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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.

 

Money back towards healthcare costs? Sounds like a (cash) plan

Money back towards healthcare costs? Sounds like a (cash) plan

7th December 2018

Vicki Leslie looks at the Cash Plan available from ECIS and how it can help with everyday healthcare costs such as the physio, dentist or optician.

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...

The way back to trust

The way back to trust

31st August 2018

To improve commercial behaviour and ethics in the wake of Carillion, Rob Driscoll argues that we need to build a diverse, vibrant marketplace of different suppliers.

10 minutes with... Paul Uppal, Small Business Commissioner

10 minutes with... Paul Uppal, Small Business Commissioner

24th August 2018

We spent 10 minutes with Small Business Commissioner Paul Uppal, and discussed payment in the construction sector, the biggest issues facing SMEs, and more.

Challenge the stigma of mental health

Challenge the stigma of mental health

17th August 2018

Tessa Ogle, CEO of the Electrical Industries Charity, urges the industry to act on reducing the stigma of mental health in the electrical sector and highlights how early intervention can help to save the lives of thousands of colleagues who are currently suffering from mental health problems in silence.

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.

“If you’re committed, then go for it...”

“If you’re committed, then go for it...”

22nd June 2018

Sixteen-year-old Katie Harvey, from Oxford, left school after her GCSEs to start her career as an electrician with local firm Darke and Taylor. Eager to inspire other young women looking to start a career in the engineering sector, Katie’s career is quickly moving from strength to strength – all thanks to her decision to pursue an apprenticeship.

Put your company centre stage at powerBall 2018

Put your company centre stage at powerBall 2018

22nd June 2018

The Electrical industries Chairty's annual powerBall offers a great chance to network and meet industry partners and potantial clients, as well as raise funds for worthy industry causes. Learn more about the Ball and how to book your place in Tessa's laetst blog post.

Grenfell: one year on

Grenfell: one year on

14th June 2018

On the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster, Andrew Eldred looks at the fundamental issues surrounding skills and competence that have dominated discussion since the tragedy, as well as the immediate steps Governemnt can take to help raise standards.

The red flags along the road to Carillion's collapse

The red flags along the road to Carillion's collapse

8th June 2018

In the second of his two-part blog, Rob Driscoll examines how the Government and wider industry reacted to Carillion's collapse, and the warning signs that appeared in the years leading up to it.

The construction industry must unify its approach to help tackle ill health in the workplace

The construction industry must unify its approach to help tackle ill health in the workplace

5th June 2018

Margaret Grahamslaw, Head of Occupational Health at B&CE, reflects that the wider construction industry must unify its approach if the sector is serious about improving occupational health in the workplace.

Carillion: time for Government to save construction from itself?

Carillion: time for Government to save construction from itself?

25th May 2018

In the first of a two-part blog, Rob Driscoll dissects the fallout of the Carillion collapse, nearly six months on. 

Time to invest in our leaders of tomorrow

Time to invest in our leaders of tomorrow

27th April 2018

Recent figures show that, while apprentices are essential to businesses and their growth, they still lack support in several areas. Tessa Ogle looks at the importance of a solid support network in developing tomorrow's leaders.

An apprenticeship can take you far

An apprenticeship can take you far

24th April 2018

For over 40 years, the ECA Edmundson Award has showcased the best talent in the industry. Entries are open once again to ECA members, to award the next Apprentice of the Year in 2018. 

What can we do to be more cyber-secure?

What can we do to be more cyber-secure?

13th April 2018

ECA Director of Technical Steve Martin looks at the growing issue of cybersecurity in the electrotechnical industry, and the measures we can all take to make sure our data, and our clients' data, is safe.

Prostate checks are not always invasive – so what’s stopping you?

Prostate checks are not always invasive – so what’s stopping you?

3rd April 2018

Vicki Leslie of ECIS discusses the importance of checks for prostate cancer.

How to undertake an effective risk assessment

How to undertake an effective risk assessment

23rd March 2018

ECA Director of Business Paul Reeve details the most important factors to consider when undertaking a risk assessment. Learn more about how to effectively navigate some of the biggest health and safety issues defining today's industry.

