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ECA Blog

Providing regular updates and opinion pieces from ECA experts and individuals from other industry bodies. If you are interested in writing for the blog, or have a comment on something you have read, email omar.khalil@eca.co.uk.

 

Why an operative-rating app leaves me feeling queasy…

Why an operative-rating app leaves me feeling queasy…

18th September 2020
Lord Martin O’Neill, January 1945 – August 2020

Lord Martin O’Neill, January 1945 – August 2020

7th September 2020
How independent wholesalers are competing

How independent wholesalers are competing

3rd September 2020 The plight of the independent electrical wholesaler versus the major high street brand has long been recognised, writes guest contributor Mark Lambert...
Face coverings and a shifting policy background

Face coverings and a shifting policy background

28th July 2020
Introducing the new MCS

Introducing the new MCS

23rd July 2020 Ian is the first chief executive of MCS since it became independent of government. Under his leadership and with a new dedicated team, MCS is on a mission to simplify the Scheme while at the same time raise standards of workmanship and ensure consumer protection.
Celebrating women in engineering

Celebrating women in engineering

23rd June 2020

Today (23 June) is International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) 2020. In this post from the Women's Engineering Society (WES), learn about the remarkable achievements of women in our industry over the last century... 

Finding the best fit for your team? There’s an app for that

Finding the best fit for your team? There’s an app for that

5th June 2020
Electrical safety in the private rented sector

Electrical safety in the private rented sector

1st June 2020 ECA techncial director Mike Smith explains the ‘Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020’ which come into force today.
How the EIC can support you in difficult times

How the EIC can support you in difficult times

29th May 2020
A Smart Career Move?

A Smart Career Move?

22nd May 2020
The future of furlough

The future of furlough

19th May 2020 Andrew Eldred shares the details of a new report from the CLC, of which ECA is a key contributor, on 'unfurloughing' workers over the coming months... 
Supporting Members during COVID-19 and beyond…

Supporting Members during COVID-19 and beyond…

11th May 2020
What to do if you need medical advice

What to do if you need medical advice

24th April 2020

Vicki Leslie of ECIS shares advice on how Members can access medical advice through Bupa private medical insurance.

Moving forward from ‘the month that changed everything'

Moving forward from ‘the month that changed everything'

10th April 2020

Easter message to ECA Members from ECA's CEO Steve Bratt

Letter from the CLC to the Prime Minister

Letter from the CLC to the Prime Minister

2nd April 2020

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has written a joint letter to the Prime Minister. Signed by Andy Mitchell, Co-Chair of the Construction Leadership Council, and co-signed by all Taskforce members, including ECA CEO Steve Bratt.

Open letter to the construction industry

Open letter to the construction industry

31st March 2020

Business Secretary Alok Sharma says construction is "making a hugely valued and critical contribution to the resilience of our Nation."

EIC industry support during coronavirus

EIC industry support during coronavirus

25th March 2020

The Electrical Industries Charity is adapting its financial and mental health support services to help the industry through the coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: What's the impact on engineering services?

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: What's the impact on engineering services?

23rd March 2020

Andrew Eldred calls for more flexibility in the Government's new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Coronavirus: dedicated Member support and representation from ECA

Coronavirus: dedicated Member support and representation from ECA

20th March 2020
A 24/7 digital GP in your pocket

A 24/7 digital GP in your pocket

20th March 2020

At this critical time, Vicki Leslie, client relationship manager at ECIS, shows how electrical and engineering contractors can access healthcare anytime, anywhere…

Government procurement post-Carillion

Government procurement post-Carillion

13th March 2020

Recently the well-regarded Institute for Government (IfG) think tank held an event to mark the launch of a report looking into Government outsourcing and procurement post the collapse of Carillion.

Electric heat edges ahead in the low carbon stakes

Electric heat edges ahead in the low carbon stakes

28th February 2020
Uncertainty: coronavirus and the supply chain

Uncertainty: coronavirus and the supply chain

21st February 2020

The integration of supply chains and the increased globalisation of the last decade mean that it is easier now than at any other point in human history for a virus like coronavirus to propagate...

'Being able to earn while I was learning was great!'

'Being able to earn while I was learning was great!'

7th February 2020

ECA Edmundson Apprentice of the Year 2019 Dillon Jones discusses the benefits of a technical education

Brexit: what's next?

Brexit: what's next?

31st January 2020
An environment for recovery

An environment for recovery

24th January 2020
What can we do to get Zero Carbon done?

What can we do to get Zero Carbon done?

13th January 2020
SF6: the greenhouse gas at the heart of our industry

SF6: the greenhouse gas at the heart of our industry

10th January 2020
A view on 2019 from Builders' Conference

A view on 2019 from Builders' Conference

19th December 2019

In the final full month of the calendar year, the UK construction industry has once again maintained its momentum to close out 2019 on a positive note to provide some optimism for the New Year ahead.   Builders’ Conference CEO Neil Edwards looks at the facts...

