has 6266 public devices in 4066 locations. The market is currently growing by 270 installations every month.

The value of the infrastructure market is predicated to more than double in the next 5 years.

Domestic vs Commercial Points?

Worldwide it is predicted that growth in the domestic market will outstrip that of the commecial. 

“Deployments of EV charging stations are critical to enable a widespread adoption of electric plug-in vehicles,” said Ben Scott, senior analyst at IHS Automotive. “Most charging stations are expected to be installed in domestic applications, such as a dedicated wall box or simply a charging cord plugged into a household power source,” said Scott.

According to IHS Automotive, the global production market for pure electric and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicles is expected to grow significantly between 2014 and 2020. The global EV Charger (EVC) market is forecast to grow from more than 1 million units in 2014 to more than 12.7 million units in 2020.

A recent report published by AMA research states:

"Fast chargers represent the largest market sector by volume, with standard speed chargers also a significant part. Rapid chargers, which are relatively new, more expensive and can require upgrades to the electrical supply, remain smaller in terms of volume, but this sector is growing rapidly and answers the need for fast recharging."

There is so much data out there that we could go on and on. However if you want to look into this market further we have found some great websites from which many of the graphs and stats above are taken including AMA Research  Zap Map and Next Green Car.

What is clear is that there will be a huge international demand for installation of EV in the coming years so if you want to get into this market make sure you check out our current EV charging point installers course here.

 

Categories: ev, ev charging

Graduates Pain, Apprentices Gain

Posted by Michaela Elcoat on 3rd June 2016

Many people automatically assume heading to university to study for an academic 3 or 4 year degree is the best way to start a prosperous career and make a higher income. In fact it is often assumed within education that an apprenticeship or a trade career is simply for those unable to make it to university. However, latest figures published by Business News, shows graduates are facing fewer job vacancies in their preferred and educated field and lower paid wages due to a slump on the graduate employment front.

With students fees in the UK continuously rising and draw backs such as fewer and poorly paid jobs more people are realising the real benefits of taking on a trade. In particular training as a sparky seems to be very appealing to those who are looking to focus on blue collar rather than white collar jobs. Not only is it one of the cleanest trades it also pays the best and tends to make use of the grey matter a bit more too, meaning you can challenge both you mind and your body whilst enjoying varied role.

So, what are the benefits of becoming a sparky vs Graduate employment?

Time

When looking at the time taken to gain employment there is a huge difference between university and the trades. Most graduates will take 3-4 years to complete a degree before they can start earning. However you can train as a domestic installer in just a few weeks or if you go down the fully qualified route get your Electrical Diploma’s in 8 months with us and start earning a proper salary whilst you complete an NVQ. If you do an apprenticeship you actually earn while you train and won’t take on any debt.

Earnings

On average graduates earn around £22K per year in their first year. As an electricians mate you can expect to start on around £20K so there isn’t much in it. However, when you have a trade there is a much greater earnings potential if you become self employed. It is also much easier to take on staff and grow your business to make more money that way. One of the biggest benefits of taking on a trade is that you will almost certainly use your skills to make money on property. Most tradesmen will buy a renovation project, live in it and then use their own skills and connections to do the place up. With increases in property prices this is possible the most lucrative part of taking on a trade and it’s tax free if you are doing up your own home!

And don't forget you get earning much sooner so by the time you would have normally graduated you will be on a higher wage than you started on.

Cost

The cost of learning a trade is way below the cost of studying at university. Current university tuition fees for 2016/17 stand at £9000 a year while maintenance fees (living costs) are £8200 (outside of London). If you went to university for 3 years it will cost you a whopping total of £51,600.

Electrician course fees can cost anything from £2200 - £10,000, making the cost much more manageable and with shorter studying times you will be spending less on travel and accommodation whilst you train. There are also lots of ways to fund your training from Advanced Learning loans to government grants and if you go down the apprenticeship route your training could be free whilst you earn money! Seems to good to be true but it is true!

Drop outs

Studies also show 40% of people who decide to move away to attend university aren’t mentally prepared to leave home and fend for themselves, causing them to stray off course and never complete their degree.  In comparison, those studying for a trade close to where they live for a shorter length of time create contacts within the industry to help them complete their course and find employment.

Job Security

Job demand is high in the electrical industry. The construction industry is booming in both businesses and homes. This has a positive knock on effect for electricians, who will always be needed to help these projects flourish. There is also a looming retirement time bomb which is going to see demand rise as time served electricians bow out at the end of their careers.

So if you are still unsure which way to go why not take a closer look at a career in electrics. Do some research online, give us a call or simply try and handy course finder tool here.

 

Warrington Wolves Say Farewell to Chloe

Posted by Carl Bennett on 28th April 2016

Chloe Bennett  was a former employee of Trade Skills 4U until she left us to join the Rugby League World Cup marketing team almost 4 years ago. You will find on this blog numerous articles written by her and she was a crucial member of the Trade Skills 4U team for a number of years. For the last 2 ½ years she has worked as Marketing Head at Warrington Wolves  where she has dedicated herself to leading the amazing changes off the pitch under the administration of the more publicly known Roger Draper.

