SJIB and Unite the Union come together to campaign for statutory recognition of professional electricians10 OctThe ongoing campaign to confer statutory recognition on Scotland’s professional electricians will again be under the spotlight when an MSP raises a further motion addressing the issue in the Scottish Parliament later this month. The move, by Jamie Halcro Johnston, Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP for the Highlands and Islands, is the latest in a determined campaign by representatives of both employers and employees to secure official, legal recognition of qualified and competent electricians in the interests of public safety. Pat Rafferty, Scotland Regional Secretary of Unite the Union has expressed its full support for the long-running campaign for recognition of the skills, knowledge, training, experience and qualifications of electricians and the vital role they play in the functioning of modern society. He said: “Unite has already contributed to the establishment of the Electricians Working Group which was convened at Holyrood following a concerted awareness-raising push by electrical employers’ association SELECT, the Scottish Joint Industry Board and the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust, together with Unite. “The Government’s own statistics disclose that 69% of all accidental fires in Scottish homes are caused by electricity and it is clear that work carried out by unqualified operators poses a distinct threat to community safety. This motion is a crucial next step in our campaign for recognition and we are optimistic that it will be carried.” Fiona Harper, The Secretary of the Scottish Joint Industry Training Board, said: “Recognition of the vital role that trained and qualified electricians play in safeguarding all parts of Scottish society is long overdue. These are highly-trained, competent and qualified professional people whose contribution to Scotland’s economy and modern life is immense.” Mr Halcro Johnston’s motion, which is due to be debated in parliament on the early afternoon of Thursday 25 October, will ask Holyrood to note the calls supporting the principle of the regulation of electricians and will point out also that, while more than 100 regulated professions exist in the UK –– there is no protection afforded to electricians. It will again ask Parliament to appreciate that improperly-installed electrical work creates a significant risk of fire as well as other harm to householders and that the installation of electrical work by unqualified or only partly qualified individuals carries a safety risk. Finally, it will ask for acknowledgement of calls for the Scottish Government to consider how the Parliament’s powers over protection of title can be utilised to reassure the public of the safety of electrical work in domestic and non-domestic premises.
Support the campaign to protect the title of ‘Electrician’ Jan 29, 2019 For the last few years the Scottish electrical trade association SELECT, along with a number of partner organisations such as the Scottish JIB and Unite the Union, has been lobbying the Scottish Government to introduce ‘Protection of Title’ for electricians. This would make it an offence for someone to call themselves an electrician in Scotland if they were not qualified. At present, anyone can call themselves an electrician and carry out electrical work despite having no qualifications. The Scottish Government is now gathering evidence on the extent of substandard electrical installations in Scotland and the risks posed to the general public. Whether or not you have carried out installations in Scotland, we believe this is a great opportunity to still contribute to this survey and answer important questions such as: Do you think the title of “Electrician” should be legally protected? Which criterion do you believe would be the most important for someone to be able to claim the title of electrician? The questions regarding Scottish installations is not mandatory therefore if this is not applicable to you, you can move to the next section. You can participate by visiting: www.pyetait.com/Regulating-Electricians-in-Scotland You can read more about SELECT’s campaign for regulation by visiting: https://www.select.org.uk/safer/
Unite, the UK’s construction union, is strongly backing a consultation by the Scottish government which would make the term electrician a protected title.
If the Scottish government grants electricians protected title status it would be an offence for anyone who was not qualified as an electrician to describe themselves as such.
Improve safetyUnite believes that such a measure would dramatically reduce unqualified workers installing electrical equipment which would boost public confidence and safety.
Unite has been working with SELECT (Electrical Contractors Association of Scotland), Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) and the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) to get the Scottish government to introduce protected title status for electricians.
Unite regional officer Scott Foley said: “Introducing protected status for electricians would improve consumer protection overnight as the public would know that anyone who described themselves as an electrician was properly trained and qualified. It will help drive the cowboys out of the industry.
“It is important that as many people as possible complete the petition to demonstrate the strength of feeling to ensure that the Scottish government acts to introduce protected status for electricians. “Electricians are highly skilled and undertake a four year apprenticeship to develop and enhance their skills. It is long overdue that their skills and abilities are properly recognised and cannot be undermined.” Excellent initiativeUnite national officer for construction Bernard McAulay said: “This is an excellent and much needed initiative. If we can ensure that these measures are passed in Scotland, Unite is committed to campaigning for the whole of the UK to introduce protected status for all electricians to be graded as approved electricians through the industries recognised S/JIB bodies.” An electrical apprenticeship in Scotland takes four years to complete. Once an electrician has qualified they have to undertake an additional two years as an electrician, collating examples of their work experience and then successfully completing a further examination (the advanced competence assessment) to be graded as an approved electricians.