A conversation with Sjoerd Keijzer
Training Consultant at GOA Leidingtechniek
Sjoerd Keijzer has been training splicers for over 15 years; with great satisfaction each and every day. He works as Training Consultant at GOA Leidingtechniek, although his work coat also bears the title of ‘Trainer’. Sjoerd is well known to utilities and has passed on his engineering passion to many Trainee Splicers.
“Chaos starts where training stops”
When Sjoerd started in the cable assembly sector over 35 years ago, working with trainees was the thing he always enjoyed the most: “At the time, I had great satisfaction in sharing my knowledge with youngsters and preparing them for the profession.” Sjoerd then switched to the field of professional training in 2003, when he was asked to set up a training school at the BAM. This involved working with many different types of cables and splices. But all products have one thing in common, namely that they all require practical training: “No matter how fantastic a product is – like the new trend of ‘all-in-one’ splices, for example, you cannot gain practical knowledge via toolbox meetings or e-learning courses. The sector would be complete chaos without proper training”, says Sjoerd.
Investing in awareness
According to Sjoerd, underlying knowledge is a problem: What happens in a splice, why it is important to peel the cable in a particular manner and what the risks are if you do not perform a moisture test. ”It is not only about basic knowledge and the ability to perform calculations; it’s also about being aware of what you are doing. But this seems to be becoming less important”, highlights Sjoerd.
Many courses have been reduced from two years to one year, and ‘learning on the job’ is becoming increasingly popular. However, Sjoerd has noticed that more and more attention is being given to regulations and safety, which he thinks is a good thing.
Best cable splice
The best cable connections are realised with products that require minimum assembly. Wrapped splices are based on accurate measurement and wrapping, and the LoviSil® splice scores well on this front. “Recent improvements in the LoviSil® splice have helped to significantly improve the ease of assembly. This was done by using the knowledge of professionals in the field. The LoviSil® splice is world class when it comes to trifurcate connections”, states Sjoerd. Sjoerd welcomes the latest developments in ‘plug and play’ and ‘all-in one’ solutions, but warns that splicer cannot get away with little or no training even though splices are becoming easier to fit.
The pressure that some companies are putting on price and training will have a negative impact on the network. Thankfully, Sjoerd has also seen some positive developments, like effective train-the-trainer courses at suppliers and the re-emergence of training schools at grid operators. There is nothing better than using effective training to develop people: “I have trained Assistant splicer who are now work as planners or have started their own business and employ 20 people; this makes me very proud.”