Jobs for the Girls bursary open for entries

Girls Bursary Scheme open for entries

NICEIC is once again looking to help more women into the electrical industry through its Jobs for the Girls Bursary Scheme. The bursary offers grants to women already working as an electrician or those looking to get a helping hand at the start of their career. It is open to females of all ages and can help cover training or other associated costs up to a maximum of £500. Last year NICEIC provided £5000 of funding to more than 20 women. Paul Collins, Communications Manager at NICEIC commented: “The bursary aims to help more women into the electrical industry, which is still massively under represented by females. Our research suggests that just 1 in every 100 electricians is female. We want to improve on that figure. Through this bursary we can offer practical and financial support to create a smoother route into the sector. If we can help out those women who are just starting out or inspire others who might be thinking about a career in the electrical industry then we will be well on the way to addressing the gender imbalance directly.” One of those to benefit from a bursary last year was 41-year-old Amanda Pugh from Buckinghamshire. She used the funding to set up a website for her business Amanda Electrics. “I was just starting out on my own and although I had help with some of the training, and was fortunate to have a good amount of tools I still had to pay for additional courses, books, registration, insurance, website fees, business cards, work clothing and other tools. The set up costs were more than I anticipated but the bursary from the NICEIC helped offset some of the costs and meant I was able to start making money from my work sooner.” Applications for a bursary will need to be in before the closing date of April 30. A panel of judges will then review all applications before notifying successful applicants. For more information and how to apply for the Girls Bursary Scheme visit


Zach - last year's winner of the NICEIC apprentice of the year

NICEIC is encouraging employers and organisations to use National Apprenticeship Week (4th-8thMarch) to promote the benefits of working in the electrical industry. With a possible skills gap in the future it wants more young people to consider an apprenticeship. NICEIC believe learning a trade is a viable alternative to studying at university – offering the chance to learn, grow and earn throughout the process and boost career prospects as a result.  Darren Staniforth, technical development manager at NICEIC, explains: “As perceptions of the trade industry are shifting, we’ve seen an uptake in interest amongst pupils and students for a hands-on career. Gone are the days where young people are expected to study at university to ensure a successful career. Instead, taking on an apprenticeship is now being seen as a far more enticing prospect, with some going on to earn more than had they done a degree. National Apprentice Week is a great time to promote the benefits of our industry and show young people alternative options such as an apprenticeship.”  One way that NICEIC supports apprentices into the electrical industry is through its Apprentice of the Year Competition, which celebrates the skills of the brightest electrical apprentices throughout the UK. This year saw more than a thousand apprentices across the UK apply, with 650 applicants successfully completing the first stage. The competition, run in partnership with The Scolmore Group, is part of the company’s drive to recognise the brightest young talents in the trade, which it says is vital to safeguarding the future of the industry.  Last year’s winner, was 21-year-old Zach Swift from Helensborough in Scotland. He is now preparing for the final year of his apprenticeship as well as returning to West College Scotland to finish his electrical course.  Zach said:  “I think it’s important for people my age and younger to understand that there are plenty of routes to take after leaving school or college, and I strongly believe that an apprenticeship is a fantastic option if you’re after a dynamic and successful career. The apprenticeship competition was a great boost for my confidence and I am now able to take on more challenging jobs on my own. If you’re considering an apprenticeship in the electrical industry, then I would definitely recommend going for it because you’ll learn so many skills and your days will always feel varied.”  In addition to the competition, NICEIC’s Student Membership Scheme provides support to complement the training and personal development of students undertaking relevant technical competency training. Furthermore, the organisation’s ‘Jobs for the Girls’ campaign actively encourages more women to seek a career as an electrician.  Darren concludes: “As we look to the future, our hope is that young people from all backgrounds feel inspired by the range of prospects that come from an apprenticeship, so that more consider a career as an electrician and enjoy the wide range of opportunities that can be had.”  For more information on NICEIC apprenticeships and information about the electrical sector please clcik here.


