Electricity is an essential part of daily life. Everything from the lights overhead to the phones in people’s pockets relies on it to keep things running. This means electricians will always be in high demand, and technology for electricians must evolve to train them effectively.
However, keeping up with the need for skilled and trained electricians can be challenging. What new electrical construction technology is emerging to help train new workers and prepare them for the job?
Becoming an Electrician in the U.K.
Becoming an electrician in the U.K. can be time-consuming, but it’s relatively straightforward. Potential electricians need to start by obtaining their General Certificate of Secondary Education. They should focus on mathematics, English and sciences that can impact the college courses they’ll be able to enroll in for Level 2, Level 3 or T-Level courses.
Once these courses are complete, the easiest and fastest way to become an electrician in the U.K. is to work as a domestic electrical installer. Training for this position takes about a month. Once complete, the electrician can do installation jobs in residential settings and register to work with different industry-related organizations.
The next step is an apprenticeship for those not interested in becoming domestic electrical installers. Trainees can work under a licensed electrician while obtaining their college degrees or completing an NVQ course. After doing one of these two tasks, the newly minted electrician can then choose an area of specialization and work on developing their skills.
New Electrical Construction Technology
Electrician training hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years, relying heavily on technical college programs and apprenticeships. Still, it has become a little more complex than understanding the different wire colors. New electrical construction technology is making these training programs more efficient.
Virtual reality (VR) might have started in the gaming industry, but it’s quickly becoming an invaluable tool for providing comprehensive hands-on training in several sectors. However, electricians are experiencing a labor shortage. Experienced workers are reaching retirement age and leaving the workforce. There aren’t enough recruits to fill in the gaps, and some people are finding it difficult to secure an apprenticeship.
VR can provide hands-on training in a digital space. Trainees can carry out various tasks and learn how to safely and effectively complete their jobs without putting themselves or others at risk. It can also allow one master electrician to take on and train multiple apprentices without worrying about anyone stepping on each other’s toes. It may not replace on-the-job training, but technology for electricians can help make it easier to ensure everyone gets all the skills and training they need.
Benefits of New Technology for Electricians
Why is there a focus on bringing new training-related electrical construction technologies into the field?
Integrated smart technology is becoming commonplace in commercial and residential settings. Additional training may be necessary to help existing electricians and new trainees anticipate these industrywide changes and prepare them as best as possible. Retrofitting applications are also becoming popular for older homes, breathing new life into existing properties and bringing them into the 21st century.
On the commercial side of the trade, there is a need for electricians skilled in Internet of Things (IoT)-related installations. Smart cities will rely on these sensors and the mobile 5G internet to support them. Once established, these municipalities will need a new breed of electrician to keep the lights on and the Wi-Fi running.
Adopting new technologies for training the next generation of electricians can help the industry overcome the growing labor shortage. The young millennials and members of Generation Z that are entering the workforce or looking to change their careers have grown up in a world steeped in tech. Adding technology for electricians to a traditionally low-tech industry can help encourage young people to pursue a career in that field. One 2020 survey found that over 80% of Gen Z want to work with cutting-edge technologies in their area.
Training Future Electricians
The world runs on electricity. Electricians will always be necessary to keep the lights on and ensure everything is connected correctly. New electrical construction technology such as virtual reality, 5G and the IoT will shape the field for many years. Making the necessary steps to adopt these changes might be optional, but it won’t take long before they become mandatory.
Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized, an online magazine discussing the latest industry innovations and trends.