Sparks’ trade body wins major support for safety rules bid

SELECT acting managing director Alan Wilson.
SELECT acting managing director Alan Wilson.

The trade body behind a campaign to outlaw cowboy electricians and potentially lethal wiring says it has rallied formidable support for its cause.

Earlier this month electro-technical trade association SELECT (Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland) warned local businesses to beware of fake pdfs of wiring regulations being sold online.

The recklessly dangerous scam is the latest evidence that amateurs and fraudsters are putting lives at risk.

Backed by the union Unite, SELECT has been working with the Scottish Government to pave the way for what it sees as urgently-needed legislation.

Surveyors, housebuilders, professional bodies and trade unions have all lined up behind SELECT’s stated position that recognition of Electricians is an issue of public safety, and that the profession should be protected by the full weight of the law.

Bodies which have lent their full support include the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Scottish Association of Landlords, the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group, the Association of Electrical Safety Managers, Energy Action Scotland, BAM Construction, the Scottish Building Federation, the Federation of Master Builders and the Energy Saving Trust.

Gail Hunter, of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors said: “The RICS supports the campaign to introduce Protection of Title, which would ensure that anyone calling themselves an electrician in Scotland would have to hold appropriate qualifications.”

Bruce Dickson, Regional Director Scotland for BAM Construction, said: “BAM supports the importance of using professionals in all aspects of construction - it is vital that we ensure only properly trained and qualified people carry out these works.”

John Blackwood, CEO of the Scottish Association of Landlords, said: “We support the importance of using professional electricians in all types of construction work, be they multi-million pound contracts or small domestic works.”

Responding to the overwhelming support for regulation of the trade, business minister Jamie Hepburn MSP this week hosted a working group to consider how new laws to regulate electricians could be put into practice.

Alan Wilson, Acting Managing Director at SELECT, said: “We would like to thank the very significant and influential number of organisations which have given time and support to this vital campaign.

“We can assure them that SELECT will continue to press the issue towards a satisfactory conclusion.”

SELECT’s 1250 member companies account for around 90 per cent of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland. They have a collective turnover of around £1 billion and provide employment for 15,000 people.