Consumer Protection Alliance Check it! Fire Alarm

According to new research by the Consumer Protection Alliance – a group made up of Dispute Resolution Ombudsman, Gas Safe Register, NICEIC and Which? Trusted Traders, with the aim of promoting consumer safety and protection in the UK – over half of Brits (55%) do not unplug electric appliances that are not designed to be left on, whilst some 52% do not know how to test their smoke alarm for functionality. Shockingly, 22% don’t check that the front door is locked before turning in, leaving them open to potential disaster – yet over half of the nation (51%) would check that the curtains are closed at bedtime. A staggering 62% of Brits admit to not checking the hob is turned off before going to bed; risking appliance damage, or worse.  Despite the importance, 44% of Brits admit that they do not carry out annual safety checks on the electrical appliances in the home. Of those, 42% don’t know how to check them, over a third (34%) are not aware of which appliances need checking and almost a quarter (23%) ‘can’t be bothered’ to organise the check.  Aligned to this, 28% would wait until an appliance had completely broken down before being prompted to get it assessed, meaning what could have been a simple check develops into a major issue. More than a quarter (26%) would only organise a safety check-up when they heard about a friend’s misfortune, such as a boiler breaking down or the hob conking out.  Cheryl Cox, Public Affairs Manager at NICEIC and member of the Consumer Protection Alliance, comments: “It’s worrying that the nation is turning their attention away from safety in the home, and that some wouldn’t even consider using the professionals in times of need. Gas and electrical safety is important year-round, but especially during the winter months when an extra strain is placed on our appliances in the home. We tend to forget that our appliances such as the boiler, gas hob and hot water cylinder are used so frequently that they need extra maintenance. Everyone needs to be aware of the dangers and we believe that safety is paramount, and education is key.” Worryingly, the survey of 2,000 British adults also reveals a lack of knowledge and understanding when it comes to home safety: 64% have ended up paying a professional to fix a botched job that was carried out by a ‘cowboy’ tradesman, which has resulted in spending up to an extra £500 on average 26% were unaware that a boiler requires an annual safety check 17% believe they could carry out a check on gas appliances themselves, with over three in five (63%) taking instructions and guidance from online resources such as Google, YouTube or social media 22% don’t know how, or simply wouldn’t bother, to check if their chosen tradesperson is registered in their profession  In response, the Consumer Protection Alliance has launched a national consumer safety campaign warning homeowners and landlords about the dangers lurking in the home. Brits are advised to think safety first with these five top tips to ensuring your home is safe:  Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors where appropriate and test them on a regular basis. Arrange for an annual safety check on the following gas appliances:  Boiler Gas fires Gas cooking hob Hot water cylinder  Carry out your own annual visual checks on plugs, sockets, cables, leads and light fittings and seek help from a registered electrician if you find any issues.  Arrange for an inspection and test of electrical installations every five years, regardless of whether the property is owned or rented. When having a gas or electrical safety check carried out, always hire a registered, professional tradesperson such as those on the Gas Safe Register or those registered with NICEIC. Each year, 350,000 serious injuries are caused by electrical faults. There are as many as 250,000 illegal gas jobs carried out each year and 40 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning annually.  The Consumer Protection Alliance was founded by Dispute Resolution Ombudsman, Gas Safe Register, NICEIC and Which? Trusted Traders with the aim of promoting consumer safety and protection in the UK.  For further information about the Consumer Protection Alliance, please click here.    

