‘Unsung hero’ of Scotland’s electrical sector recognised with lifetime achievement accolade

Alick Smith

AN ‘unsung hero’ of the electrical industry has been recognised for his contribution to the sector with the Lifetime Achievement Award by SELECT.

Alick Smith was honoured at the recent SELECT President’s Lunch, sponsored by Electrium, at the voco® Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow.

Alick started out as an apprentice in the mid-1960s and developed his skills through a range of roles over the years, including estimating and surveying. In 1996 he moved to a new company, initially as operations manager, before becoming MD in 2003, overseeing a significant increase in turnover and staffing.

He has been a supporter of SELECT since attending his first meeting in the 1970s, serving on many committees and boards and becoming president in 2009. In recent years he has played a key role at SELECT as lead negotiator in its wage discussions with the trade union Unite.

Announcing the award, Fiona Harper, director of employment & skills at SELECT, said, “Alick is the true definition of what I would call an unsung hero. Over the years, he has done a great deal of work on behalf of our industry, quietly and efficiently, never seeking the limelight and rarely receiving the recognition he deserves.

“I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time with Alick, travelling thousands of miles and consuming vast amounts of black coffee. He is a fantastic ambassador for our industry who is always on hand to offer support and guidance with a quiet, discreet, yet totally significant word.

“He is also immensely proud to be an electrician and being part of what he describe as a vibrant and exciting trade, and especially enjoys spending time with the apprentices and future electricians who, in his opinion, society cannot live without.

“Working with Alick has been a delight. I admire his tenacity and dedication, instinctive understanding of employee relations and pure love for our industry and the people in it. But most of all, he makes me smile.”

Alick accepted his award from Ms Harper and SELECT president Alistair Grant at the event, which was attended by around 100 industry figures, and was co-sponsored by MacRoberts LLP and included Monica Lennon MSP as a special guest.

Alick Smith, who lives in Inverbervie, Aberdeenshire, said, “I am extremely humbled to be the recipient of this distinguished award. When I look back, the role of an electrician has changed greatly over the years, but with all the new technology, we still have a long road to travel, with plenty of things we need to stay abreast of, so it’s more important than ever that we are competent in everything we do.

“I would also like to thank everyone at SELECT for their support and guidance over the years and I still feel that it is great to be a member of the association.”

The Lifetime Achievement is SELECT’s most prestigious award and is intended to reflect ‘extraordinary’ contributions to the industry.