Have the ‘Time of Your Life’ at powerBall 2018

Have the ‘Time of Your Life’ at powerBall 2018

16th March 2018

The leading industry event, powerBall 2018, is back for another unforgettable night. This year we are all heading back to 1963 and the famous Kellerman’s resort where Baby’s life changed forever… 

Where my apprenticeship took me

Where my apprenticeship took me

9th March 2018

ECA Edmundson Apprentice of the Year 2017 Jordan Bancroft talks about his study tour in France with leading manufacturer Legrand, and shares his ideas about how to promote apprenticeships to industry newcomers.

Big Build raises the roof for the Dickinson family

Big Build raises the roof for the Dickinson family

23rd February 2018

The Electrical Industries Charity has launched a Big Build project to purchase and renovate a house for the Dickinson family. MD Tessa Ogle explains the project and how businesses can get involved.

I want to become a Chartered Engineer

I want to become a Chartered Engineer

9th February 2018

The second of a two part blog series looking at how electrotechnical apprenticeships shaped the careers of representatives of ECA. In this interview, ECA Edmundson Apprentice of Year 2016/17 Harry Bartle explains to Voltimum his ambition to become a Chartered Engineer by the age of 28.

The Carillion crisis must lead to reform

The Carillion crisis must lead to reform

22nd January 2018

The recent collapse of Carillion must lead to full scale construction industry reform, argues ECA Director of Business Paul Reeve

An apprenticeship opened many doors for me

An apprenticeship opened many doors for me

10th January 2018

The first in a two part blog series looking at how electrotechnical apprenticeships have shaped the careers of representatives of ECA. In this piece, ECA President Mike Smith explains why undertaking an electrical apprenticeship 'opened many doors' for him.

Fixing construction's broken employment system

Fixing construction's broken employment system

4th January 2018

The construction industry's employment system is broken, and the upcoming 'sector deal' would be an ideal opportunity to fix it, argues ECA Director of Employment and Skills Andrew Eldred

We need to talk more about mental health problems

We need to talk more about mental health problems

2nd January 2018

Tessa Ogle, Managing Director of the Electrical Industries Charity, discusses how the charity's Employee Assistance Programme is making a difference to those suffering mental health challenges

Brexit and the impact on employment rules and skills shortages

Brexit and the impact on employment rules and skills shortages

13th November 2017

Andrew Eldred discusses the impact of Brexit on employment legislation and skills shortages, and aspirations for improvements in a number of areas.

No more hand waving on fire and electrical safety in shared accommodation

No more hand waving on fire and electrical safety in shared accommodation

17th October 2017

Steve Martin of ECA and FSA responds to the review of Building Regulations.  

Time for a pragmatic view of UK health and safety law

Time for a pragmatic view of UK health and safety law

9th October 2017

The UK has an envious record of ensuring health and safety at work compared to many other countries. ECA Director of Business Paul Reeve assesses the impact of Brexit on future H&S policy-making.

Mental health matters
My year as an ECA ambassador

My year as an ECA ambassador

18th September 2017

Harry Bartle has held the role of ‘Apprenticeship Ambassador’ for the ECA over the last 12 months.  Here he shares his experience.

Changing the lives of those in need

Changing the lives of those in need

14th September 2017

The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) is urging the industry to join its Practical Participation Programme and volunteer their time, products and skills to help transform the lives of those in need.

What’s on at ED&I this week?

What’s on at ED&I this week?

4th September 2017

The inaugural ED&I Expo is taking place this week at the NEC, Birmingham.  As well as bringing a show floor bursting with expertise and innovative new products and services, there will be opportunities to network with industry leaders and learn from inspiring seminars and demos.

Avoiding close shaves with airborne hazards

Avoiding close shaves with airborne hazards

31st August 2017

Wise words on RPE from Phil Bates, ECA Health & Safety Manager

eRAMS now available to all contractors

eRAMS now available to all contractors

18th August 2017

eRAMS is a very practical web-based system for producing concise risk assessments (RAs), method statements (MSs) and construction phase plans (CPPs). For the last two years, it has been available free to ECA members, and member experience and feedback has been essential in helping us to bring the product to market, via CHAS, our commercial partner.

