Why was this developed?

Workforce ratio guidance aims to get the balance of manual electrical worker competencies right at site level.  Client organisations and their professional representatives, are often obliged to work on a trust basis regarding the flow and composition of an electrical contractor’s workforce.  The issue of workforce composition and competency is often poorly defined or referenced in the specification and related documentation.

The number of “go to” competent electrical workers in modern construction and maintenance contracts appears to have declined.  Parts of the industry have become over dependant on underqualified and unqualified electrical workers to meet tender budgets or overcome skills shortages.  This shift means that the proportion of electrical competencies may not be matched to the requirements of the project.

We have produced the following ratio guidance as a quality improvement and social responsibility measure with the aim of stimulating the productivity and performance.  By including labour ratio competency requirements, specifiers will spur the industry towards sustainability in the construction industry.

Guidance on the Electrical Contractors Workforce Composition

Table 1 is aimed at addressing a typical complex multi-electrical service contract.

A Type Contract

No. of Workers
By Licence Type
5 10 15 20 25 30
QE 2 5 7 10 12 15
REW 2 3 5 7 9 10
AE 1 2 3 3 4 5

We recommend that the electrical workforce should comprise of circa 50% Qualified Electricians (QE).  A concession to make-up the balance of the required workforce by a mix and match approach from the Restricted and Apprentice Licence type should be made available.  Note:  A reasonable, contract specific pro-apprentice weighting should always be applied.  We suggest that this should be not less than 20% of the required workforce.

Table 2 is offered in consideration of projects that are less complex regarding scope, value, coordination, risk and programme.

B Type Contract

No. of Workers
By Licence Type
5 10 15 20 25 30
QE 2 3 5 6 8 9
REW 2 4 6 8 10 12
AE 1 3 4 6 7 9

This model indicates that circa one-third of the sub-contractors direct and indirect workforce should be fully qualified in line with the QE Licence type.  A mix and match option similar to the A Type concession is made available when it comes to determining the balance of the sub-contractors required workforce across the remaining Licence types.


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