Recently we have been getting calls from numerous experienced electricians who have found themselves almost frozen out of the industry because they lack a Level 3 NVQ qualification. They are unable to get an ECS card or JIB grading as fully qualified until they have completed the 2357 NVQ or EAL Equivalent. The catch is many have older qualifications such as the C&G 236 Part 1 and 2 which are not mapped to the latest C&G 2357 NVQ. This means that experienced electricians with older versions of the technical certificates are stuck in limbo. They literally would need to start at the beginning again with the 2365 or 2357 qualifications (or EAL equivalents).
This seemed crazy and meant that many sparks simply felt that they were being penalised despite having solid experience and older qualifications.
It seems that the powers that be may have heard the cry for help from the 1000’s of sparkies who have found themselves frozen out of the industry. EAL and C&G have both confirmed they will be re-launching the older style NVQ for electricians who have been working in the industry for more than 5 years. We are still waiting for the specific details, however it is likely that the NVQ will be very similar to the C&G 2356 NVQ which was phased out in 2012 and EAL equivalent which was phased out at the end of 2013.
It will now be compulsory to complete the AM2 assessment in order to complete the Level 3 NVQ which most people would have done anyway in order to gain fully qualified status.
So what does this mean for you?
If you have recently completed your tech certs such as 2365, 2330 or EAL equivalents then you will most likely need to still transfer into the 2357 NVQ by way of some form of Bridging unit.
If you have been working in the industry for more than 5 years and can prove your level of competence to be at the same level as the modern day tech certs then you will be able to save time and money to complete this special NVQ for experienced electricians.
We are still waiting on the finer details and as always nothing is set in stone. We would ask any candidates looking to apply for the NVQ to complete a skills assessment form and return that to us so we can assess your competence and the scope of work available to you. We can then confirm which NVQ you can register for and a specific cost for your situation.
Although many installers work in the industry without an NVQ, many see it as the best way to demonstrate their competence to potential employers especially those looking to gain longer contracts on larger projects.
Our advice to everyone is to register for an NVQ sooner than later especially if you happen to fall into the “experienced” bracket as you never know really how long these qualifications will be available.
What is clear is that the range of qualifications required to become fully qualified is actually not too clear. Three years ago the industry tried to simplify the route to becoming fully qualified by introducing the 2357 NVQ which in essence was the 2330’s, NVQ and AM2 assessment all wrapped together in 1 qualification. However it was soon apparent that this prevented a lot of people training in electrical installation because they didn’t have a work placement. As such the 2365’s were introduced and are now one of the best ways for mature students and adults who are re-training to gain a solid grounding in electrical installation and break into the industry.
As always if you are unsure of which qualifications you need, simply call us on 01293 529777 or 0800 856 4448 and we can help. We are specialists for a reason and know more than most when it comes to electrical qualifications. As always we will update you once we have more specifics on the NVQ itself.