The Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) has voiced itself within the parliamentary consultation on regulation of electricians, claiming protection of the title ‘electrician’ would “significantly enhance consumer, client and public protection and safety while deterring unqualified individuals”.
Founded in 1969 by trade association Select and Unite The Union, the SJIB’s duties include; regulating employers and employees, providing benefits within the industry, and stimulating industry progress. Additionally, it has oversight of, employment, skills and proficiency, health and safety competence, wages, and welfare benefits across the electrical industry in Scotland.
The industry body also says any new scheme would bring economic benefits and assist in driving for a ‘sustainable skills base’. The SJIB makes its comments as part of a set of responses to the consultation on proposals for a Holyrood Member’s Bill on regulation, closing 10 November.
Fiona Harper, Secretary of the SJIB, says: “The promotion of registered electrical contractors with industry-recognised qualifications would address the scale of defective and unsafe electrical work.
“The SJIB administers ECS (Electrotechnical Certification Scheme), recognising the array of electricians operating the electrotechnical industry. With additional safeguards, the SJIB could develop a scheme at little cost.”
The Board’s response follows answers from trade body Select and an exclusive interview, whereby bill sponsor Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP stressed it was in the interests of public safety. The consultation is the culmination of a campaign which has seen support on Select’s ‘wall of support’ , with more than 100 parliamentarians, industry figures and representatives of trade associations pledging their commitment.
Harper states: “SJIB electricians voice their concerns that individuals who haven’t met the established standards and unqualified electricians are able to use the title of electrician.
“In a highly-skilled occupation, this situation should be rectified, and the title protected.”
She adds: “This would outweigh the long-term costs associated with poorly installed installations, including the human cost of deaths caused by electrical fires and electrocution.”
A survey carried out in 2018 showed faulty installations caused 7.1% of fires in Scotland, with damage caused to property by fires averaging £9.6 million.
Harper says: “Electricians will play a key part in the delivery of a carbon neutral future.”
“The protection of the title of electricians contributes to the importance of the occupation and need for a sustainable skills base.”