COVID did not stop electrical installers training
In the ever-developing world of the electrical installer, staying up to date with said developments is essential. There is a steady stream of new products and innovations to get familiar with, and systems are getting more and more complex. Meanwhile, laws and safety regulations are constantly updated. Add to that, at least in some areas, an actual or looming quantitative and qualitative labour shortage, and the stage is set for the answer to all the above problems: training.
Trainings are absolutely essential for electrical installers to stay up to date with innovations, laws and regulations, and to get less experienced personnel up to par. Knowing the training needs and attitudes of electrical installers also provides manufacturers the opportunity to provide in those needs, thereby improving brand image, loyalty to your brand, and thus brand value.
That is why we regularly focus on training needs in our European Electrical Installation Monitor. Aside from researching the effect of corona on the economic situation (turnover and orderbook development) of electrical installation companies in seven European countries, we focused the theme of the Q2 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Electrical Installation Monitor on the effect of the pandemic on their training needs and attitudes.
A fair amount of installers continued training during covid, albeit more online.
Almost half of the European electrical installers reported that the amount of trainings decreased during the past year due to the pandemic. That is not much of a surprise. In fact, given the impact of the pandemic on all our lives over the past year, it is more surprising that about half of the installers said their amount of training courses did not change at all, or in a few cases even increased.
Also not surprising in the context of the pandemic is that of the training courses followed, the share of electrical installers following online courses increased. We have seen a similar effect of decreasing numbers of courses, and an increase in the share of online courses among HVAC installers in the Q1 2021 European Mechanical Installation Monitor, which also focuses on trainings.
France is the odd one out
When zooming in on countries, despite slight differences, the above effects are fairly common, except for in France. First of all, only 29% of French installers reported a decrease of trainings. Secondly, although about 40% reported an increase of trainings followed online due to the pandemic, the share of French installers that followed online trainings as opposed to face-to-face trainings in the past year is the lowest of Europe.
In the other European countries, the average share of online courses as opposed to face to face was around 60% during the pandemic. According to French installers, however, merely 21% of the courses they followed during the pandemic were online courses. Given that the share of online training courses was reported to have increased due to corona, this shows how the French installers detested online courses to begin with.
Face-to-face training is preferred, more online training is expected
Although they stand out in online courses followed during the pandemic, the sentiment of French installers about online versus face-to-face training is not that exceptional. In fact, the majority of European installers prefer face-to-face training over online training. At the same time, a substantial share of European installers expect an increase in online training, again with the exception of the French, of whom 92% actually expect either no change or an increase of face-to-face training.
Aside from a clear impact of the pandemic on how electrical installers go about their business, the above shows that differences between countries in impact and going about business can be vast. That means that manufacturers who offer trainings to electrical installers, for instance training to become a certified installer of a certain brand, have to be careful of how they offer that training.
For more information about the training needs of electrical installers in seven European countries, as well as their turnover and order book development, we refer you to the Q2 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Electrical Installation Monitor.