SELECT campaign for official recognition boosted by new government working group

Newell McGuiness

An influential working group has been established in the Scottish Government to look into “Protection of Title” for professional electricians and to create “an inhospitable environment” for untrained traders posing as qualified tradesmen.

The creation of the group is the latest stage in a concerted campaign by SELECT, the trade body for the electrotechnical trade in Scotland, for official recognition of qualified electricians in the interests of public safety.

The campaign asks the Scottish Government to accept and legislate for the fact that electricians undergo an intensive training akin to that required for other professional qualifications and to agree that their skills should be protected.

Colin Beattie, the SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, who has reiterated his support for the registration of electricians, pressed the government last month about the membership of the group and its remit.

Keith Brown, cabinet secretary for the economy, jobs and fair work, said in a written answer that group has been established to explore how best to respond to the challenge of ensuring the safety of electrical installations in Scotland.

The membership reflects industry, safety and consumer interests. It includes representatives from SELECT, Scottish Joint Industry Board, Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust, Electrical Safety First, NICEIC, Unite the union, RoSPA, Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland, Citizens Advice Scotland and the Scottish Government.

Newell McGuiness, SELECT managing director, said: “The working group is committed to three key outcomes: protecting consumers; protecting properly qualified electricians and creating an inhospitable environment for rogues.”

Government statistics have shown that 69% of all accidental fires in Scottish homes are caused by electricity and unqualified workers pose a distinct and continuing threat to safety in Scottish homes.

SELECT’s aim is the delivery of the highest standards of professionalism and workmanship. It promotes constant improvement to meet this goal. It believes that the industry should ensure high standards of safety and competence so that any customer can rely on any electrician he or she may employ.

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