Saturday, May 18News That Matters

ERA, UBTEB Sign MOU To Increase Certified Electricians

As one way of ensuring the increase of certified electricians in Uganda, ERA this year signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB), a technical, vocational, educational, and training (TVET) examination body, to train and certify electricians.
according to Uganda’s constitution Section 88 of the ERA Act provides that no person shall install any electrical wiring of extension to existing wiring on any premises without first obtaining an installation permit issued by ERA.

According to this MoU, both entities will establish a working relationship that started in July 2021 with the aim of creating lasting solutions to the low number of certified electricians in the industry.

The MoU was signed by the ERA E.D Eng. Waako, on behalf of the Authority, while UBTEB was represented by Mr. Onesmas Owesigye, who heads the institution.

Under the agreement, ERA liaison with UBTEB is expected to sensitize electricians on the requirements needed for an installation permit throughout their application process until they qualify to get licenses.

According to Tibalwa, the agreement is in line with the government’s agenda to increase the access of electricity to the many households and businesses in Uganda and in so doing more than double the number of the categories of electricians that are expected spur growth in the industry.
Importantly, UBTEB sees the partnership as an opportunity to benefit from ERA’s professional input towards the issuance of permits that have been assessed by the examinations board.

ERA To Certify 3000 Electricians Within Three Years
Following the partnership between ERA, the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) and UBTEB, the Authority aims at training and certifying 3,000 electricians by 2025, as the only way to reduce quack electricians (Kamyufus) in the sector.

“We expect that this partnership will support the government’s agenda of accelerating access to electricity through growth of the number of certified electricians of permit classes D and C from 1,300 to 3,000 by 2025,” Ms Waako says.

She explains that the campaign to increase the number of certified electricians started in July 2021 when ERA and DIT formally started to collaborate, through engagements to establish mutual cooperation and partnership between both entities, in order to increase the number of certified electricians in Uganda.

“This MoU aims at ensuring all electricians eligible for permits are provided with information on applications and its necessary requirements by conducting interviews for all applicants and issue certified permits,” Waako says.

“We started with tapping vocational institutions with demonstration cubicles to support us to practically expose and provide materials for practical skills because what the public requires is not only qualified technicians with certificates but with practical experience,” she adds.
She explains that both parties have systematically formalised the process of graduating the technicians from DIT and taking them through practical exposure and certifying them to be able to pass out competent efficient professional.

“We think through this MoU, graduates of DIT will be sensitized to quickly get the requirements to apply to ERA to be certified and we are committed to feed into the curriculum at DIT because we are close to the market and private users of electricians and suppliers so the products are relevant to the industry,” Waako asserts.
Mr. Patrick Byakatonda, the acting director DIT, notes that in line with the BTVET Act 2008 section 14 and 21, DIT has been assessing and certifying domestic electricians in Level I and II and industrial electricians at Level III but the number is still very low.

“With support from Private Sector Foundation Uganda, DIT has recognised competences of 814 electrician quacks, who later have been licensed by ERA and this shows that we need to bring more on board so that we reduce the effects which results from improper installation of electricity,” he explains, adding that ERA is set to start certifying assessors and verifiers.

Defining the different classes of qualified electricians, Waako revealed that;

A Class C electrician can install power in hotels and schools because by nature, hotels and schools are storeyed buildings and have several rooms that require three phases.

A Class D electrician on the other hand can wire a bungalow with five rooms.

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