Here at FCS we love getting the thoughts of others in the industry. If we are talking about how to improve the industry then we are on the right track. Nothing good comes easily as they say.

We reached out and asked Mr Paul Meenan for some thoughts for our first guest blog slot. Paul is the founder of the e5 group, a fellow of the IET, asset manager at C2C and all around good bloke.

Over to you Paul,

“So here I sit on a train, no headphones and utter peace, a background murmur from everyone else’s headphones playing whatever sounds set them up for the challenges of the day.

I have been asked by FCS to blog Some thoughts about the trade. My very first attempt at a blog!

So, where do I start, I know how about the ‘voluntary regulatory bodies’; yes that’s right they are private profit making organisations. Or how about the EWB the new electrical workers union that has cropped up as of late, or maybe the growing epidemic of tradesmen tool theft of which we still do not have the police nor governments attention on having watched police number decline to a point where criminals can go uncaught!

Did I Mention these are my thoughts !

No….my mind steers towards as does most day towards the safety of my assets, the new stations we are building, and electrics soon disappears to the back of my mind.
Why, well for one I have a licence to practice ( the first in mainland England ) this has brought me some good sparks. So no major worries there.

Maybe e5? Do I have concerns about that? Yes, but of the how can we try to help the trade recognise the sheer size of the challenges that lie buried in the heap of denial that emirates from most entities.

Some would say part pointless (aka part P) has done some damage to the trade, well yes it has done something but maybe it has… but look further back and the demise of apprenticeships, the rise of YTS schemes, the demise of YTS and the rise of Part P and quick and short courses and associated competent person schemes.

I for one hate the term scheme, in its very nature it’s divisive.

The challenges above all need work in some form. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the trade has been split into tribes, it is devalued by employers not knowing what an electrician is and doesn’t help with various bodies selling an image of what a spark is, or what a good job looks like without a snag list or full on row at the end of the job….It will take decades to repair.

In the meantime ‘compliance’ is the current word on most lips… is it achievable, well I believe it is in the eye of the beholder!

Some clients may not be aware of what their state of compliance is. They expect contractors to, some won’t… some will.. so how does an unconsciously incompetent client become compliant?

It’s like asking the visually impaired to lead the partially sighted!

First rule of asset management! Know what you have and what condition it is in… without this you have nothing.. this is the first step to compliance!

Again just a view.

A piece of advice to all, whom ever you are or whom ever you work with.. invest in each other and ask for it back, if they don’t want to.. walk away. If they get excited about doing things outside the norm, with a common goal then the journey will be a great one. If you are on a journey and know where the hazards are, you can help each other avoid them, call it risk management if you wish.. I call it being human in the workplace..

Kinda helps me in my day to day…”