New SELECT president Kevin Griffin says being chosen for the role is “a real privilege” – and something of a surprise too.
Kevin, who took over from outgoing president Eric Rae in June, said he would also continue the campaign to press for official recognition of electricians as a profession.
He said: “Being asked to be president of SELECT is obviously an honour, but I’ll admit it was also a surprise – I honestly wasn’t expecting it.
“However, it’s a privilege to take on the position. Eric has done a great job, been very diligent and represented the association well over the past two years. Hopefully I can pick up where he’s left off and continue his good work.”
Kevin has been chairman of the Lanarkshire branch of SELECT on a number of occasions and has been closely involved with the Fire & Security Association, which SELECT runs with its sister organisation, the Electrical Contractors' Association.
He said: “I’ve been involved with SELECT for around 23 years, and have been chairman for the Lanarkshire branch two or three times prior to this. So I know and support the structure of the organisation and the professional way it operates.
“My role now will be to continue the smooth running of the association and ensure that to continues to satisfy our members’ needs.
“I’ll also be helping to drive forward our campaign to highlight the dangers of using unqualified people to carry out electrical work.
“At the moment, anyone can go on a two-day course, think they’re all set up and then go into a house and start disconnecting wires. I think people would be worried if they knew this was the current state of affairs, which is why we want regulation and for ‘electrician’ to be a professional title.
“Things are looking positive with the Scottish Government and they want to talk to us about it – so I think they’ve realised that it is a serious issue. Hopefully we can continue the momentum and really get the bit between our teeth.”
Kevin, who runs Logic Systems Fire & Security Ltd in East Kilbride, said he was now looking forward to getting out and about to meet even more Members.
He added: “I want to ensure that Members are fully involved in all the activities of the organisation and that they benefit from its campaigns, whether it’s training, employment affairs, health and safety, or public sector procurement.
“I also have a keen interest in apprenticeships, which are the foundation stone of the sector.”
Kevin also said he was cautiously optimistic about the industry as a whole, adding: “Brexit and the independence referendums have caused a degree of uncertainty, but you have to just continue to get on with it.
“From a personal point of view, we haven’t seen a downturn and have work for the next year or so, which is what you want. When you run your own business you just get your head down – it’s out of our control and we just have to keep doing what we do best.”
He went on: “Regulation is getting tougher, and more major contractors are looking to tick every box in terms of having the qualifications to actually do the work. SELECT provides all the training required to satisfy those requirements, which is a big advantage.
“We provide the whole package, including employment affairs and unions, so we’re a one-stop-shop for the modern electrician. We’re also trying to grow, with different training courses and information about the new and ever-changing technology to keep our Members up to date.
“SELECT should be doing all the hard work for its Members and giving them all the information they need so they know they can turn to us when they need assistance.”
Newell McGuiness, managing director of SELECT, said: "Kevin has been active in SELECT for many years and has diligently carried out a host of roles.
"We are very pleased that he will be directing his considerable energies to the overall welfare of the sector and the interests of the members specifically."