Political support grows for campaign to regulate Scotland’s electrical industry

Fiona Harper and Owen Thompson MP

THE campaign for the regulation of the electrical industry in Scotland, which is being spearheaded by SELECT, has received support from a prominent Westminster politician.

SELECT recently hosted Owen Thompson MP, SNP Westminster chief whip, at its HQ at The Walled Garden outside Edinburgh.

During his visit, the MP said that, while aware that the issue of protection of title for electricians was under consideration in the Scottish Parliament, he would now seek to raise the matter in the House of Commons and would add his name to SELECT’s Wall of Support.

Meeting with SELECT MD Alan Wilson, director of employment and skills Fiona Harper, and specifier and client relations manager Yvonne Wilson, Mr Thompson discussed a number of other construction sector issues, including procurement and payment.

Afterwards, he said, “I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet the SELECT team. I have been aware since my days as leader of Midlothian Council of the good work the organisation carries out on behalf not only of electricians but of the construction industry in Scotland as a whole.

“I am very happy to lend my name to the campaign for regulation of the electrical industry. It is an idea whose time has come, since it can only be common sense to assure the public that anyone who presents themselves as an electrician is appropriately qualified and registered and that those who work in the industry do so in a safe and competent manner.

“I fully agree that seeking to regulate electricians could have a significant positive economic impact, as well as helping to reduce the numbers of deaths and injuries caused each year by fires or electric shocks.”

During his visit on April 13, Mr Thompson also engaged with his hosts on the importance of a collaborative public sector procurement system and a payment system which made sure customers pay on time and in full.

While taking a tour of the HQ, he also visited the dedicated SELECT training centre, where the training and technical departments deliver a range of SQA-accredited courses.

Mr Wilson said, “It was SELECT’s pleasure to welcome Mr Thompson to our HQ and to have meaningful discussions about matters which directly affect our members, particularly recognition and the ongoing problem of late and withheld payments. Mr Thompson’s interest in our activities is indicative of a continuing groundswell of support for our campaigns, with a number of MSPs and other trade associations putting their names to new bricks on the Wall of Support.”

Ms Harper, who is also the secretary of the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB), added, “I am sure Mr Thompson appreciated that safety is at the forefront of everything we do as an organisation and that we will not rest until protection of title makes the industry as safe as it possibly can be.”