Categories Teamwork, Uncategorized

Team Talk 6

For a team to be effective, they need to communicate. Our internal communication is ‘Team Talk’, which we share from time to time, so others understand the strengths that makes us Team JGF.

Welcome and enjoy.

Categories Apprenticeships

ALLL – About the Next Generation

We are getting out and about in Kent to talk opportunities, STEM and Apprenticeships to schools as part of their Career Fairs. This is our first venture of this kind and we have been overwhelmed, not just by the interest schools have shown, but by the heartfelt interest received by the students themselves.

Why do we bother ?

Simple, because these are our next generation of business leaders, politicians, industrialists, decision makers and we want to do everything we can to help them understand even our tiny part of ‘the real world’.

It’s a big step from school to job or further education; from employment to career development; and from management to leadership.

Joe Forsyth (MD, JGF Electrical): “My Grandad was my mentor. He guided me into this incredible world of electronics. He encouraged me to take up an Apprenticeship – and not ‘just to turn up’, but to learn and soak up every ounce of learning that was to become my skill. His was the grounding in me that we hope to instil in others.”

STEM

Back to scholarly basics and the values of STEM as school subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths. They are unpleasant basics to some, but essential if you want to throw that switch and watch the machines of British Industry turn.

We asked Isabelle Haigh, former Head of Operations, National Grid and friend of science, technology and the values of women in industry, what she felt about this initiative. She said: “Being the first female engineer in the control room 30 years ago was quite daunting at the time, but I was delighted to be doing a job that I loved, and in a great National Grid environment too.

STEM, STEAM & ALLL

We asked Isabelle about the importance of STEM in schools and, despite her pure Science & Engineering qualifications, she added the ‘A’ in the acronym for Arts.

STEM focuses explicitly on the hard scientific, technological, engineering, or mathematical skills to drive progress or create a new concept. In STEAM, students employ both hard and soft skills to solve problems.

Isabelle says: “I would encourage anyone who is curious, likes to solve problems and enjoys the sense of achievement that comes with ‘creating things’, to consider a career in engineering. Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity to learn and develop skills needed for a successful career whilst being paid! What a great opportunity that I wish had been available when I was doing my training.”

Apprenticeship opportunities are open to practically all, in all commercial and engineering disciplines. Focusing on the Electrical Industry – think about it … you put your order in to Amazon and it arrives the next day – HOW?

Well, join us and find out but, knowledge and skill are literally only half the battle. A good Apprenticeship will teach you about YOU.

It will develop your personality and channel your human skills into project work, operating and interacting as a team. For some, that’s a massive step, a leap across a scary chasm between school and work.

ALLL

A good Apprenticeship (combining you, your college and your employer) will help you manage those steps and become a better person for doing so.

We have developed our own acronym, which covers those early days of your Apprenticeship out there on the front line – ALLL.

  • Ask – and you will be told.
  • Look – and you will see.
  • Listen – and you will hear.
  • Learn – and you will achieve.

It’s not rocket science – but of course it could be.

The opportunities are enormous, the stars could well be yours.

ALLL – see, hear, achieve.

Categories Health & Safety

It’s LOTO, not ‘a LOTTO’

Don’t make a LOTTO (lottery) of your critical Health & Safety regime.

LOTO – Lockout, Tagout.

We were discussing Health & Safety last week (it’s a regular discussion point in our fortnightly Leadership Team meetings) and reviewed our LOTO policies. Even around the table, although the purpose of the acronym was universally confirmed, the actual ‘O’ and ‘O’ had mixed results.

Joe (MD) then put the question out to a wider audience (our 3,000+ LinkedIn followers) with the following results:

56% got it right – is that good, bad or concerning?

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 – HSR25 (Forth edition) Published 2018

This new edition of HSR25 will help dutyholders meet the requirements of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. It will be of interest and practical help to all dutyholders, particularly engineers (including those involved in the design, construction, operation or maintenance of electrical systems), technicians and their managers.

It sets out the Regulations and gives technical and legal guidance on them. The purpose of this guidance is to highlight the nature of the precautions in general terms to help dutyholders achieve high standards of electrical safety in compliance with the duties imposed.

One of the most common workplace hazards is the release of hazardous energy during maintenance or repair work on machinery or equipment. Resultant injuries can be life changing and even fatal.