5 reasons to attend the upcoming ED&I Expo

5 reasons to attend the upcoming ED&I Expo

16th August 2017

The ED&I Expo will take place at the NEC in Birmingham on 6 – 7 September this year.  The show will have a strong focus on the key areas set to shape the future of the industry, offering valuable insights into factors that will help grow your business, boost profits and improve productivity.  Here are the five top reasons why the show should be a highlight in your diary:

An apprentice abroad

An apprentice abroad

15th August 2017

Harry Bartle, the current ECA Edmundson Apprenticeship Ambassador, recently had the chance to visit Schneider Electric’s electrical plants in Grenoble, France. Here are the highlights of his trip.

Government and our sector must work together for smart energy transition

Government and our sector must work together for smart energy transition

31st July 2017

The government has released its July publication of ‘Upgrading our Energy System – Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan’.  Paul Reeve, ECA Director of business services guides us through this smart, distributed energy plan.

Energy efficiency and the 18th edition

Energy efficiency and the 18th edition

26th July 2017

Set to be included for the first time, energy efficiency is expected to be one of the biggest changes within the new 18th edition of the Wiring Regulations.  ECA's Head of Technical Steve Martin takes us through the implications of these changes.  

It’s time for a rethink on deregulation post Grenfell

It’s time for a rethink on deregulation post Grenfell

24th July 2017

The ECA has considered its response to the Grenfell Tower fire very carefully.  ECA Director of Business Paul Reeve outlines actions the ECA will be taking following on from the disaster.  

10 Minutes With... Tessa Ogle

10 Minutes With... Tessa Ogle

13th July 2017

In this new regular ECA Today feature, we will be talking to a leading or inspirational figure about their views on some of the key issues facing our sector. In this first interview, the ECA finds out more about Electrical Industries Charity Managing Director and mountaineering enthusiast Tessa Ogle

How to enter Power Players in three easy steps

How to enter Power Players in three easy steps

4th July 2017

As the deadline for Power Players entries approaches, Mike Giles provides a three-step guide to getting any last minute applications in.

Driving professionalism across the industry

Driving professionalism across the industry

27th June 2017

Steve Brawley, chief executive of the Joint Industry Board, looks at the plans underway to enhance professionalism and standards across the industry…

The way ahead

The way ahead

15th June 2017

New ECA President Mike Smith, the 103rd president of the ECA, is Estimating and Sector Director at SES Engineering Services. Here he outlines the agenda for the year ahead

Filling the void

Filling the void

8th June 2017

David Kitchener, managing director at All Things Media, explains how he spotted a gap in the electrical industry’s event calendar, and tells us why the ED&I Expo is primed to fill it

A Cinderella Story

A Cinderella Story

1st June 2017

Regulations around electrical safety in rented homes have, until recently, been something of a Cinderella story.  Phil Buckle, chief executive of leading safety charity Electrical Safety First, gives an update on how the charity has led the charge for change - and why there are still differences across the UK

The search for 2017's Power Players continues!

The search for 2017's Power Players continues!

24th May 2017

With our search for the first Power Players underway, Steve Bratt has the details

The duty of care to subcontractors

The duty of care to subcontractors

22nd May 2017

Ian Hollingworth, Head of Claims at ECIC highlights the responsibilities that contractors have to their sub-contractors and employees

5 reasons why you should attend Smart Tech Live 2017

5 reasons why you should attend Smart Tech Live 2017

18th May 2017

Following the success of last year’s inaugural seminar, Smart Tech Live 2017 is returning with two events in London and York. Eddie Embleton, Managing Director of Voltimum UK and Ireland tells us why it will be a well worth a day off the tools.

CSR is moving up the business agenda

CSR is moving up the business agenda

27th April 2017

ECA's Director of Business Paul Reeve highlights the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the opportunities it presents

The EIC's Apprenticeship Support Programme

The EIC's Apprenticeship Support Programme

11th April 2017

The Electrical Industries Charity's Tessa Ogle on their support network for young talent in the electrical industry.

