As you study to become an electrician, you will probably hear about politics governing your career choice, advocacy programs for electricians, and professional groups you can join. Until you have served as an electrician for a few years, you may not see the usefulness of any of these. Then again, you may want to start your own advocacy program while you are still apprenticed. Here are three good reasons for starting an electrician's advocacy program.
Your Apprenticeship Requirements Could Change
Advocating for or against changes in how electrical apprentices become full-fledged electricians is a current issue. There are several professional organizations that are lobbying for the registration of apprentices so that the government can produce a more accurate picture of the career market. This type of advocacy also focuses on providing tax breaks for experienced electricians and companies who hire registered apprentices. You may be for or against such changes and government support, but if you do not start an advocacy program, you cannot expect to create or propel change or stop it from happening.
You Want Electrical Regulations to Change
You work in a very dangerous job. As such, you may find that there are several government and local regulations that do not make sense or make it more difficult for you and your fellow apprentices and electricians to do your jobs. Advocating for change to electrical regulations requires more than just one person. If you can find more like-minded individuals where you live and work, you can form an advocacy group focused on the regulations you want changed. With continued action and support, your advocacy group could cause those changes to occur by the time you finish your apprenticeship.
You Want More or Better Benefits for Apprentices
Most electricians who work for a company already receive decent benefits. Those same benefits rarely extend to apprentices, however, and do not extend to the self-employed electrical contractor at all. When you want the same job safety and protection, health insurance, and personal security that your employer gives the fully-licensed electrician, you need to start (or join) an advocacy group. This group can operate within an electrician's union or outside of it, but if you operate within the union, you may already have union leaders advocating for the same thing. The reverse is also true; you may not have any union leaders who are in agreement with your advocacy efforts, in which case you should advocate for what you want even more.