SELECT, the campaigning trade association for Scotland’s electrical industry, says it is looking forward to 2023 with “renewed optimism and confidence” after it ended last year on a positive note by reflecting on 12 months of significant milestones.
While continuing to focus on the welfare of its members and maintaining the momentum of its campaign for professional recognition for electricians, the country’s largest construction trade association is also celebrating an impressive list of achievements in 2022, including:
- Ending the year with 1,260 member businesses – its highest number in 122 years
- Winning the Association Excellence Award 2022 for Best Membership Support Since Covid-19.
- Celebrating record electrical apprentice numbers for the second year in a row.
- Seeing apprentices from member firms take Gold and Silver at the recent SkillELECTRIC contest
- Rolling out hugely successful training courses with Amendment 2 updates
- Welcoming record numbers to its Toolbox Talks events in May and June
- Adding more high-profile names to its Wall of Support for industry regulation
- Supporting the submission of a Members’ Bill calling for protection of title
- Attracting key manufacturers to its newly-launched Associate Member scheme
- Contributing to the ongoing success of the Construction Industry Collective Voice.
Alan Wilson, Managing Director of SELECT, said: “Despite constantly-evolving challenges and an increasingly complex industry environment, SELECT has not only made solid progress over the course of the year but also recorded some impressive achievements which gives us renewed optimism and confidence for the next 12 months.
“This year of achievement is a tribute to the hard work, professionalism and dedication of everyone at SELECT, from our terrific staff to our member companies, office bearers and the Central Board, which culminated in our victory at the Association Excellence Awards.
“The huge groundswell of support for our campaign for recognition is also illustrated by the ever-increasing number of trade and professional bodies, organisations, politicians, businesses and individuals who have added their names to our Wall of Support in 2022, including Owen Thompson MP, Fergus Ewing MSP and Richard Orton, MD of Certsure.”
Fiona Harper, Director of Employment and Skills at SELECT, said: “Everyone in the industry is acutely aware of the threat of skills shortages and the need to bring on talented young people, so it was gratifying to achieve record apprentice numbers for the second year in a row, from just over 800 last year to just under 1,000 this year.
“Training, and the care and cultivation of new entrants to the profession, is key to a successful and sustainable future for the industry and it gives everyone in the organisation great pleasure to see record-breaking apprentice numbers. Given the right level of financial support, this augurs well not only for 2023, but for many years to come.”
Ms Harper, who is also The Secretary of the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB), added: “It was also great to cheer on two young Scots as they took first and second place in the UK-wide SkillELECTRIC contest. It is vital that we now keep investing in our apprentices and adult trainees to ensure we have a pipeline of talent who can follow in their footsteps.”
Bob Cairney, Director of Technical Services, at SELECT, said: “As well as successfully relaunching training courses with Amendment 2 updates, it was extremely gratifying to see an unprecedented number of professionals at our Toolbox Talks in May and June.
“It is clear that our members are to learn, upskill and develop their talents in line with ever-changing technology, and it demonstrates the importance of encouraging and nurturing a properly qualified and competent workforce to work safely on projects across Scotland.”
Iain Mason, Director of Membership and Communications at SELECT, said: “To once again increase member numbers at a time when companies are facing a barrage of challenges is a tribute to the regard in which SELECT’s wide-ranging services and support are held.
“This is the greatest number of member companies since the organisation was founded in 1900 and we hope that, as a consequence of our ongoing efforts, it will continue to rise as more electrical contractors recognise the value of belonging to a trade association that genuinely cares about their welfare.”
Looking forward to the coming year, Mr Wilson added: “The biggest change I’d like to see in 2023 would be for regulation of the electrical industry to finally become a reality. Protection of title for electricians is essential if we’re to have a competent, multi-skilled workforce, working safely on the next generation of technology and keeping consumers safe.
“I’d also like to see more apprentices welcomed across the whole construction industry to plug the current skills gap and help us meet the net zero targets which are so important for everyone’s future.
“Finally, I’m also hoping the Scottish Construction Accord Transformation Plan will set the wheels in motion for real, practical change in our industry – particularly around procurement, which continues to be a thorny issue for so many people.”
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