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NICEIC and ECA launch 2021 Vision

The NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) and the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) have worked together to produce 2021 Vision: The Future of the Electrical Contracting Industry. This major piece of research is designed to provide a long term vision of the position the industry is likely to be in 10 years from now. It is also the first tangible results of talks to see how the two organisations can work together to provide unity and leadership.

NICEIC & ECA 2021 vision campaign

Emma McCarthy, CEO of the NICEIC and Steve Bratt, CEO of the ECA made the decision to jointly fund 2021 Vision as they felt it was important to provide long term guidance for the industry at a time when many contractors are recovering from the recession and concentrating on short term survival. 2021 Vision enables the electrical contractor to see past the short term and prepare for the next stage of their development. 

A survey of 1,000 members of the ECA and registrants to the NICEIC forms the basis of the research. 

The survey found that there are many perceived threats to the industry but also many opportunities.The research findings are inextricably linked to the UK’s sustainable future. As the UK strives to achieve ambitious targets for carbon reduction, the electrical industry finds itself in a leading position to take advantage of the opportunities that the drive for carbon reduction brings. Those contractors who are willing to develop and learn new skills will grow and thrive. 

The key opportunities set out in 2021 Vision are:

Ø The Green Deal leading to 500,000 homes a year being upgraded – 96% see this as an opportunity

Ø SMART meters in every home – 95% see this as an opportunity

Ø More apprenticeships – 95% see this as an opportunity 

Ø Development of new products to enable sustainable new build and renovation of existing properties – 96% see this as an opportunity

Ø More training for small businesses in new technology and skills – 97% see this as an opportunity

The drive for sustainability in all areas of UK life will change the shape of the wider construction industry as well as the electrical contracting industry. The shift away from new build to refurbishment and renovation, the use of more sophisticated, integrated systems and the need, which has been recognised by the Government, for training to ensure that trades have the skills to help the UK work towards the sustainable vision.

Emma McCarthy, CEO of the NICEIC

2021 Vision also identifies a range of threats to the electrical contracting industry, these must be tackled head on by the industry as a whole. The biggest threats as seen by the contractors surveyed are:

Ø Lower skilled workforce doing work currently done by tradespersons – 98% see this as a threat

Ø More components in new build manufactured off-site, reducing amount of skilled craftsmen on site – 79% see this as a threat

Ø More competitive industry – 61% see this as a threat

Ø Cross-over of trades requiring multi-skilling – 60% see this as a threat

Ø Changing Government policy – 51% see this as a threat

Steve Bratt, CEO of the ECA comments;

“I’m delighted that the ECA and NICEIC have collaborated on 2021 Vision. As leading organisations in our field, we have been looking at ways we can bring the industry together for sometime now and this is the first of what we hope will be many joint ventures that help provide leadership. We hope that the electrical contracting industry will use 2021 Vision to grow and develop as the role of the electrical contractor evolves into the next generation.”

Emma McCarthy, CEO of the NICEIC concludes;

“2021 Vision is a unique and interesting view of what our industry will look like in 10 years time, funded and facilitated by NICEIC and ECA and entirely for the benefit of the electrical contractor. The challenge now is to take this information and apply it to day to day working life – we look forward to helping electrical contractors do this.”

The move to a sustainable future provides many opportunities to the electrical contracting industry, which far outweigh any areas of potential threat. The firms that succeed in the greener future will be those that embrace the change, learn new skills and develop their areas of expertise. 2021 Vision is for the industry – use it and learn from it – it’s an exciting future.

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