Many of you wouldn’t have heard of her, but she’s been integral to the recent impressive changes under tough and challenging conditions, especially entering the organisation as a young woman from London and has done her job with modesty, a smile and a big heart, as anyone who knows her will testify.

The Wigan game today will be her last home game as part of the Wolves family, after which she takes up her new role with none other than Manchester Utd Football Club.

She’ll be missed both personally and professionally, but hopefully all the things she has put into place, particularly the Membership Scheme and Fan & Community engagement initiatives will continue to improve and develop.

Rugby league’s loss is football’s gain but I’ve no doubt as a third generation Wolves supporter and of Rugby league, she will return to our game and with her knowledge and experience gained at the global company that is Man U, will ensure our great game will continue to be the ‘best sport in the world’.

Well Done Chloe X

 

Categories: warrington wolves

A Handy Guide to Gate Safe Training

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 13th April 2016

Electric Gate Safety is something which doesn’t feature highly on most sparkies lists. They may be aware that there is a risk when installing electric gates but probably don’t realise quite how serious a threat electric gates can pose to customers. It can also mean if the installer hasn’t installed the gates correctly that they could be liable should an accident occur. With have spoken with Gate Safe an organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of electric gates to clarify some key points on the training they offer.

Is there a legal requirement for an installer / electrician to undertake the training?

No there is no legal requirement however if an accident were to happen and the installer/installation company had no record of having undertaken any specialist training, the court a would take a very dim view of it and this could influence the overall judgment

Will taking the training protect me from litigation in the event of an accident?

Taking the course on it’s is no guarantee. It is the knowledge gained from the course that you must put into practice that will protect you and the homeowner. It’s a bit like the 17th edition regs. If you have the qualification but ignore the regs you will find yourself in trouble.

Is there on going technical support if I take the course?

Technical help is always available and if Gate Safe does not readily know the answer we will make it our business to seek out the relevant information

If I can still install a gate without a legal requirement to do any training why should I bother? 

There are many examples of people who have been taken to court, found guilty and received substantial fines. In addition to this, as the installer the law would expect you to be a competent person and taking the training would be a sign of that competence. Aside from the financial penalties, such cases cause considerable disruption to any business and often irreparable damage to their reputation.  In addition to this, as the installer the law would expect  / require you to be a ‘competent person’ and taking the Gate Safe Aware training would signify your commitment to demonstrating competence.

What support do I get if I become a Gate Safe Aware Installer?

When you become a Gate Safe Aware installer, you will receive a comprehensive reference manual (which is regularly updated); access to a dedicated Gate Safe help line / email support; an entry on the Gate Safe Aware installer register (which is published on the Gate Safe web site); discounted membership to Checkatrade and advice on how to market your Gate Safe Aware status

How much awareness is there of the Gate Safe Aware register?

We have thousands of visits to our website every year and are constantly working to promote the issue both to the industry and to consumers. You will regularly see stories from us in the press and trade magazines.

What are the benefits to the customer of having a gate installation undertaken by a Gate Safe Aware installer?

A customer that elects to seek out a Gate Safe Aware installer has the comfort of knowing that they have been trained to understand the risks associated with automated gates and most importantly, is aware of the actions that should be taken to deliver protection against those risks

How will taking this training benefit my business?

As well as demonstrating your competence to your customers you and your trained engineers will be able to install gates safely thereby protecting the business from litigation and acting as a responsible company

How many people does a company need to train to secure access to the Gate Safe Aware installer logo?

One trained person will give access to the Gate Safe Aware installer logo but to secure Premier Installer status you would need to train 80% of your installer work force

If I as an installer take the training and then move companies, can the new company claim Gate Safe Aware installer status?

Yes, one trained person will give access to the Gate Safe Aware installer logo and can move companies.

Once you have passed the training, is there a need to refresh / renew your knowledge?

Currently Gate Safe does not require delegates to take a refresher course but a number of people have attended a further training session a couple of years after they passed their original training, to refresh their understanding of the key issues that must be considered to deliver a safe and compliant installation. In the future there will be a formal refresher course

The training was first launched in 2012, is it still the same format as when it was originally rolled out?

The format is the same but there have been a number of tweaks and minor changes as new information and guidance pertaining to automated gates is developed. The training also evolves in response to the feedback we receive from delegates who have taken the course

How is the training vetted to ensure it represents / remains a credible qualification?

The training is accredited by IOSH (Institution of Safety and Health) the biggest professional health and safety membership organisation in the world

What is the HSE view of the Gate Safe Aware training?

The HSE and Gate Safe have worked closely together since 2010.  Most recently Gate Safe met with the HSE to run through the training presentation so that the HSE had an improved understanding of the established Gate Safe training offering

If you do want to learn more about electric gate installation make sure you book onto one of the upcoming course dates. You can find course content here on our website but to book you should contact Gate Safe directly.

