SELECT MD tells radio audience about importance of electrical apprenticeships

Alan Wilson

SELECT MD Alan Wilson has told thousands of radio listeners across the UK that proper training and apprenticeships are essential to protect the safety of consumers and others in the construction industry.

Speaking on the Building Ideas Show with Mark Millar on Fix Radio, the MD of the trade body said young people gain a ‘thorough and rigorous’ grounding in quality and site safety via industry recognised apprenticeships.

And he said that regulation of the electrical industry and protection of title for suitably qualified electricians was also essential to maintain and improve standards and safety.

Alan told listeners, “The fact is that awareness of safety starts at the very beginning, and that means with apprentices, which is why our industry has run a successful electrical apprenticeship programme for many years. This year, we have recruited almost 900 apprentices which is testament to the businesses in Scotland who put their faith in young people and as adults they take on. That’s where safety starts.

“These people go through a proper apprenticeship. It’s not one of these short apprentice programmes which lasts six months or a year. It’s four-year programme in which the apprentices attend college and receive comprehensive health and safety training.”

Alan also used his appearance on the show to outline the importance of protection of title for electricians – a campaign SELECT has been spearheading for years. He explained that people were now talking about the electrification of society through heating, lighting, cars, computers and day-to-day devices, so it was increasingly vital that work was done by qualified electricians.

“Electricians do safety-critical work and if they get it wrong it can have potentially life-ending consequences for them or the people they do the work for,” he added. “It’s not overstating the situation to say that work carried out by unqualified people  can be fatal.

“There are some 70 protected titles, from obvious ones like teachers, dentists and nurses to other trades like farriers and nightclub bouncers. So if you want to shoe a horse in the UK, you need to have qualifications and it’s a protected title, yet that doesn’t apply to electricians. “If electricians had protection of title, people would know that if someone came to their door claiming to be an electrician then they could confirm they were qualified.

“We are trying to get rid of people who have no training – it’s about protecting the public and the perception of the industry.”