Cable business booms

Written By miftah nugraha on Jumat, 03 Mei 2013 | 19.55

ONE of Tasmania's largest locally owned electrical services firms is defying economic tough times and creating new jobs.

Contact Electrical has hired 30 new staff, including 16 apprentices, since a crucial meeting 18 months ago.

Contact's Hobart manager Martin Jackson said the firm had fought for its life, and won, during two of the construction and home improvement industry's most difficult trading years.

Mr Jackson said the business had gone into a huddle 18 months ago after it became clear it would fail if it continued down the same path.

He said it was decided they would need to broaden the business to involve just about anything that had a cable attached -- from CCTV and security systems to solar panels and sewage treatment infrastructure.

Hamilton's Simon Brown was one of the newest recruits and said it was a great feeling to be back at work.

Mr Brown, 40, was unable to find a full-time job when he moved back from Victoria for family reasons 18 months ago.

This week he began a new career path.

He said if everything went to plan he would start an apprenticeship to train as an electrician.

Mr Brown was this week engaged in the rollout of NBN optic fibres in Kingston -- another small part of Contact's business.

Mr Jackson said Contact had also made a pitch to convince its clients -- from households that needed new power points to multi-million dollar developers -- that a strong locally owned electrical services firm was worth saving.

"The work has kept on pouring in," Mr Jackson said.

He said the downturn had forced many operators, particularly smaller ones involving one or two electricians, to leave the state or go out of business.

Contact has helped some of those operators by taking them on as employees.

Mr Jackson said the firm's new apprentices were a mixture of school leavers and mature-aged workers moving across from forestry and other troubled industries.

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