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Confidence continued to grow in the electrical sector in 2016 despite a few bumps in the road along the way.

Many predictions at the start of the year were for unprecedented growth, at levels not seen since the pre-recession era of 2007.

Although these forecasts never quite materialised, output did increase overall.

The slower than predicted nature of this growth can perhaps be put down to the political upheaval of the summer and the uncertainty of a what a post-Brexit Britain will look like. The withdrawal of government support for Green Deal and the slashing of Feed in Tariff rates for solar PV also didn’t help and ultimately meant the energy efficiency market stalled.

However, I am confident that it will be electrical contractors who hold the skills and knowledge to drive forward the Government’s ‘Green’ ambitions as we await details of the next approach government plans to take to tackle this important area.

Elsewhere, the rapid advancement of technology will continue to create opportunities for those in the building services sector.

Smart homes and the need to provide a suitable infrastructure is something we believe will be a big area of growth in 2016 and beyond. In addition the increased use of electric vehicles will create demand for suitable charging points.

There is also a growing concern around health and the quality of air within buildings and there will be further opportunities for electrical installers associated with ventilation systems in homes and commercial properties.

Despite some tough times, the electrical sector has demonstrated its ability to adapt to change and meet the needs of the future. And it is this ability to cope with change that fills me with encouragement for the next 12 months and beyond.

The electrical industry is now worth an estimated £16 billion to the UK economy - contributing just over 8% to the UK construction sector output as a whole. It employs more than 220, 000 people and is responsible for training more than 7,000 apprentices each year.

It is these achievements which make the sector such an enjoyable one to work in and something we should all be proud of.

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  • NICEIC T50 Side2