LOTO Procedures

An efficient, well-practiced Lockout Tagout (LOTO) procedure is the most effective preventative solution.

The difference between lock out and tag out is the device used. The lockout device stops employees from operating the equipment while the tagout device informs them that the equipment should not be operated. Essentially, a tagout device is the second layer of protection against unsafe equipment operation while a lockout device is the first layer.

The LOTO Rules of Isolation are:

  • Obtain permission to start work (a Permit may be required in some situations)
  • Identify the source(s) of supply using an approved voltage indicator or test lamp
  • Prove that the approved voltage indicator or test lamp is functioning correctly
  • Isolate the supply(s)
  • Secure the isolation
  • Prove the system/equipment is DEAD using an approved voltage indicator or test lamp
  • Prove that the approved voltage indicator or test lamp is functioning correctly
  • Put up warning signs to tell other people that the electrical installation has been isolated
  • Once the system/equipment is proved DEAD, work can begin.

LOTO Stay Safe

Categories PV / EV

Energy Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Tracking Clean Energy Process (TCEP) – How are we doing?

As ULEZ signs topple across London in Sadiq Khan’s one-man last-ditch attempt to save the planet and London residents’ horror at having to do it for him, in a more structured world, the IEA have published their TCEP 2023 report.

Mole End Farms in Cranbrook may be a grain of sand in the desert of renewables but, as you’ll read later (below), by working #together, we may hold back the melting ice flows and stop the growing acres of barren land.

Our principal aim is to build a truly ethical and sustainable long-term business...”

Read what else owner Paul Ward has to say about environmental sustainability, below.

The BIG picture first

The IEA is an international body working with governments around the world offering advice on matters ‘energy’ with the broadest goal of reducing CO2 emissions.

The TCEP report specifically covers:

  • Electric Vehicles
  • Nuclear
  • Heat Pumps
  • Electrolyser
  • Energy Efficiency

How are we doing?

(In their words): Of the over 50 components tracked, in the 2023 edition 3 are evaluated as fully “On track” with the Net Zero by 2050 Scenario trajectory – solar PV, electric vehicles and lighting. Solar PV was upgraded in this edition, as the annual growth in generation in 2022 of 26% is now aligned with the average compound annual growth rate needed from now to 2030 in the Net Zero Scenario. 

Massive UK Growth.

In the first 6 months of 2022, the UK Solar PV market saw the UK posting 80% growth in new solar PV installations compared to the same period the previous with the country’s solar capacity now exceeding 15GW.

And, the UK has ambitious solar power targets to reach 40GW installed capacity by 2030.

Exciting News.

This is exciting news, not just for the country but for JGF. JGF have invested time and other resources, gaining accreditation and embarking on technical up-skilling to make sure it will play an important role in the EV / PV market over the next 3 years.

Energy – it doesn’t grow on trees

But apples do, especially at Mole End Farms in Kent.

This is a slice of Mole End Farm in Kent, an award-winning grower of apples and pears. Paul Ward, MD and passionate organic grower, summed his business aims up for us:

Our principal aim is to build a truly ethical and sustainable long-term business, producing a high-quality food product in a fully sustainable manner with the absolute minimum impact on the surrounding environment.”

Paul added: “We aim to market, package and promote our products using the most environmentally sustainable means.”

For years, part of their ‘environmental sustainability’ includes renewable energy. This began a number of years ago and is an ongoing strategy, developing in conjunction with JGF. Power from solar panels has subsidised energy from the grid and EV Charging is in place, just. Now, the whole ‘internal network’ is being extended across the remaining farms in the group.

Joe Forsyth, JGF’s MD, said: “The next phase is to create a ‘power reservoir’, holding surplus power in batteries to balance out the peaks and troughs of production and use. Then, at quieter times on the farm, we will enjoy the blossom, Mole End Farm will sell energy back into the grid. That’s one happy business.”

Cost efficient?

Joe again: “Yes. But let us conduct a survey and see for yourself.”

Categories Teamwork

Team Talk 5

Anyone who knows JGF knows that the power of teamwork is paramount. Operating, training, working and playing as a respectful team is the driving force, so talking to The Team is crucial – hence, Team Talk:

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