Four local companies have been praised by Finance Minister Simon Hamilton for backing the SparkSafe Licence to Practice initiative.
A procurement pilot, which began in January this year, requires electrical contractors tendering for specific government construction contracts to ensure that, if successful, only electrical workers that are Licensed to Practice will be deployed on site.
The six-month pilot has been developed to stamp out unqualified operatives describing themselves as electricians and also to improve electrical safety standards.
During a certificate presentation at Clare House in Belfast for electrical contractors involved in the pilot, the Finance Minister praised members of the electrical contracting industry in Northern Ireland who are backing SparkSafe LtP.
Representatives from William Coates Limited, Vaughan Engineering Services, Harvey Group and Williams Industrial Services in Newtownabbey were among the electrical contractors at the event.
“It is essential that the quality of electrical installation work on all contracts, not just the public sector, is delivered to the highest possible standards. The Licence to Practice pilot is a great opportunity for the construction industry in Northern Ireland to raise the bar further and move beyond current UK best practice,” Mr Hamilton commented.
At present firms and individuals wishing to join the SparkSafe Licence to Practice pilot can apply through the Electrical Training Trust (ETT) to obtain registration based on their qualifications, experience and skills.
“It is vital that we continue to attract our young people to apprenticeships and retain them by raising the status of electrical operatives in order to revive the local economy via the construction industry.
“Not only does this initiative raise the status of this particular area of the industry, it coincides with the Construction Industry Forum for Northern Ireland’s objective of encouraging training and skills development to underpin a sustainable construction industry,” the Minister added.