SELECT Managing Director Emphasises the Crucial Role of Apprenticeships in Electrical Safety on UK Radio

SELECT‘s Managing Director, Alan Wilson, recently addressed a widespread UK radio audience, stressing the significance of proper training and apprenticeships in ensuring electrical safety for consumers and individuals in the construction industry.

Speaking on the  Building Ideas Show with Mark Millar on Fix Radio, the MD of Scotland’s largest construction trade association highlighted how young people can acquire a comprehensive foundation in quality and site safety through industry-recognised apprenticeship programs.

He also emphasised the importance of regulating the electrical industry and safeguarding the title for suitably qualified electricians to uphold and enhance standards and safety within consumers’ homes.

Alan conveyed to listeners: “The fact is that awareness of safety starts at the very beginning, and that means with apprentices, which is why our industry has run a successful electrical apprenticeship programme for many years.

“This year, we have recruited almost 900 apprentices which is testament to the businesses in Scotland who put their faith in young people and as adults they take on. That’s where safety starts.

“These people go through a proper apprenticeship. It’s not one of these short apprentice programmes which lasts six months or a year. It’s four-year programme in which the apprentices attend college and receive comprehensive health and safety training.”

In addition to promoting apprenticeships, Alan used the radio appearance to underscore the significance of title protection for electricians, a campaign that SELECT has championed for an extended period.

He explained that with the increasing electrification of society, involving heating, lighting, cars, computers, and everyday devices, it is imperative that such work is executed by qualified electricians.

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“Electricians do safety-critical work and if they get it wrong it can have potentially life-ending consequences for them or  the people they do the work for. It’s not overstating the situation to say that work carried out by unqualified people  can be fatal.

“There are some 70 protected titles, from obvious ones like teachers, dentists and nurses to other trades like farriers and nightclub bouncers. So if you want to shoe a horse in the UK, you need to have qualifications and it’s a protected title, yet that doesn’t apply to electricians.

“If electricians had protection of title, people would know that if someone came to their door claiming to be an electrician then they could confirm they were qualified.

“We are trying to get rid of people who have no training – it’s about protecting the public and the perception of the industry.”

SELECT has been campaigning for regulation for years alongside the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) and Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) and has created a Wall of Support to show the depth of support from individuals and organisations.

Recent additions include Foysol Choudhury MSPSELECT Associate Members Building Safety GroupLINIANFlexel and Hager andmember firms Stirling Electrical ServicesRW BellJohn McNicol & Co and FT Davidson.

As well as more than a third of MSPs, other bodies that have contributed a brick to the wall include the Unite the Union, Electrical Safety First, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Scottish Association of Landlords, the and the Energy Saving Trust. 

  • Listen to the show again here.
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