 

Categories: gate safe

To leave or not to leave. What the EU referendum could mean for electricians?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 29th March 2016

So unless you have been living in a cave for the last year you should know by now that there will be a referendum on the 23rd of June. On this date the nation will decide whether they wish to stay in the union or leave. As with most elections it is likely people will vote for the scenario they feel will benefit them the most both in terms of their financial and general wellbeing.

So the big question you will want to answer is will the UK construction industry be better off in or out of the EU?

Well unfortunately we cannot answer that question here at Trade Skills 4U. If we could then we would probably be teaching economics rather than electrics! However we can present to you some of the key arguments for both sides of the equation:

Skills Shortage

One of the biggest issues facing the construction sector is skills shortages. Across the whole of construction industry skilled labour from the continent has helped lubricate the cogs of our recent economic growth and we still have a huge demand for electricians, plumbers, bricklayers, carpenters and a whole host of skilled trades.

Yes I know there are lots of people who believe that foreign labour is taking your job but the reality is that without skilled labour from the continent many projects simply would not have got off the ground. In fact recent reports show that many companies are still turning down projects because they simply can not get the skilled labour they need to deliver the project.

Yes you may think that less competition for jobs means higher pay, however if the wheels come off the wagon of growth then the whole market will suffer. One argument to leave is that if we are out of the EU we can then choose which trades and which skilled labour can come and work where. But how much will that cost and what impact will that really have on the workforce? No one really knows.

Workers’ rights

Two of the main regulations that impact on workers’ rights are The Working Time Directive and The Temporary Agency Workers Directive. Depending on where you sit this can be seen as a reason to stay or to leave.

Employers are probably fed up of EU red tape meaning they have to limit workers hours and pay out holiday pay and other benefits to temporary staff.  As an employee you may well welcome these regulations as they mean you could be better off especially as a contractor.

However leaving does not guarantee that these regulations will disappear but David Cameron has already made it clear he would like to be able to ignore most of the employment rules imposed on the UK by Brussels.

I think generally speaking on this front a stay vote will benefit the most electricians and contractors. Protecting them from working excessive hours and giving them some added benefits even if on a temporary contract.

Environment

Of the top 5 most costly EU regulations 2 are listed above relating to workers’ rights and two others are the UK renewable energy strategy and the EU Climate and Energy package. Yes getting rid of these could save billions for consumers and companies, however probably not in the long run. If we can become more energy independent then long term these will be extremely beneficial policies.

And let’s not forget that forget that renewable energy tends to be the an electricians friend. There is a whole host of renewable energy technologies which rely on converting the energy they collect into electricity. Who can forget the solar PV boom just a few years ago. And now with the growth of electric cars which have zero emissions we can see the opportunities for electricians to branch out and grow continue to present themselves.

Generally speaking for electricians we believe that staying in the EU will have a positive impact from the environmental perspective.

Working abroad

Let’s not forget that labour can move in both directions. Here at Trade Skills 4U we have lots of students who intend to spend time working abroad. And why not? If you have a trade you can generally work anywhere in the world. However because electricians are highly regulated all over the world and EU it is harder for most to simply turn up and start working in any country without further training. Here in the UK we have one of the highest levels of regulation meaning it is usually easier for us to go abroad to work than for foreign electricians to come to the UK.

Cost of Materials & Tools

Where materials and tools are imported from inside the EU we may find that the cost of delivering projects will increase making them less viable. If the cost of delivering projects increases then you could find that the projects themselves do not get off the ground.

Uncertainty

The biggest issue that we think will impact upon people’s minds as we approach the referendum will be the impact of the referendum on our economy. Uncertainty in the run up to the referendum itself will impact on consumer and business confidence. The effects of this can already be felt which is one reason why the referendum has been announced and will take place in such a short space of time. Should we vote to leave the EU we will be entering completely new territory. Yes we have been outside before but we have never left it before. If we do vote the leave the shockwaves will be global. There will be enough of a shockwave to disturb an already fragile European and Global economy and who will be willing to take the risk of the unknown when we appear to be doing pretty well with the status quo.

As with the Scottish referendum we think that ultimately people will choose to stay despite some misgivings about the EU simply because it is the safest option.

Just 15% of construction companies support leaving

And that is probably the main reason why in a recent survey only 15% of construction executives supported an exit from the EU. This is a pretty clear indicator that the industry sees leaving as a huge risk and if this is their view now we can only assume that an exit would create havoc with our economy. This can only be a negative thing in the short term, however with time it is possible that the UK could bounce back stronger.

You will need to make your own mind up as to what you think is right or wrong, however remember, no one really knows what will happen if we leave and the impact it will have on jobs and construction. If we stay we know that things will stay the same and at present things seem to be going in the right direction. We think that the UK will vote to stay, but it is going to be a very close fought thing.

A simple way to decide in my view is think about how it actually affects you and your family directly, don't be influenced by politician spin or other talking heads with biased opinions, just drill down into your own life, you will then have your answer.