Why you have trouble finding a decent electrican?

Just about everything we do in life requires electriciy. From the moment we wake up in the morning we depend on electricy to get through the day. It's only when the lights go out that we realize how much we depend on it, but most people never give it a thought. Like everything in Australlia, apathy plays it's part and we never care until it actually effects us personally.

You will find it's actually electricians that keep the whole country running, and we are fast running out of the good ones that hold all the knowledge. If the education system does not improve, the outlook for Australian manufacturing is not looking good.

From the mid 1980's nearly every high school student has been encouraged to complete the HSC and go on to university. In times past, many of these students would have gone on to do a trade. Generally "the trades" were held to a lower social status than university graduates so now we have a workforce with a high proportion of university graduates who have either graduated with poor results, or graduated with degrees that are of little use in the real world. How many people do you know with a degree, a hex debt and no prospect or willingness to particpate in paid employment directly related to their degree qualifications? All of this at the expense to the taxpayer.


How quickly things have changed!

Assisted by reality TV, the social status has now been reversed, but the highly skilled electricians of times past are in extremely short supply.

Generally, the guys in the field have been drawn from a pool of workers who would have only passed as "labourers" in the old days. Most of the good "potential tradesmen" are the ones on the second tier of the acadaemic pecking order, but these people have now graduated from university with rubbish degrees, and are busy working at McDonalds trying NOT to pay off their hex debts.

Mathematics plays a critical role in the electrical trade. Formulas are used to calculate cable sizing, current draw, power factor and many more of the day to day tasks needed to be an electrician. An electricain does not need to be "Einstien", but there needs to be a solid grounding in simple HSC mathematics, even before the apprentice has started at Tafe.

Unfortunately the talent pool from which to draw from simply does not posses the required mathematical proficiency. Of couse, some get though their study (just), but the "drop out" rate is large. The electricians that have gained a licence over the past few years were assisted by a Tafe system that measured competancy in most study units as a pass mark of just 50% or higher. That's a scary thought? Would an electrician like it if they were in hospital and the heart surgeon said he possesed a 50% pass mark at university?

Consequently most of today's electricians just keep to the simple stuff and do residential work. Here they don't have to push themselves and they stay right in their comfort zone to keep out of trouble. This is why you can't find an electrician to fix your machines or work on your control systems - they just don't know how to do it. You can always fall for the mirage and take the cheaper electrician, but why pay a dummy half price if he takes four times as long? Better to call Machine Men and save money in the long run.

Machinery Installation


All contractors out there know how to terminate wires, but not too many know how to calculate cable size correctly (as per AS 3008). Most times they just make an educated guess, and then go up a couple of sizes - just in case. Not only is this costly and inefficient, but it makes you doubt their ability when the electrical contractor fails to understand the most fundamental part of his business.

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