Opening the door to all

Opening the door to all

6th December 2019

Mature candidates now have better access to the electrical industry than ever before, explains ECA head of education and training Carolyn Mason…

Takeaways from the 2019 CBI Annual Conference

Takeaways from the 2019 CBI Annual Conference

25th November 2019

Returning from this year's annual CBI conference in London, ECA CEO Steve Bratt shares his observations...

ECA joins forces with Builders' Conference

ECA joins forces with Builders' Conference

22nd November 2019

Learn more details about an exciting new partnership ECA has penned with Builders’ Conference…

ECA becomes a Living Wage employer

ECA becomes a Living Wage employer

14th November 2019

ECA is now accredited as a Real Living Wage Employer. We are proud to be part of this important movement, which aims to ensure that a good day’s work leads to a fair day’s pay.

Disturbing complacency

Disturbing complacency

14th November 2019

With phase two of the Grenfell inquiry report now underway, ECA's Andrew Eldred shares his thoughts on what has, or has not, been accomplished so far...

3 ways to stop tools thieves in their tracks

3 ways to stop tools thieves in their tracks

18th October 2019

Vicki Leslie looks at three ways you can prevent tool theft - an increasingly important issue for tradespeople - and how specialist insurance from Covermytools can help...

Zero Carbon by 2050: pipe dream or possibility?

Zero Carbon by 2050: pipe dream or possibility?

11th October 2019

Despite the political tumult this year, the UK Government has committed to pursuing a ‘Net Zero’ carbon economy by 2050. May’s influential Committee on Climate Change report pointed the way to achieving this across a range of areas of the economy.

The SME’s (updated) guide to Brexit

The SME’s (updated) guide to Brexit

27th September 2019

With only 34 days to go until Brexit, the number of procedural changes business owners must keep up with can appear daunting.

Today’s blog should serve to identify some key issues for SMEs to be aware of, and some immediate actions to take.

Play powerLottery and give industry colleagues a better tomorrow

Play powerLottery and give industry colleagues a better tomorrow

13th September 2019

EIC's Tessa Ogle shares Alison and Mark's story. When the couple fell on hard times, the charity stepped in to help. But this would not have been possible without industry colleagues taking part in EIC's powerLottery...

ECA welcomes 1st Amendment to 18th Edition

ECA welcomes 1st Amendment to 18th Edition

5th September 2019

The IET has just announced that the first amendment to the Wiring Regulations BS 7671:2018 (18th Edition) will be released in early 2020, with a specific focus on the requirements of Electric vehicle (EV) charging installations. 

A new tool in the fight against theft

A new tool in the fight against theft

2nd September 2019

ECA has secured a Member-exclusive tools insurance arrangement with Covermytools to help minimise the impact of tools theft on businesses. Members are entitled to a 5% discount off regular rates.

Refresh your 18th Edition knowledge this bank holiday

Refresh your 18th Edition knowledge this bank holiday

23rd August 2019

As demand for electrical work is expected to surge this weekend, refresh your knowledge of the 18th Edition Wiring Regulations with ECA's Gary Parker... 

Do the maths: consider a career in the electrotechnical industry

Do the maths: consider a career in the electrotechnical industry

16th August 2019

With a career in electrical engineering, design or installation there’s a whole world of opportunities right on your doorstep. It all starts with an electrotechnical apprenticeship...

Levelling the playing field

Levelling the playing field

2nd August 2019

ECA's Director of Legal and Business Rob Driscoll explains different types of contract, and what to look out for to make sure SMEs get a fair deal... 

Changing lives with the Practical Participation Programme

Changing lives with the Practical Participation Programme

26th July 2019

EIC's Tessa Ogle shares more information about the Practical Participation Programme, which allows individuals and companies to provide services and materials on a voluntary basis.

Progress on poor payment practices

Progress on poor payment practices

19th July 2019

Thanks to the continued efforts of ECA and partners, several measures have recently been put in place by the Government to help combat poor payment practices in our sector. ECA's Rob Driscoll explains... 

A helping hand in tough times

A helping hand in tough times

5th July 2019

Electrical engineer Scott's family was devastated by his cancer diagnosis. EIC stepped in to help provide much needed support. EIC's Tessa Ogle shares his story in this week's ECA blog. Learn how you can help too with EIC's powerLottery.

Higher penalties for employers breaching workers' rights

Higher penalties for employers breaching workers' rights

2nd July 2019

ECA's Orazio Amantia follows up our last blog on the Good Work Plan, and explains some of the new proposals being put forward... 

VAT hike puts brakes on home solar and batteries

VAT hike puts brakes on home solar and batteries

27th June 2019

Luke Osborne examines HMRC's latest move to increase VAT on home solar and battery installations, which appears to contradict the outgoing PM's recent commitment to 'Net Zero' carbon by 2050...

