The 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 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, 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.”
Halcro Johnston’s motion, which is due to be debated in parliament on Thursday October 25, will ask Holyrood to note the calls supporting the principle of the regulation of electricians, and will point out 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.