I’m Now A 4 Day Cable Jointer
Published 22 Nov 2017
intro by Chris Dodds - Thorne & Derrick International
I woke recently and toyed with the idea of career change. One Costa later I just went for it.
So I Google searched “cable jointer training“.
I booked that 4 day course, turned up, collected my certificate – I am now a Cable Jointer.
With paperwork to prove it.
Next move, carpet bomb LinkedIn recruiters with my new CV, sit back and wait for work.
OK, this is a personal fiction but a common occurrence in the UK jobs market.
There is increasing concern in the electrical industry in general and the Cable Jointing trade specifically about a trend of “fast-track” training courses propelling underskilled manpower into a crowded labour market. Inflicting damage on day rates, earnings and livelihoods.
We’re talking day rate differences of £150 v £500/600.
This is rather bloody serious – the view from the cable trench is that the industry is lawless and time-served experienced craftsmen are the furious victims. Some are fastly loosing faith in their trade, some would say their craft, some even their art. Their pockets are hurting.
There is not a skills desert out there but there is an unwillingness, in part, to recognise the monetary value of their skill, experience and ability.
A curative response is needed to stem the tide – no end of soul-baring spleen venting social media posts will remedy this situation. We’ve lamented the demise of “The Jointer” before – we’ve kicked up stinks and many have smelt the pong if not righted the wrong.
Nevertheless, lets continue the crusade and champion the real-deal Jointer.
Because in 4 days time more cable jointers will be on the job-market for hire.
But can they wipe, glass, strip, chamfer or plumb cable?
Many cable jointers hold a diversity of accreditations from leading brands such as Nexans Euromold, Brugg, ABB, Pfisterer, Prysmian and 3M – they possess the expertise to joint across an extensive range of medium and high voltage cables (polymeric, gas and oil filled) using cold shrink, heat shrink or push-on HV cable joints, terminations and connectors.
This skill-set is developed over years and contrasts sharply with the generic jointer familiarised with the “specific joint for specific cable” approach of some training centres.
Of course, training is core to career progression without which young, skilled and gifted trainees could never develop – the industry would stagnate to eventual extinction.
Well we’ve blown the trumpet, now we need you – the industry – to rally to the call and let us know your thoughts and opinions. We will feature them on this Post.
To add professional balance and viewpoint we are now delighted to feature the comments from Jo Niblett, Managing Director of Pragmatic Consulting a provider of bespoke and technical training courses to the electrical industry.
by Jo Niblett - Managing Director, Pragmatic Consulting
All people want to become an SAP in 1 week, Cable Jointer in 4 days or an Electrician in 3 weeks.
Why are companies advertising courses to become a SAP in 1 week, Cable Jointer in 4 days or an Electrician in 3 weeks?
In these timescales surely these courses are appreciation courses only?
Why is our industry accepting these guys (who in my mind are trainees only) to work on our networks as if they are trained and competent?
Surely this is neglecting their duties under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
Pramatic Consulting have a host of very experienced LV, MV & HV SAP’s, Cable Jointers and Electricians who are seeing the rates they get offered reduced significantly due to the continued influx of these trainees. These experienced professionals are also doing lots of rework of things done wrong 1st time.
Why is our industry not ensuring competence of these workers?
We once had skills tests and 3-4 year apprenticeships and every day is still a learning day.
What will it take for companies in the industry to understand that a ticket isn’t competence but only compliance?
We need to fix this before we have a serious incident and before we loose the already stretched goodwill of our experienced workforce.
We would like to hear from the industry – recruiters, trainers and jointers.
What do you think?
♦ Further Reading
The following TweetDeck demonstrates the skills levels and competency of an international class EHV Cable Jointer – Andrew Brezovszky is conversant with the cable jointing techniques required for medium voltage, high voltage and extra high voltage oil filled, gas filled or polymeric cables. 20 years of cable jointing experience with Competency Certificates from leading cable accessory manufacturers including Prysmian, ABB and Pfisterer.
What you might call a real-deal Jointer.
Thorne & Derrick International
Since 1985 Thorne & Derrick based in the UK have been specialist distributors of LV, MV & HV Cable Installation, Jointing, Substation, Arc Flash Clothing & Electrical Safety Equipment including voltage detectors, insulating gloves and life saving substation intervention kits.
T&D customers include UK and worldwide contractors, specifiers, traders and end-users involved in cable installations, sealing cable ducts, cable jointing, substation, overhead line and electrical construction at Low, Medium & High Voltages.
We are specialist stockists and distributors of 11kV-33kV Cable Joints, Terminations & Connectors from manufacturers including 3M, Pfisterer, Prysmian and Nexans Euromold in a selection of jointing technologies including heat shrink, cold shrink and push-on.