Rogue trader jailed after investigation

Rogue trader jailed after investigation

A man has been jailed for carrying out dangerous work while posing as a registered electrician. John Draco, 35, of Rowan Place, Newton Aycliffe, pleaded guilty to fraud and consumer protection related offences after falsely claiming to be a qualified electrician. He advertised his services on as accredited by ELECSA and Trustmark-despite not having either accreditation. He also claimed to be NICEIC registered. He was jailed for 13 months following a trial at Durham Crown Court in January. The court heard how Draco had offered to complete a full rewire of a property for £3,000, but had left it in a highly dangerous state.  When his shoddy work was challenged by the homeowner, he abandoned the job and kept the full sum.  The homeowner got in touch with Hartlepool Trading Standards who took on the case with help from ELECSA. Such was the poor standard of the installation an investigation by an electrical engineer ordered it not to be used as it posed a serious risk of fire and electrocution.  Work to rectify the problems left by Draco ran into thousands of pounds. Draco, who traded under the name J and A Electrical Solutions ended up paying the victim back £3,820. Ian Harrison, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Trading Standards and Licensing Manager, said: “This successful prosecution sends out a strong message that the courts will not tolerate rogue traders conning people out of their hard-earned cash.  Kevan Parker, Interim Managing Director of Certsure, which operates the ELECSA and NICEIC brands, added: “We take a dim view of those who pretend to be registered electricians when they are not. “We will work with the appropriate authorities to protect those contractors who are legitimately registered with us and have the quality of their work assessed on a regular basis. “Anyone thinking about using our logo fraudulently will be caught and dealt with appropriately by the courts.”  

Crowds flock to TechTalk events

A group of people at the 18thEdition tech talk

Regional shows attract record number of contractors ahead of 18thEdition introduction NICEIC and ELECSA’s latest Tech Talk series has attracted record crowds as contractors prepare for the upcoming introduction of the 18thEdition. More than 3,000 conscientious contractors have now booked to attend one of the 23 regional shows. The NICEIC and ELECSA team are now gearing themselves up for the second part of the series, which will see them visit nine more locations, and deliver talks even more electricians. Darren Staniforth, Senior Technical Development Manager for NICEIC and ELECSA, commented: “Come January, all electrical contractors in the UK will have to work from the 18th Edition of BS7671. Because of this we are seeing more and more contractors coming to our events to update their knowledge and make sure they have an understanding of the changes. TechTalks are a perfect way for contractors to get an overview of what they need to know and ask us any questions they might have about how it applies to their day to day work.” More than 200 contractors attended each event in Manchester, Norwich and Chelmsford with other locations also proving popular. In addition to the 18thEdition, Darren and the team also take a look at other aspects of the electrical industry and how that could affect the way contractors work in the future. This includes talks on EICRs in rented properties, electric vehicle charging points and things to consider when designing heating installations. “TechTalks are a great opportunity for sparks to get together and have a chat about what is going on in the industry. The crowds have been great so far and I would suggest to anyone who hasn’t been already to book their ticket fast,” added Darren. Tickets cost just £25 and can be booked online at calling 0333 015 6626. For further information about the TechTalk series please Each event starts at 9am and finishes at 1.30pm. Every delegate gets a breakfast roll and refreshments as part of the package. Remaining TechTalk Dates and Locations: DATE VENUE LOCATION 05 December 2018 Newcastle Rugby Club Newcastle 06 December 2018 Middlesbrough FC Middlesbrough 12 December 2018 Doncaster Racecourse Doncaster 13 December 2018 Leeds United Leeds 23 January 2019 Cardiff City Stadium Cardiff 24 January 2019 Cheltenham Racecourse Cheltenham 06 February 2019 Amex Stadium Brighton 07 February 2019 Southampton FC Southampton   *The 18thEdition of the wiring regulations was made available in July this year. Contractors were then given a six month transition period to get up to speed with the changes.  From January 1 2019, it will then be a requirement that all electrical installations designed after this date comply with BS 7671:2018, 18th Edition (2018).

