Electricians urged to improve skills, standards in push for Green State
As the Government works to develop its renewable energy capacity alongside the Oil and Gas industry, it is encouraging local electrical contractors to up their standards and practices.
The sixth annual Electrical Contractors Conference on Thursday opened under the theme: Benefits of Eco-friendly Green Energy, in an Oil Developing Economy.
“In an oil developing economy like ours, numerous job opportunities are expected to become available for electrical subcontractors and sub-agencies thereof,” Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson told those gathered at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre Thursday.
He said the Government is working to achieve 100% renewable energy in the power sector but “it is time you position yourself to take advantage of each opportunity as they become available.”
Patterson added that “while growth rate may be slow at this point, investors remain adamant that the demand for electrical contractors for this field will remain strong over the next decade and more…”
The Minister bemoaned the fact that the majority of firms are turning to foreign consultants and contractors when Guyanese have the capability.
“I have witnessed this first hand, the increase employment of non-local consultants within this sector. I would readily acknowledge that we lack the expertise in the oil and gas industry but we as a nation has a long and rich history in designing and constructing buildings…” he told those gathered.
He said electricians need to up their standards as he alluded to the fact that over the years, the majority of the fires were blamed on faulty electrical wiring or substandard products.
Chief Electrical Inspector, A.R. Barclay said they need to improve their standards and confidence.
“The prospective electrical contractor should have a good knowledge of the National Electrical code, a relatively good knowledge of electrical designs, a reasonable mathematical ability, the ability to achieve goals…the willingness to make sacrifice and a good knowledge of business fundamentals,” he noted.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson disclosed that this year, the Ministry will begin issuing four categories of electrical licenses to replace the two categories.
Those will be Electrical Contractors Assistant License, Electrical Contractor Technician Level 1, the Electrical Contractor Technician Level 2 and the Professional Electrical Contractor License. The licenses will be valid for three years.