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Supplier Development Programme responds to second consultation on the regulation of the electrical industry

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The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) has responded to a second consultation on the regulation of the electrical industry. SELECT, a trade association member of SDP, is asking electricians and the wider industry to make their views known in the latest appeal for feedback, launched by the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP. The consultation closes on Friday, 12 February 2021.

SELECT has joined the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) in saying the consultation reflects the strength of feeling within the sector, after a first consultation by Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP closed last November with more than 140 submissions – more than 90% of which were positive.

The consultation is the latest stage in SELECT’s long-running campaign with other leading industry bodies, such as the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) and the SJIB to make sure that those who work in the industry do so in a safe and competent manner.

The consultation is open to all, and while the focus of the consultation is on domestic work carried out for individual consumers, it will also apply to commercial and industrial work.

Gillian Cameron, SDP Programme Manager, said:

"As the consultation report notes, there are several voluntary self-regulatory systems in place, including SELECT (Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland), NICEIC (the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting), NAPIT (National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers) and the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. When risk-averse public sector buyers are looking for electricians, they may ask for one or more of these certifications/cards as part of the tendering process on Public Contracts Scotland and Public Contracts Scotland Tender, such as through the Single Procurement Document (SPD).

"We at the Supplier Development Programme often hear frustrations from SMEs bidding for public sector contracts and framework opportunities regarding the complexities in public procurement practices, particularly in the construction sector. SDP aligns tender training to explain the different processes, which vary in each buying organisation.

"Protection of title and additional regulation could cut down on the amount of evidence required by public sector buying organisations into a single, straightforward certification recognised to quickly determine if individual electricians or electrical businesses are competent to carry out required work in Scotland."

Alan Wilson, SELECT's Managing Director, said:

“There is a strong economic case for legislation. Scotland is investing £1.6 billion over the next five year in decarbonising heat in buildings and it makes sense that those undertaking that programme are trained, qualified and competent.

“But there is also a social side. Protecting title and making the role of electrician a profession will lead to greater interest in the industry and more opportunities for women and ethnic minorities to join it, which would be a significant advantage to us all."

The campaign from SELECT has won backing from a wide range of prominent figures, with its Wall of Support now including more than 100 politicians, industry figures and representatives of trade associations and professional services bodies.

The latest consultation can be completed on the Scottish Government website and closes on February 12 2021.

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