‘Urgent’ need to crack down on unqualified people posing as electricians

A campaign is continuing to push to make it an offence for someone to call themselves an electrician when they have no, or inadequate, qualifications.

It comes after the president of SELECT said that regulation of the electrical industry is ‘essential’ to prevent the ‘incompetent and downright dangerous’ workmanship that it said its members encounter on a regular basis.

Donald W Orr insists protection of title is the ‘only answer’ to the faulty electrical work that SELECT said costs Scotland around £120 million every year. The campaign is being run with the Scottish Joint Industry Board, the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust and Unite the Union.

Mr Orr said, “The level of sub-standard electrical installations that we’re still seeing out there demonstrates that there is an overwhelmingly urgent need to protect the public from the activities of unscrupulous traders.

“We see incompetent and downright dangerous work on a regular basis and it could have tragic results if we don’t act now. Miscreants put the public at risk and tarnish the name of proper electricians and we must weed them out through regulation of the industry.”

Mr Orr’s warning was echoed by two new signatories to SELECT’s Wall of Support, which shows the growing groundswell of support for protection of title, and continues to attract new backing from organisations and politicians.

Jim Kerr of JK Electrical in Glasgow said, “Hardly a week goes where I don’t come across electrical work of extremely poor standard. I’ve seen some truly shocking installations and feel that the problem of unskilled personnel carrying out electrical work is worsening. It’s therefore absolutely essential that electricians be given protection of title.”

Another qualified electrical contractor, Brian McKenna, director of Glasgow-based Enerlek, added, “Too often I have to fix electrical work that’s been installed dangerously and doesn’t conform to the regulations, putting people and premises at risk. The title of electrician must therefore be protected and regulated to ensure people are safe.”