New electrical industry charity initiative

New electrical industry charity initiative

28th March 2017

With the hugely successful Mount Kilimanjaro challenge behind us, Tessa Ogle of the EIC, gives a first look at this year's challenge and the story behind it...

Product Know how: How to avoid non-compliant pitfalls

Product Know how: How to avoid non-compliant pitfalls

22nd March 2017

BEAMA's Simon Harpin advises on how to ensure that you are using compliant products

Wiring Regulations 18th Edition: What we know so far...

Wiring Regulations 18th Edition: What we know so far...

16th March 2017

ECA’s Head of Specialist Groups, Steve Martin, has the low down

Why comply with health and safety regulations?

Why comply with health and safety regulations?

14th March 2017

ECA CEO Steve Bratt states some compelling business drivers behind health and safety compliance

Launch of the Fire, Emergency and Security Systems Apprenticeship

Launch of the Fire, Emergency and Security Systems Apprenticeship

9th March 2017

Chairman of the Fire and Security Association (FSA), Pat Allen, gives an update on the development of the industry's apprenticeship

Leading industry event starting to take shape

Leading industry event starting to take shape

6th March 2017

Farhaan Mirza, ECA Head of Marketing has the latest on the greatly anticipated ED&I Expo

Climbing Kilimanjaro

Climbing Kilimanjaro

1st March 2017

Ever wondered what it would be like to climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Mike Smith can answer that.. 

Review of the Building Services Summit

Review of the Building Services Summit

28th February 2017

The ECA’s Acting Head of Technical Steve Martin reviews the Building Services Summit, held in London in November 2016.

How do we create a more diverse workforce?

How do we create a more diverse workforce?

16th February 2017

Alex Meikle explains how a lack of diversity is threatening the electrotechnical industry

Into 2017: Smarter buildings, infrastructure and energy

Into 2017: Smarter buildings, infrastructure and energy

9th February 2017

Generating renewable electricity is no longer the question in search of an answer. Paul Reeve talks energy distrubtion, storage and use 

We're off!

We're off!

3rd February 2017

A few final words of thanks before the big climb

New payment reporting rules set to improve transparency

New payment reporting rules set to improve transparency

24th January 2017

SEC Group CEO and Barrister, Professor Rudi Klein, considers recent legislation that is likely to have an impact in 2017 on payment periods in the UK

Survey finds buildings at risk from cyber attack

Survey finds buildings at risk from cyber attack

19th January 2017

Steve Martin discusses recent 'Connected Technology Survey for Clients' results 

The final test run

The final test run

17th January 2017

As the date of the Kilimanjaro climb draws closer, Mike and his climbing partner Andy have managed to fit in a final practice climb...

New Year message from the ECA

New Year message from the ECA

5th January 2017

Steve Bratt, ECA CEO

Another month, another mountain...

Another month, another mountain...

3rd January 2017

Mike trials a new gadget in preparation for the big climb

Mike Smith, ECA Senior Vice President

Time to look beyond Brexit

Time to look beyond Brexit

16th December 2016

ECA President David Kieft looks back over 2016 and forward to 2017

David Kieft, ECA President

Powering future infrastructure

Powering future infrastructure

8th December 2016

ECA CEO Steve Bratt looks at the future of energy infrastructure

More from the mountains

More from the mountains

30th November 2016

Conditions take a turn for the worse during the third 'Mountain a month' challenge

Mike Smith, ECA Senior Vice President

Mount Kilimanjaro training continues

Mount Kilimanjaro training continues

3rd November 2016

Mike has set himself the challenge of climing a mountain a month in the run up to his Mt Kilimanjaro fundraiser climb in February 2017.

Mike Smith, ECA Senior Vice President

Electrical contractors see opportunities in Brexit

Electrical contractors see opportunities in Brexit

20th October 2016

ECA CEO, Steve Bratt discusses the results of our recent Brexit Survey 

Climbing Africa's Largest Mountain for Charity

Climbing Africa's Largest Mountain for Charity

19th October 2016

Mike Smith, ECA Senior Vice President

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