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Here’s a quick and

easy way to make cabling professionals "stew": Take one boardroom, add several structured cabling professionals from different parts of the industry, and throw in the topic of "standardized education"...


December 1, 2000  


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easy way to make cabling professionals “stew”: Take one boardroom, add several structured cabling professionals from different parts of the industry, and throw in the topic of “standardized education”. Then sit back, put your feet up and get ready to watch tempers heat up until they reach boiling point.

Standardized education and certification within the Canadian structured cabling industry is something that industry-types have been debating for years. Some think a government-run system is the only way to keep everyone on the same page and ensure that work is done safely and to a certain standard. Others fear this type of intervention will be a bad omen for the industry and will wrench control away from industry associations and manufacturers.

Whatever your particular bent, there are certainly a variety of issues to examine on the subject — issues we examine in this edition of Cabling Systems. Our cover story, Learning our Lesson (p. 16) delves deeply into the training issue and examines just what a government-run education system would entail — and who would ultimately benefit from this type of standardization.

We also examine training on a smaller scale in this issue. Our story called Striking a Balance (p. 36) looks at what to focus on when considering training within individual organizations. It’s a delicate balancing act to be sure — one that requires assessing employee and corporate needs, comparing the cost of training with the return on investments, and weighing the value of current versus older training methods.

And what about these training methods? Are people getting what they need from today’s education system? More to the point, are they even being given the opportunity to benefit from it? In his View from the Board column (p. 48), Rob Stevenson of Guild Electric tackles these issues. Instead of the usual complaining about the lack of good people for hire, perhaps employers should instead focus their efforts on how they can develop good people and provide them with the educational opportunities they require.

Lastly, we take a look at some of the educational facilities that offer cabling and telecommunications training in Canada (please see Web Watch on p. 54).

In this issue, we have taken a brief look at what is a massive topic — one we will continue to cover in future issues of Cabling Systems. But in the meantime, why not send us your feelings on the issues? Should the government run the show? Should we train in-house? And who should foot the bill for it all? Please send your comments, views and concerns to jstrom@corporate.southam.ca. We will assemble all correspondence and print these in a later publication.


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