NICEIC and ELECSA announce Electrical Apprentice Competition 2019

NICEIC and ELECSA announce Electrical Apprentice Competition 2019

NICEIC and ELECSA’s 2019 Electrical Apprentice of the Year Competition is now open for entries.   The competition, run in partnership with The Scolmore Group, measures the technical skills of electrical students across the UK. It consists of three different stages and regularly attracts more than 500 entrants.   Technical Development Manager for NICEIC and ELECSA, Darren Staniforth said:   “Over the past three years, we have seen the standard of applicants improve each time so we are looking forward again to welcoming a new batch of contestants.    “As the most recognised names in the industry, NICEIC and ELECSA have a responsibility to work with, encourage and promote apprenticeships and careers in the electrical industry to the next generation.”   The competition is not only an opportunity for students to prove their knowledge and abilities but also a chance to win some fantastic prizes – all generously supplied by competition partner, Scolmore Group. Eight finalists will each receive a brand new iPad, with a £2,000 holiday voucher being awarded to the overall winner. There will also be two runner up prizes of a £750 holiday voucher and a £250 holiday voucher.   Each finalist will also receive a Scolmore Van Pack, Trophy and NICEIC and ELECSA Goody Bag.   Every college that enters 20 or more students into the competition will qualify for a College Pack from Scolmore, featuring: 25 Double Sockets, 25 Switches, 25 6″ Pendants and 25 Batten Holders.    The College that produces the eventual winner will also receive £1,000 worth of Scolmore products.   Marie Parry, Group Marketing Director for Scolmore Group said:   “The competition continues to gather momentum and gain recognition throughout the industry.  Students, lecturers, trainers and employers all recognise the opportunity and value it brings.    “We understand the importance of supporting the next generation of electricians. We have a number of directors currently working in the business that started out as electrical apprentices and through hard work and determination; they have worked their way up to the boardroom.    “This competition recognises the important role apprentices play within our industry and we look forward to working with them once again.”   Last year saw 650 candidates whittled down to eight finalists before 21-year-old Zach Swift from North Star Electric, Glasgow, was chosen as the 2018 Apprentice of the Year.   Zach said:   “When my name was called out as the Apprentice of the Year I don’t think I’ve ever been so surprised. I never thought I would even pass the first stage, let alone win the overall title. The quality of work that the rest of the guys were producing was fantastic so when I heard my name called out, I was staggered.   “The competition is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your ability. It doesn’t cost anything to apply and I would say to anyone who is thinking about entering to just go for it. “   The competition consists of three stages and registration for Stage One is open now.   Students can enter the competition and complete the first stage by visiting     

Rogue trader jailed after investigation

Rogue trader jailed after investigation

A Lanarkshire man was sentenced to prison after falsely claiming to be NICEIC registered. The man from Belshill was ordered to spend 11 weeks in prison and fined £675 at Hamilton Sheriff Court recently. He pleaded guilty to running a fraudulent scheme by pretending he was an NICEIC Approved Contractor and authorised to issue NICEIC certificates and reports, which resulted in him obtaining money by fraudulent means.  He also claimed he was a SELECT Approved Contractor and a Building Standards Approved Certifier.  The action was taken by the North Lanarkshire Council Trading Standards team following a joint investigation with NICEIC. Michael McPake, of North Lanarkshire Council, commented, “I am delighted at the success of this case, which shows the continuing diligence of the council’s trading standards staff who pursue criminal enterprises, protecting consumers and the interests of legitimate trade.  “We will continue to take a zero tolerance approach to individuals who rip off residents or businesses within our community.”  NICEIC has urged anyone who is suspicious about using a registered electrician to check his or her details at the website It contains a full list of all those contractors who are legitimately registered with NICEIC.  “This latest prosecution shows how seriously we take misuse of our logo,” commented NICEIC CEO Emma Clancy. “It also sends out the message that anyone thinking about using our logo fraudulently will be caught and dealt with appropriately by the courts. “The NICEIC name is associated with quality and we will work with the appropriate authorities to protect those contractors who are legitimately registered with us and have the quality of their work assessed on a regular basis.” Contractors caught falsely claiming to be members will be named and shamed on the NICEIC website and their details passed to Trading Standards.