Electrical Contracting News (ECN) October 2016 - Page 30

APPRENTICESHIPS AMERICAN EXPRESS The UK JIB and Dave Kieft met with representatives from the New York JIB to discuss a number of areas impacting upon the electrical contracting industry in both countries. Apprentices are invaluable to the future of electrical contracting in the UK not only for being the next generation of industry workers to help address a prominent skills shortage, but because they are actually shaping reform in the industry, according to a leading industry expert and the UK Joint Industry Board (JIB). Michael Crane asks if the US is helping to shape the UK electrical contracting sector. E arlier this year, the UK JIB and Dave Kieft, co-owner and director of RDM Electrical and Mechanical Services and president of the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), met with representatives from the New York JIB at Lincoln House in London to discuss a number of areas impacting upon the electrical contracting industry in both countries. Discussions Points addressed by the UK JIB have focused on highlighting electrical contracting as a second career choice for older people, the need to get more women into the industry and raising the profiles of the achievements of young people. Addressing productivity was also a key issue outlined in the meeting. Many of these discussion points were brought to the agenda by UK apprentices. The organisations run an exchange programme for apprentices between the USA and UK, which is a procedure proving to be beneficial to how the industry moves forward in the UK. Sheik Khan, secretary and head of industrial relations at the UK JIB commented, ‘The apprentice exchange has been a great opportunity for the apprentices to study and work in their counterparts’ environment, but they are also able to bring their ideas back to us in the form of both oral and written reports. This exchange is a process of experiential learning for the apprentice and a reflective process for the organisations involved. ‘We have learnt that the apprentices in New York for example come into the industry at a lot later age. Our 30 30-31 Apprenticeships.indd 30 12/09/2016 12:33