How do skill shortages in the construction sector affect home owners and their electrical needs?

How do skill shortages in the construction sector affect home owners and their electrical needs?
August 12, 2015

The skills shortage in the construction sector, due to the Auckland housing boom, is all over the media at the moment, and is unlikely to subside as home building levels increase to meet demand.

Any new or existing home requires work from an electrician from time to time, and NZ Trade Group, which has over 100 member electrical firms all over the country, is offering some handy tips on how you can ensure you get high quality electrical work done on your home – even in a skills shortage:

Andrewe Brown, Managing Director and co-founder of NZ Trade Group, and a qualified electrician who has been in the industry for over 20 years, says that while no formal investigation has been carried out into the current construction skills shortage and how it relates to the electrical trade, home owners can still take measures to protect themselves against shoddy electrical work.

“At these times of buoyant construction, home owners tend to gravitate towards lower cost options. This tends to work against them because they don’t have the full knowledge of what is required to carry out the standard of work they are expecting.

“This often ends in a negative customer experience for home owners, which in turn negatively impacts the reputation of the electrical and trade industry. No one wins in this situation. Dodgy work can mean delays, extra costs, and a sub-standard job, which doesn’t meet customer requirements.”

When demand is high, trade ‘cowboys’ often use cheap materials from unreliable suppliers. Brown says this means when something goes wrong with a job, the tradesperson and supplier might not be around to fix the problem.

How can you avoid this? Only work with tradespeople that use good materials from reputable suppliers. It may cost a little more, but it will perform better and last for longer.

Brown says it’s best to engage a trade company with a proven track record of meeting customers’ expectations. This may require a little more homework for home owners, but it’s worth it in the short and long run.

Here’s a few more tips to keep in mind when you need electrical work done on your home:

– Ask to see a valid Practising Licence for any electricians you use, and/or a Trainee Licence for electrical apprentices
– Home owners and building managers can do a search for registered electricians on the Electrical Workers Registration Board website
– All work on completion needs the correct certification to be provided by the electrician.

If you want to find a reputable electrician in your area, who will provide you with a transparent quote and quality outcome, head over to NZ Trade Group’s website and use the Find a Tradesperson search tool.


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