Former Scottish Government Minister, Fergus Ewing, has thrown his weight behind the growing campaign for the regulation of the electrical industry being spearheaded by SELECT.
The prominent SNP politician, who was Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism between 2016 and 2021, has added his name to the body’s Wall of Support alongside fellow politicians and leading names from the construction sector.
Fergus, MSP for Inverness and Nairn, says: “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 is pressing for this regulation and pledge my support to cross-party efforts to deliver it.”
Fergus’ digital ‘brick’ on the Wall of Support comes hot on the heels of other recent signatories, including SNP MP, Owen Thompson, Certsure Managing Director, Richard Orton, and 184 individual electricians from across Scotland.
Alan Wilson, Managing Director of SELECT, says: “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 Fergus 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.”
Fergus’ 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 has worked tirelessly in the campaign and 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 is also now planning meetings with other MPs and MSPs in the coming months to add further names to the Wall of Support.