The Real Deal (At Last)?

The Real Deal (At Last)?

14th June 2019

Andrew Eldred re-examines the CLC report which was issued almost a year ago, alongside the Future Skills report which was issued earlier this month... 

A zero carbon UK by 2050?

A zero carbon UK by 2050?

12th June 2019

Paul Reeve examines the implications for the built environment of the Government’s announcement that it will pursue a legally binding target of zero net carbon emissions by 2050.

Enter Power Players in three easy steps!

Enter Power Players in three easy steps!

7th June 2019

Power Players is back! If you or someone you know has achieved something remarkable in their career, enter for the chance to win industry-wide recognition and fantastic prizes. Entering is as easy as 1, 2, 3...

CAS answers an expensive problem for industry

CAS answers an expensive problem for industry

24th May 2019

Paul Reeve examines the new set of pre-qualification questions (PQQs) which should cut wasted time and cost in construction…

A helping hand in tough times

A helping hand in tough times

17th May 2019

The Electrical Industries Charity's Tessa Ogle shares the story of an industry colleague who, through the help of the EIC and their Employee Assistance Programme, was able to get back on her feet after a relatioinship breakdown.

2018 Apprentice of the Year Jack Teasdale on his year so far

2018 Apprentice of the Year Jack Teasdale on his year so far

3rd May 2019

Since winning the ECA Edmundson Apprentice of the Year Award in September 2018, Jack Teasdale of Opus Building Services Ltd has seen his career go from strength to strength. Read on for his thoughts on his year so far...

Supporting tomorrow's technicians

Supporting tomorrow's technicians

26th April 2019

Learn about the Electrical Industries Charity's Apprentice Support Programme (ASP), which was set up to help apprentices get through tough times. Through the EIC powerLottery, you can show your support for the programme for just £1 a month.

Skills for the future

Skills for the future

12th April 2019

Andrew Eldred analyses the results of an important skills survey that could shape the way we teach our technicians…

For a more electrified, digital and green society

For a more electrified, digital and green society

5th April 2019

Giorgia Concas, Secretary General of the AIE (of which ECA is an active member) shares her call to future EU decision makers to move towards a more electrified, digital and green society...

Employment status: a concise guide

Employment status: a concise guide

1st April 2019

ECA's Senior Employee Relations Advisor Orazio Amantia looks at how and why the UK Government are cracking down on workers' employment status, and what it may mean for ECA members. 

Finding Elliott’s feet

Finding Elliott’s feet

29th March 2019

Tessa Ogle of the EIC shares the story of electrical industry colleague Dean, his wife Amy, and their five-year-old son Elliott, who suffered complications during a premature birth. Learn how EIC helped get this family back on their feet and looking forward to a brighter future. 

Good Work Plan promises clearer contracts, fairer rules

Good Work Plan promises clearer contracts, fairer rules

22nd March 2019

The Government published a raft of proposals in December 2018 for taking forward the majority of the Taylor Report’s recommendations in its ‘Good Work Plan’.  The proposals include changes in legislation as well and raising awareness of existing rights.

Brexit means Brexit?

Brexit means Brexit?

15th March 2019

ECA's Rob Driscoll reflects on the Brexit Briefing which ECA hosted for members this week

Help the elderly in need with powerLottery

Help the elderly in need with powerLottery

8th March 2019

Tessa Ogle shares worrying findings of a survey by Age UK, and how to support retired colleagues in need through EIC's powerLottery app.

The UK’s low carbon future is increasingly electric…

The UK’s low carbon future is increasingly electric…

1st March 2019

Paul Reeve looks at how smarter systems, decarbonised transport and better efficiency are accelerating the UK's move to a low-to-no-carbon economy.

Maintaining standards through Brexit and beyond

Maintaining standards through Brexit and beyond

22nd February 2019

Richard Forrest Smith looks at the challenges facing the construction industry, and how they could be exacerbated post-Brexit.

Work at height: a checklist for managers

Work at height: a checklist for managers

8th February 2019

Work at height is still one of the biggest safety hazards in our industry. HSE’s hierarchy can help, writes Paul Reeve...

ESF’s Top Electrical Safety Tips for Home Renovation

ESF’s Top Electrical Safety Tips for Home Renovation

1st February 2019

Our colleagues at Electrical Safety First share some tips on home renovation, to help give you the confidence to make a fresh start safely in 2019. This blog was originally posted on the Electrical Safety First website.

In dark times, we all need a shoulder to lean on

In dark times, we all need a shoulder to lean on

11th January 2019

EIC's Tessa Ogle shares the story of industry colleague Andrew, who needed help and support after the tragic loss of his wife during the birth of their daughter. With just £1 a month, you could help support colleagues like Andrew when they need it most. 

