Former minister shows support for regulation of Scotland’s electrical industry

FORMER Scottish Government minister Fergus Ewing is the latest politician to show support for the campaign for the regulation of the electrical industry, which is being spearheaded by trade body SELECT.

The SNP MSP has added his name to the body’s Wall of Support. Mr Ewing said, “Electricians carry out vital work for us all and this work must be done by properly qualified professionals. Cowboys could put lives at risk, given that there is a very clear danger that faulty electrical systems can cause house fires. Therefore, I am going to support moves in the Scottish Parliament to regulate the profession of electrician to secure proper protection of the public.

“There is already protection for gas engineers through the well-known Gas Safe Register, formerly the Corgi scheme, so why not for electricians as well?

“I am pleased that SELECT, the body representing electricians in Scotland, is pressing for this regulation and pledge my support to cross-party efforts to deliver it.”

Mr Ewing’s digital ‘brick’ on the Wall of Support follows other recent signatories, including SNP MP Owen Thompson, Certsure MD Richard Orton, and 184 individual electricians from across Scotland.

Alan Wilson, MD of SELECT, said, “It is highly encouraging that a former Scottish Government minister with substantial business and governmental experience has so fully expressed his support for our regulation campaign. We warmly thank Mr Ewing and all the other recent signatories to our Wall of Support and our ongoing he campaign, pursued over the course of many years in partnership with the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB), the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) and Unite the Union.”

Mr Ewing’s comments come as a Members’ Bill is being prepared for presentation to the Scottish Parliament which, if passed, could enshrine in law the professional status of electricians.

The bill is being proposed by Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston, who SELECT said has been instrumental in promoting consultations to better inform MSPs and ministers of the seriousness of the issue.

The bill’s primary aim is to make it a statutory offence for someone to call themselves an electrician when they have no, or inadequate, qualifications, and to make sure that those who work in the industry do so in a safe and competent manner.

SELECT added that it is also planning meetings with other MPs and MSPs in the coming months to add further names to the Wall of Support.