Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as ¿building blocks¿ because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
This unit group includes telecommunications and electrical trade contractors who own and operate their own businesses. This group also includes supervisors who supervise and co-ordinate the activities of workers classified in the following unit groups: Electricians (7241), Industrial Electricians (7242), Power System Electricians (7243), Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers (7244), Telecommunications Line and Cable Workers (7245), Telecommunications Installation and Repair Workers (7246) and Cable Television Service and Maintenance Technicians (7247). They are employed in a wide range of establishments; places of employment are indicated in the above unit group descriptions.
- Receive property damage complaints from customers. They visit work sites to inspect damages and discuss the allegations with workers. If the complaints are substantiated, they negotiate appropriate settlements with customers to maintain good relations. (2)
- Respond to calls from crew members indicating equipment required to do their jobs have stopped working. They guide the crews through a series of tests and diagnostics to isolate the cause of equipment failures and may read manuals or contact manufacturers for assistance. For example, supervisors in electrical distribution centres assist crews to identify faults in transformers. Telecommunications supervisors recognize failures in smart switches and routers. (2)
- May discover job sites are not ready when crews arrive. They contact the customers and contractors to understand the cause of the delays, identify revised start and completion dates and shift crew members to other job sites. (2)
- Encounter dissention in the work place and conflicts between employees. They meet with those involved, identify the causes of the conflicts, emphasize that disruptive behaviours will not be tolerated and explore options to prevent unpleasantness in the future. For example, They may separate the disruptive workers for a few days and slowly bring them back onto the same teams. (3)
- May encounter customers that are dissatisfied with the service or installations provided. They discuss the concerns with the employees who did the work, review the service records to identify relevant history and formulate strategies to address the customers' concerns. This may involve shifting of crews or providing additional technical and interpersonal training. (3)
- Decide which tools and equipment may be borrowed by electrical team members. They are held responsible for the tools in case of loss or breakage and therefore approve equipment loans on a case-by-case basis. (1)
- Decide which vacation and personal leave applications to approve. They consider submission dates, past requests, seniority, work performance and operational demands. (2)
- Decide which courses to include in training plans for electrical technicians. They may review past in-house sessions and refer to calendars from community colleges and technical institutes to identify appropriate courses. They consider individual training needs and operational requirements prior to making their decisions. (2)
- May decide if electrical distribution panels have the capacity to accommodate proposed system expansions. They review schematics ratings and specifications of panels, and applicable sections of the Canadian Electric Code when making their decisions. (3)
- Decide to bid on upcoming work. They consider the profit potential, number of competitors, past experience with the customers and the abilities of their teams to meet job requirements prior to initiating the bid process. (3)
- Choose individuals and crews for particular jobs. They are guided by their knowledge of workers' abilities and preferences which have been demonstrated on past jobs. Changing crews in the middle of a job is inefficient and often leads to mistakes so it is important for contractors and supervisor to select the right workers for the job at the start of the work. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
Own Job Planning and Organizing
- Evaluate employees by considering their abilities, temperaments and work histories. (2)
- Evaluate workplace safety. For example, certified crew leaders review safety records, tour worksites, assess the level of compliance with agreed upon standards and recommend corrective actions if required. (3)
Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunication occupations are responsible for establishing their own task priorities and setting their own job schedules. Their schedules are disrupted frequently by demands from clients, employees, suppliers and other trades. They must anticipate and respond quickly to conflicting demands and changing priorities.
Planning and Organizing for Others
Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunication occupations plan and schedule the activities of the employees they supervise. They assign employees to various projects to complete specific task within specified periods of time. Employees may be assigned to work on multiple projects on any given day. Contractors set goals and strategic directions for their enterprises.
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember details of previous jobs including preferences, special equipment, and distinctive personalities, particularly those that presented challenges.
- Remember the locations of tables, graphs and procedures contained in manuals or code books.
- Remember the names and contact information for suppliers.
- Remember commonly used safety standards and repair procedures avoiding time wastage when locating and interpreting codes and procedures.
- Review notes, sketches, drawings, photos, historical files and supplier information for information about large contracts. For example, electrical contractors for large construction jobs must assimilate information contained in a wide variety of documents to identify job requirements. (2)
- Locate and integrate business and industry information from sources such as web sites, magazines, bulletins in order to provide timely updates. For example, technical operations supervisors read trouble call reports and corporate strategy documents to be able to relay timely information to field technicians. (3)
- Gather information about electrical and electronic equipment from a wide range of manuals, code books, drawings and schematics to ensure that installation and repair tasks are carried out safely and efficiently. For example, electrical maintenance crew leaders seek information from electrical codebooks, safety regulations, and schematic drawings of electrical and power systems to ensure the power shutdown sequence is safe and effective. (4)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications are required to work both independently and closely with other team members. They work independently when assessing job requirements, planning and scheduling work, conducting safety audits and monitoring and reporting on the progress of jobs. They work closely with team members to adjust work schedules, coordinate work with contractors and tradespeople and identify and provide training. (3)
Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications are generally responsible for assessing their own learning needs, setting goals, identifying modes of learning and applying learning to job. They learn on the job, by reading and by taking job-specific training and short courses offered by employers, industry associations, unions and equipment suppliers. For example, they may take training courses for first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation; workplace hazardous materials information system awareness, supervisory strategies and electrical code revisions. Contractors have sole responsibility for setting learning goals and choosing learning methods for themselves and their employees. (2)