Government announces solar export plans

Government announces solar export plans

8th January 2019

The Government has announced plans for a ‘Smart Export Guarantee’, which will compensate small-scale energy producers for any power they sell back to the grid. ECA's energy advisor Luke Osborne says the plan is a step in the right direction.

Start the year with the 18th Edition

Start the year with the 18th Edition

7th January 2019

ECA Technical Director Steve Martin revisits the most imporant changes in the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations, first published in July 2018 and now in full effect.

Some great progress, but we must be clear what we mean by ‘mental health’

Some great progress, but we must be clear what we mean by ‘mental health’

30th November 2018

Paul Reeve looks at the key initiatives set up to tackle the shocking state of mental health within the construction industry.

Power Players return from US study tour

Power Players return from US study tour

26th November 2018

2017 Power Players winners Charlie Harwood and Joe Wu recently returned from their study tour in the USA. In this blog, Joe sums up his experience and shares a glimpse of how the electrotechnical industry works across the pond...

Could you help a colleague in need?

Could you help a colleague in need?

16th November 2018

Tessa Ogle shares Rhys' story of depression, addiction, and the life-changing help he received that set him on the road to recovery and a prosperous electrical career.

2019: the year of occupational health assessment?

2019: the year of occupational health assessment?

9th November 2018

A step change in occupational health surveillance is on the horizon, and two big drivers behind it are stakeholder involvement and standardisation, writes Paul Reeve.

Takeaways from the Budget

Takeaways from the Budget

2nd November 2018

Rob Driscoll examines reactions to this year's Budget, and and how it lines up with ECA targets.

Bringing more young people into engineering

Bringing more young people into engineering

26th October 2018

Earlier this month, busloads of Welsh teenagers descended on Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena for Skills Cymru. Michelle Davies explains...

The gift of independence

The gift of independence

19th October 2018

Life can throw out challenges when we least expect them. These can place significant pressure on some families’ lives – potentially leading to deterioration in mental health. However, as an industry, we have the power to help our colleagues and prevent mental health problems from spiralling out of control, writes Tessa Ogle.

ECA influences Government decision on five day SME payment

ECA influences Government decision on five day SME payment

12th October 2018

Rob Driscoll explains ECA's role in Government's recent decision to commit to paying 90 per cent of undisputed invoices from small and medium sized businsses within five days.

The future starts next week!

The future starts next week!

5th October 2018

UK Construction Week is just around the corner, beginning Tuesday October 9th. In this week's blog post, catch a glimpse of what's in store at the ECA stand and the Building Tech Live Theatre, jointly hosted by ECA and Voltimum...

Managing fatigue

Managing fatigue

28th September 2018

The way managers and supervisors deal with and respond to staff will influence whether they find out about fatigue before, or after, an incident or serious mistake. Paul WIlliams looks at some key considerations.

Diversity: a real life perspective

Diversity: a real life perspective

21st September 2018

In his last blog, Rob Driscoll looked at the importance of ensuring diversity, respect and inclusion in the workplace. Here, he offers a more personal perspective on these topics…

Make a wish come true with £1

Make a wish come true with £1

14th September 2018

Every year, hundreds of people within the electrotechnical industry do something incredible. With just £1, they help the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) to provide vital assistance to people in the industry facing tough times.

Stiff competition for 'Apprentice of the Year' title

Stiff competition for 'Apprentice of the Year' title

7th September 2018

After a rigorous interview process, the 2018 ECA Edmundson Apprentice of the Year Award judging panel has selected the three finalists for this year's competition...

Waiting for GP referrals? Direct access services could help

Waiting for GP referrals? Direct access services could help

31st July 2018

Waiting for a medical appointment can exacerbate an injury and have further knock-on effects. Vicki Leslie of ECIS explains how private medical insurance ensured she was quickly on the route to recovery from ligament damage - keeping her dream holiday alive in the process...

Don't fall victim to counterfeit electrical goods online

Don't fall victim to counterfeit electrical goods online

20th July 2018

Some of the most popular e-commerce sites are being misused by ruthless sellers as a platform to exploit online shoppers, exposing them to thousands of substandard, counterfeit and suspected recalled electrical goods. Phil Buckle shares the findings of recent research carried out by Electrical Safety First.

The power of practical support

The power of practical support

13th July 2018

The Electrical Industries Charity has launched the Employee Assistance Programme, of which the Practical Participation Programme is a key part. In her latest blog post, Tessa Ogle explains the main aspects of the Programme, and how to get involved.

Electrification by design

Electrification by design

2nd July 2018

In December 2017, BEAMA published a report, Electrification by Design, exploring policy and market mechanisms to promote deployment of low-carbon electric systems. This summer, a series of more detailed reports were designed to provide more detail - learn more about these in Chris Pack's blog.

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