FENIE, the organisation that I have the pleasure of presiding over, is the Spanish National Federation of Installations Employers and it was established more than 40 years ago.
It is composed of 70 associations, distributed throughout the national territory. In addition, its associates include more than 15,000 installations companies, employing more than 95,000 workers. All this yields an annual turnover of over 7.9 billion euros.
The installers’ sector, with FENIE as its unifying entity, is currently facing many challenges. Perhaps the most noteworthy are digitalisation, multidisciplinarity, as well as society’s adaptation and struggle for access to self-consumption, distributed generation and electric mobility.
To take these items one at a time, in terms of the struggle for self-consumption, at FENIE we have been working intensely for many years, meeting with the most representative political parties in the Congress of Deputies and presenting our proposals to amend the Royal Decree on Energy Self-consumption, which has led to meetings with the former Minister of Energy, Álvaro Nadal.
Both self-consumption and electric mobility are markets in which installation companies are the main actors. We are proud to think that the benefit of their proliferation will not only benefit us as a sector, but that they will also provide an endless number of advantages for society as a whole and electricity consumer in particular.
As indicated previously, digitalisation and the possibility of being a multidisciplinary professional are the other fundamental goals. The key to success in both areas, we have no doubt, is training.
We are aware of the traditional figure of the installer. To use an image that is recognisable to everyone, the typical “sparks”. However, the profession has evolved by leaps and bounds, so that the expectations for expertise and knowledge in a modern installation company are risen correspondingly.
The clients themselves, in a trend we can observe, are demanding an installation company that meets their needs in a professional and comprehensive manner, that is, that can meet their demands, whether linked to the electrical installation or other types of activities.
This evolution is closely related to new technologies and trying to turn your back on them is an error that can drive you out of the market or prevent you from accessing it.
Training allows companies to reach those levels of specialisation so strongly demanded at present. That is why, our Associations, many of which have enviable training centres, and the Federation itself, through the EIC training network, make the best courses available to our associates.
It is a task that we not only do in-house, but we also fly the flag at every event we attend. This is why the National Congress, FENIE XVIII, held in October 2017, had seven training workshops that were highly attended.
The other great event for which FENIE is prepared every two years is MATELEC, with a stand covering more than 1,000 m2: “The World of the Installer”. Here we provide, on the one hand, a “Master-class” space, where training courses from several of our Associations are held, and on the other, a space for the national phase of the “Young Installers Contest”. During the four days of the fair (this year from 13th to 16th November), 40 vocational students will undertake an electrical installation with the aim of becoming “the best new installer in Spain 2018”.
In summary, training, digitalisation, education to be able to accept all the professional challenges that the installation world can throw up offer you a business niche with a firm commitment to renewable energies.
As a vision of the future, we are in a period of change and I believe that it has to be seen as an extraordinary moment for our sector.
I am convinced that the upcoming years will be very important for our companies, where, as I mentioned before, new business opportunities will really be the engine for our companies’ performance. The only thing that must be done so that we are truly at the forefront, is to get trained.