Four more politicians back electrical industry regulation campaign
Four more politicians have become the latest high-profile figures to back SELECT’s long-running campaign for recognition of electricians as a profession.
MP Philippa Whitford and MSPs Colin Beattie, Alexander Burnett and Graham Simpson have each added their names to the association’s Wall of Support, which shows the organisations and individuals supporting the ongoing campaign for Protection of Title.
In his ‘brick’ on the wall, Mr Beattie, SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, said: “Putting regulations like this in place are not only vital in making Scotland’s homes safer, but also support the industry and those who work within it.
“It is of great importance that those who are properly trained and qualified in the field are the ones that we trust to cater for Scottish homes.
“Ensuring that they are certified not only guarantees that they are competent to do the work, but also strengthens the entire sector with electricians who are qualified to practice properly.”
Dr Whitford, SNP MP for Central Ayrshire, said: “I am happy to add my name to SELECT’s Wall of Support. As householders are being discouraged from carrying out electrical work on a DIY basis, it is important that anyone they employ to do the work is appropriately qualified.”
Mr Burnett, Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West, also gave his backing to the #BackTheBrick campaign, saying: “The privilege of calling yourself an electrician should be limited to those who are qualified at this highly skilled profession. Not only will this prevent rogue traders from carrying out electrical work that could be unsafe, but it could also help reduce costs to the consumer, by preventing further repairs required on shoddy work.”
Voicing his support, Mr Simpson, Conservative MSP for Central Scotland, added: “Poor quality electrical work causes huge dangers to homes and business across Scotland. It is therefore vital to ensure that only properly trained and suitably qualified people carry out such work.”
The politicians’ endorsement comes as part of growing cross-party support for the campaign. Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie and SNP MSP Clare Adamson added their names earlier this year, along with Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston and the Greens’ Alison Johnstone.
Politicians also voiced their support when SELECT visited the SNP conference in Edinburgh in April and the Scottish Conservatives’ get-together in Aberdeen in May.
The issue has now progressed through the Scottish Parliament and a Member’s Bill is currently being prepared for discussion later this year.
SELECT managing director Alan Wilson said: “We welcome this latest support and are grateful to these four politicians for backing our ongoing campaign to make electrician a regulated profession.
“Regulation of the electrical industry is vital if we are to improve safety for both domestic and commercial consumers across Scotland.
“We will now continue to raise awareness of this issue and work towards our ultimate goal – making it an offence for someone to call themselves an electrician when they have no, or inadequate, qualifications.”
Other bodies that have contributed a brick to the wall include the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB), Unite the Union, Electrical Safety First, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Scottish Association of Landlords, the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group and the Energy Saving Trust.