TESP takes up the reins on electrotechnical skills

Electrotechnical sector in strong position ahead of closure of SummitSkills

In light of the impending closure of industry standards body SummitSkills at the end of March, electrotechnical employer representatives have reassured the sector that there will not be any vacuum as a result.

Back in 2014, The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP) was formed by industry partners including the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), SELECT – the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland, the Joint Industry Board (JIB), the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB), and Unite the Union.

Since its formation, TESP has been involved with a number of industry initiatives, including:

  • collaborating with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the employers group on developing the electrotechnical apprenticeship trailblazer;
  • launching an ongoing training initiative to upskill workers within the industry; and
  • creating an online careers hub for young people to develop their interest in the sector.

ECA Director of Employment and Skills Alex Meikle commented:

“We already have a strong foundation in place within the electrotechnical sector, having set up TESP some three years ago. This leaves us in an ideal position to take up the reins from SummitSkills, and indeed TESP has already been leading on many issues in recent years.”

TESP partners undertake a range of representation activity collectively. Recently, TESP Chair Steve Burley, who is director of ECA member-firm Derry Building Services, wrote to the Government to express concern over apprenticeship funding in England. In the letter, Mr. Burley raised concern over potential training funding levels available to non-payers of the new ‘apprenticeship levy’ – who are all SMEs.

In addition, TESP is working closely with the JIB and the SJIB to ensure the ECS fits the needs of the entire sector, including a suite of new fire and security cards, which link to the trailblazer apprenticeship. On behalf of TESP, the JIB runs a free training helpline for employers, apprentices and stakeholders.

TESP and National Electrotechnical Training (NET) are also collaborating to maintain the rigorous and respected nature of the AM2 and FICA end point assessments.

TESP and its partners will continue to work in collaboration with other bodies within the wider engineering services industry, including the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), and the newly formed ‘Plumbing and Heating Skills Partnership’.

New Chair appointed

Steve Burley, Director of Derry Building Services, has been appointed Chair of The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP).

Burley will work with TESP’s Core and Industry Partners to develop and deliver the partnership’s strategy and policy and will provide an employer voice on the board of Core Partners. He succeeds TESP’s inaugural Chair, Diane Johnson, who has stepped down after two years in the role.

Speaking on behalf of the partnership, ECA Director of Employment and Skills Alex Meikle said: “Steve has supported our industry’s skills needs for many years through his work on the ECA’s Education and Training Committee and his time as TESP’s Vice Chair. I’m delighted he has agreed to become our new Chair and that he will continue to provide a crucial employer perspective on the challenges our industry faces – something that will be invaluable as we shape our plans for the future.”

Meikle continued: “I’d like to thank Diane for her efforts on our behalf in the first two years of TESP’s life. Her energy and passion for skills in our industry has been a huge asset to TESP and I am confident that Steve will build on the foundations she has laid as we look to plan for our third year and for the longer term.”

Steve Burley said: “With the economic upturn taking root and the industry facing a skills shortage, TESP has a crucial role to play supporting employers and the industry, ensuring that our skills needs are met and that the contribution we make to Britain’s buildings and economy is recognised. I’m delighted to become its Chair and look forward to working with the organisation’s Core and Industry partners to build on the great work that has been done to date to support our industry and the people within it.”