I suppose that there is little to stop electricians from EU member countries working on electrical installations in Britain, providing that they can get the work. As far as I am concerned, they are very welcome. However, the whole idea of EU membership was to ensure free, relatively unrestricted trade of goods and services between members. Currently in Britain, it may be considerably difficult to get a job with an installation company unless you have the ECS card (old JIB electricians card). I suppose that this is entirely reasonable, but does any one know what foreign cards or qualifications etc are accepted as an alternative? Indeed from a reciprocal point of view what restrictions are placed on British sparks seeking work in other EU countries?
This has become an issue since Sweden joined the EU. British, Danish and German electricians have worked here for companies from their home countries. Unfortunately, people who take work abroad without checking what the local code says tend to be the same people who pay little attention to code at home. This has meant a few very sub-standard installs. The authorities now stress that you need to have a Swedish license to work here and appear unwilling to look the other way. I have no idea how hard it would be to get a license for a foreign sparky.
[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 05-19-2004).]
#140910 - 05/19/0409:27 AMRe: Is the world a sparks oyster?
Sore point with some people. As you said, the whole idea of this free trade and free movement charade was supposedly to enable people to go to any EU country and live and work on the same terms as a native of that country, with extra things like recognition of other member states' qualifications thrown in to make the task easier. In theory, there was also the wonderful-sounding idea that for "fair play" the restrictions in one country should not be any greater than those in another.
Just make some inquiries about doing this in practice though, and you soon realize that the bureaucracy still wants you to jump through loads of hoops like applying for a residence card, registering for things which may not even exist in your own country, and so on.
According to all the literature, the govt. of an EU member state is obliged to recognize the equivalent qualification of another EU country. There is some govt. organization here (I forget its name) which was set up to assess foreign qualifications and issue a U.K.-equivalent certificate. Presumably there are similar offices in other EU countries.
By the way, they operate with non-EU qualifications as well, and when I asked about a U.K. equivalent of U.S. certificates they replied that they couldn't help due to the specialized nature of the subject matter involved! Now if I'd asked about U.K. equivalents for an Outer Mongolian qualification in sheep herding, I could understand it, but we're talking about American electronics certificates here.
#140911 - 05/19/0403:18 PMRe: Is the world a sparks oyster?
There was a wild discussion on that subject some time ago at de.sci.ing.elektrotechnik, and they came to the conclusion that in Germany it's _easier_ for a foreign electrician to work than for a German one. Less restrictions. Doesn't even need a license. Some people claimed they saw pretty substandard wiring done by Dutch sparkies close to the border.
#140912 - 05/20/0405:29 PMRe: Is the world a sparks oyster?
Sub-standard by German standards, or sub-standard by Dutch standards?
I see this sort of thing becoming another problem with all this free movement, recognition of qualifications, etc.
Look at the proposals to introduce wiring into U.K. building regulations that we discussed some months ago. The documents suggested that wiring should comply with BS7671 (IEE Wiring Regs.) or other EEC equivalents. With the expansion of the EU this month, that could mean a U.K. building inspector having to know not only BS7671 but also the Estonian wiring rules, if indeed there are any!
#140913 - 05/21/0409:06 AMRe: Is the world a sparks oyster?
By German standards. One thing I remember that shocked the german sparkies was the fact they use Wirenuts over there instead of their oh-so-loved Wagos. BTW, yesterday I stumbled over an Italian wirenut, gotta be the most scary crap I've ever seen. No spring inside, just a flimsy very fine thread, no idea how that's supposed to grip solid conductors. Maybe that's why they always use stranded...
#140914 - 05/21/0410:44 AMRe: Is the world a sparks oyster?
I agree that only the national regs should be allowed in each country. Otherwise it becomes unworkable.
One example is the difference in earthing systems. Denmark uses mostly TT since the neutral in the network isn't properly earthed, while Sweden only allows TN and doesn't require an earth electrode. Danish electricians working in Sweden have managed to set up systems without working earth. I'd be surprised if Swedish electricans haven't made the opposite mistake in Denmark.
The only other code that would do would be European Wiring Regulations written specifically to be applicable to all member countries. It would be a rather thick book with national deviations, comments and warnings. I don't think it is a workable idea in the near future.
#140915 - 05/21/0402:34 PMRe: Is the world a sparks oyster?
I agree with you about the national regs for each country, but how does the rest of Europe compare to the UK. are th standards mandatoryor as here? Only recomended codes of practice. Until part P that is and thereby ahngs another can of worms, Cant wait.
#140916 - 05/21/0406:08 PMRe: Is the world a sparks oyster?