SELECT is among the senior industry bodies which have welcomed the Scottish Government’s pledge to publish a consultation on the regulation of electricians – but have also urged them to make it happen soon.
The announcement in the 2019-20 Programme for Government was accompanied by an assurance from Holyrood that it would launch an awareness campaign to make it easier for consumers to find qualified electricians.
Alan Wilson, Managing Director of SELECT, said: “This is very welcome news and another important step forward in protecting the safety of people and businesses who use the services of an electrician.
“The consultation will allow interested parties to express their view on our wish to ensure that only those who are appropriately qualified are accorded the respect that is due to such an important and safety critical profession.”
Kevan Parker, Managing Director of NICEIC, said: “This announcement adds further momentum to our commitment to improve consumer safety and protection.
“NICEIC has led the way in informing householders about the need to use a registered electrician. We welcome the Scottish Government support to raise awareness on this matter and look forward to working with them to make finding a registered electrician easier.”
Fiona Harper, The Secretary of the SJIB, added: “This announcement is another step on the road to protecting the reputation of properly qualified electricians, both now and for the next generation.
“Ensuring that skills and qualifications are both valued and mandatory for all electrical work in Scotland will underpin training as a credible component of the future of our industry and help raise the bar across our profession as a whole.”
The announcement is the latest milestone in a long-running campaign for recognition of electrician as a profession – but Alan added a note of caution.
He said: “Although we obviously welcome the announcement, we also want to see it come to fruition as soon as possible. Shoddy and sub-standard electrical work carries the risk of death and injury, so the longer we delay, the higher the risk to the public.
“The integrity of the industry and the safety of the people of Scotland are paramount, so the longer this consultation takes, the more risk is posed by so-called electricians with no qualifications at all.”
The new promise of consultation will mean a significant new phase for the joint regulation campaign, which is also backed by Unite the Union and has received significant support from high-profile figures, including MPs, MSPs and major organisations.
The issue has already been debated in the Scottish Parliament, with an Electricians Working Group convened to explore the challenges of ensuring the safety of electrical installations and protecting both consumers and scrupulous traders.