AN MSP has urged electricians to have their voices heard ahead of a bill that would recognise electricians as a regulated professions which would see Scotland receive around £58m.
Jamie Halcro Johnston, The Scottish Conservative and Unionist party’s shadow spokesman for education and science is proposing the bill to safeguard the public.
The MSP, for the Highlands and Islands, has said regulation of the electrical industry in Scotland would help reduce death and injury while bringing and economic benefit.
The bill would be the culmination of a long-running campaign by SELECT and other industry bodies but asks electricians to have their voices heard before the parliamentary consultation closes on November 10.
A major survey carried out in 2018 showed that faulty electrical installations accounted for 7.1% of all fires in Scotland, and the damage caused to property by these fires cost in the region of £9.6 million.
Mr Halcro Johnston said: “I am urging all electricians and everyone associated with the industry in Scotland to have their say in the consultation process, not just to stress the benefits of regulation but also to take the opportunity to highlight the impact of faulty electrical work carried out by unqualified people.”
Mr Halcro Johnston said his proposed bill has cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament chamber, with individual members of all parties making clear their backing for regulation.
He said: “I think there is a general appreciation that this needs to be done and that it is a good thing. I’m confident that it will get achieved in the next session of Parliament, which will be a fantastic achievement for both the sector and consumers.”
SELECT, who have been leading the fight for regulation for several years, welcomed the latest update from Mr Halcro Johnston.
SELECT Managing Director Alan Wilson said: “We are grateful to Mr Halcro Johnston for providing all SELECT members and others with an insight into the clear progress which is being made in getting his bill onto the statute book.
“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.
“Our research suggests net benefits to Scotland from proper regulation of electricians of around £58million, including the benefits of higher electrical standards, such as fewer injuries and deaths, better functioning installations, less need for call backs or for poor/unsafe work to be repaired, leading to improved customer satisfaction.”