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Call to crack down on unqualified people identifying as electricians

Scottish Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has said he will introduce a bill to tackle the issue.

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MSPs have backed proposals to provide protection of the title (Joe Giddens/PA)

MSPs have backed proposals to provide protection of the title (Joe Giddens/PA)

MSPs have backed proposals to provide protection of the title (Joe Giddens/PA)

A law must be introduced to clamp down on unqualified people calling themselves electricians, according to an MSP.

Tory Jamie Halcro Johnston described the lack of regulation in the profession as an “anomaly” and has urged the Scottish Government to take action to ensure the title of electrician is protected in law.

Over 100 professions are currently protected in law, including registered gas engineers, but not electricians.

Mr Halcro Johnston said that he will introduce a members’ bill to the Scottish Parliament aiming to address the issue.

In a debate on the subject in October, MSPs from across the parties at Holyrood gave their support for providing protection of title.

It is important that people carrying out electrical work are qualified and able to do soJamie Halcro Johnston, MSP

Mr Halcro Johnston said: “For too long, the Scottish Government has dithered around the regulation of electricians.

“It has been discussed and discussed again, without any real commitments ever seeing the light of day.

“When I speak to people about this campaign, the first reaction is usually surprise that anyone can call themselves an electrician without any qualification.

“When so many other trades and professions are regulated, it seems the position of electricians is more of an anomaly than anything else.

“Most people don’t consult electricians on a regular basis and aren’t always confident about the qualifications of people they employ. This should provide some additional protection to consumers.

“Electrical safety is vitally important. Every year, there are fatalities caused by electric shocks and fires caused by electrical malfunctions. It is important that people carrying out electrical work are qualified and able to do so.

“I was pleased to get so much support from across the political parties when this was debated back in October and I would hope that support would carry across to introducing a Bill on the subject.”

Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “The serious concerns raised about electricians are being considered fully and we are committed to continuing to work in partnership with all stakeholders.

“During a debate in Parliament in October last year, I offered to meet with any MSPs to discuss these issues further. Whilst others have made contact, Mr Halcro Johnston has not taken up this offer.

“Following calls for further regulation, we formed the Electricians Working Group to bring the industry together and attempt to build consensus for a way forward.

“An independent analysis of research, leading to a risk assessment and business case on the way forward, is due to be presented to the Scottish Government later in March.”

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