Unite the Union Supports the Protection of Title for Electricians


Unite the Union has gathered together representatives of both employers and employees in Scotland to press the case with the Government for the protection of title for the occupation of electrician; a move that is estimated to boost the economy by £58 million.

The union supported 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.

“With this whole-hearted support from our industry partners Unite the Union, there is now a discernible groundswell of opinion in favour of regulation and in particular protection of title for electricians,” said Fiona Harper, the Secretary of the SJIB.

The Government is asked to recognise the skills, knowledge, training, experience and qualifications of electrician and their vital role in the functioning of a modern society. The supporters are also asking for the Government to take into consideration the risk to public safety of unqualified or underqualified people being able to pass themselves off as electrician, especially when carrying out work for vulnerable householders.

“Our members have expressed their frustration that people in such a safety-critical occupation are able to use the title of electrician when they have not met the established national and industry standards,” said Pat Rafferty, the Unite Scottish Secretary.

SELECT proves in a report from 4-Consulting on the economic impact of regulating electricians in Scotland that protecting lives and property in this manner could save the country around £58 million a year. It pointed out that 10 people were killed and more than 600 injured in electrical fault-related incidents in 2016 alone.

“We do not want to leave people behind if they want to operate as competent and safe electricians and we have taken steps to ensure that there are a variety of ‘routes to qualification’ to make the profession as inclusive as possible,” said Newell McGuiness, SELECT Managing Director.

SELECT’s 1250 member companies account for around 90% of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland. They have a collective turnover of around £1 billion and provide employment for 15,000 people.


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BDC 303 Apr 2023