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Topic Title: Advice for electrical engineer new to UK
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Created On: 11 June 2012 10:11 PM
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 11 June 2012 10:11 PM
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I have recently come to the UK with my British wife, I'm an electrical engineer with a background in construction and consultancy including lighting, power distribution, fire alarms, cctv.

Now of course I am looking for work in the same field here in London yet aware that my experience is not enough to even apply for work and this is becoming a concern.

I have tried to find information from agencies and other organisations in an effort to assist me but frustratingly no-one has been very helpful and it's got to the point where I'm just going around in circles - can't apply - don't apply - no interviews - no job.

I've seen various job advertisements specifying requirements such as 17th edition, Amtech, Dialux, British Standard etc. and realise that I should get training, but training in what? I don't think I can take 17th edition as I don't have 16th, Amtech has so many courses, not sure which one to take etc. etc.

Is someone able to advise what basic courses I should strongly concentrate on trying to enrol in so that at least I can then get the qualifications and hopefully be able to start applying for work here.

Very grateful for your response, many thanks!

 11 June 2012 10:48 PM
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BS7671: 2008 amended to 2012 otherwise known as the 17th edition wiring regs. Get a copy and familiarise yourself with it. It has a smaller brother called the 'on site guide' which has more pictures and is more readable, and dosent go into as much detail. Get that as well.
If you do the 4 day course version it wouldnt matter that you didnt have the 16th, but make sure you are up to speed with UK terms for things as it differs a lot from say the US NEC .
BS 5266 is the standard for emergency lighting. Likewise there is an IET guide to this, and 1 or 2 day courses avaliable as well.
BS 5839 is the standard for fire alarms. Have a look at the fire industry association website.
Amtech- Pro design is the design package very commonly used, and what they are asking for most of the time.

Dialux- you should be able to get hold of a trial version on the internet and have a play, likewise there is also Relux which you can have a play with.


Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry
 12 June 2012 12:06 AM
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Many thanks for your reply.. I'll take a look at all you suggest and see what training courses are available.

Something tangible at last.. thanks again!
 12 June 2012 06:56 AM
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I suggest that you take a look at the 'Wiring and Regulations' forum if you have not done so already. It's a very active forum with many knowledgeable people ready to offer good advice.

Andy Taylor CEng MIET
 30 June 2012 10:46 PM
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Dialux is a free lighting design software, a mega sized download, but it is a sweet program, and far better, than the product my company insists we use.
Where are you from? I moved the opposite way to North America.
Please feel free to contact me.
 03 November 2012 11:36 AM
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I am new to this forum and hope someone can help me. I was an electrical engineer before I came to UK and worked in Industrail Control system ( PLC and other relay circuit etc ). But I tried to look for a job in UK and I don't even get a reply from any agency or anyone. And I don't know how to advance my career in Electrical Engineering in UK. Do I need to go to any sort of training to get a proper job? If anyone suggest me the training or courses I need to take up will be really appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
 04 November 2012 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by: neohtet
Thanks in advance,

I suggest you review some of the technical jobs advertised in technical staff agencies,, etc., and see how your qualifications and experience compares and where the gaps are. If for example you find you are lacking a qualification which is often asked for the search Google for a local UK provider of that course and then contact them to discuss it etc.

The following may prove useful:

 03 December 2012 11:52 PM
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Hi again and thanks for comments and advice to my previous posts.

Well, I've been in the UK now 8 months and have been applying for anything and everything in that time, registered with all the relevant electrical engineering agencies, went to the engineering fair in Birmingham recently, and I'm just not getting call backs from anyone.

Back in September I compiled a database of relevant companies in and around my area, attached my CV and sent a direct email requesting work - even offering two weeks unpaid work so they could assess my skills and commitment. I was offered a temporary, unpaid role for two weeks with a Surrey engineering firm, carrying out estimates, helping with Autocad etc., etc., which carried on for two months (they paid travel and expenses) and towards the end of this period there even seemed hope that I was to be made an offer. Unfortunately, whether they were let down by clients, or the lack of work, they had to let me go (and were also making an other redundant), so I'm back at square one.

I am feeling completely frustrated and concerned. Neither myself or my wife can secure employment since coming back to the UK (my wife thought with her skills, experience and references, it wouldn't be too difficult but she's now feeling exactly the same way).

I know that I have little UK experience, aside from these two months, but I need a job.. I need to be able to support my family (on spouse visa, no recourse to public funds!!!), I need to be able to take the pressure off my wife - I need and want to work! I just need to be able to be given the opportunity of interviews to get a foot in the door.

Can anyone advise, suggest, help - what to do next? My wife tells me about a tv series in the 80s, Boys from the Blackstuff and 'Gis a Job?' That's what I feel like saying to everyone!

Thanks in advance,

Best regards,

Edited: 03 December 2012 at 11:58 PM by Waeldu

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