AN industry body representing people working in Scotland’s electrical sector has said there is “overwhelming industry support” for regulation of the electrical industry.

Now the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) is urging more professionals to get their voices heard, which it insisted was vital to protect consumers.

In a consultation that closed in November, 90% of respondents welcomed the move.

Fiona Harper, SJIB secretary, said it was heartening to see such a high level of responses, with a wide cross-section of the industry taking an interest in its future.

She said: “It was equally pleasing to see that the vast majority of the responses have been positive about the need for some form of regulation, and that there is overwhelming support for protection of title for the profession of electrician.

“The responses show that there is a real appetite to deliver a bill through the Scottish Parliament as soon as possible to secure the safety of consumers and the integrity of the electrical sector in Scotland.”

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Harper – who is also director of employment and skills at trade body Select – also urged electricians to have their say in a second consultation on regulation, launched by Business, Fair Work and Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn.

“These consultations are a major step towards a safer industry and we look forward to welcoming a new dawn for electricians and their customers in Scotland,”Harper said. “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.”

Harper added: “Industry research suggests that the net benefits to Scotland from proper regulation of electricians will total around £58 million.”

“We would also benefit from higher electrical standards, a reduction in the number of injuries and deaths, better functioning installations, less need for call backs or for poor/unsafe work to be repaired, leading to improved customer satisfaction.”