The Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) says there is now “overwhelming industry support” for regulation of the electrical industry and is urging professionals to make their voices heard.
The leading construction body insists protection of title is vital to protect consumers across Scotland – and points to a recent consultation in which 90% of respondents said they were in favour of the measure.
The consultation by MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston, which closed in November, received 141 submissions, 121 of which were fully supportive, 10 partially supportive, one neutral, three partially opposed and only three opposed.
Fiona Harper, The Secretary of the SJIB, says: “It was heartening to see such a high level of responses from a wide cross-section of the industry and to see so many organisations and individual electricians taking a real interest in the future of our industry.
“The responses show that there is a real appetite to deliver a bill through the Scottish Parliament as soon as possible to secure the safety of consumers and the integrity of the electrical sector in Scotland.”
She adds: “These consultations are a major step towards a safer industry and we look forward to welcoming a new dawn for electricians and their customers in Scotland.
“At present, anyone can claim to be an electrician and work on an electrical installation. It cannot be right that those who have completed a full apprenticeship and who work in the industry in a safe and competent manner, can be compromised by those who call themselves electricians but who have no or inadequate qualifications.
“Industry research suggests that the net benefits to Scotland from proper regulation of electricians will total around £58million. We would also benefit from higher electrical standards, a reduction in the number of injuries and deaths, better functioning installations, less need for call backs or for poor/unsafe work to be repaired, leading to improved customer satisfaction.”
The Bill would be the culmination of a long-running campaign by the SJIB, SELECT and other leading industry bodies to make sure that those who work in the industry do so in a safe and competent manner.
SELECT has spent the past few years campaigning with other leading trade bodies for the introduction of regulation, with its many supporters listed on the online Wall of Support.
In its own response to the consultation, the SJIB comments that regulation would “significantly enhance consumer, client and public protection and safety while deterring unqualified individuals”.
“The SJIB already gives support to the ECS [Electrotechnical Certification Scheme] which accommodates and recognises the diverse array of electricians operating within the electrotechnical industry. With some additional safeguards, the SJIB could develop a very robust scheme at little additional cost” concludes Fiona.