I have joined SELECT at a very successful time in its history. Newell, as previous MD, the management team and staff have all worked hard over the years to successfully grow relationships, increase Membership and enhance our influence with government and decision makers. My aim is to continue this progression and position SELECT as the voice of the electro-technical industry, and we can only achieve this through listening to Members. I have been lucky enough to accompany some of our field-based people when they are doing technical visits or Member representative meetings, as well as Toolbox Talks and branch update events. The knowledge that we pick up from these visits is invaluable and I thank all of the Members that I have met so far for their advice and hospitality – and coffee!
I will continue to visit all corners of Scotland to ensure that we don’t focus solely on the needs of electricians in any one area, and that we take account of the challenges for all sizes of businesses too. There is still a lot to do with government to convince them of the need for tighter requirements for someone to be able to call themselves an electrician and we continue to campaign for protection of title for electricians which will ensure that the industry is quite rightly recognised as a skilled, qualified profession that the public can trust to work safely in their homes and workplaces.
I am also keen to work with colleagues in the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group to see how we can help members in commercial work get paid on time. We will also continue to lobby the government on protecting retention sums and seek to reduce the level at which project bank accounts are introduced. The way we communicate is changing rapidly, and we will help our members to respond accordingly.
More and more people live their lives and run their businesses via mobile phones and tablets, and SELECT needs to have the digital content available to service this demand. Digitalisation will impact on the industry as some of our Members will work on projects that rely less and less on paper drawings – particularly on larger contracts where BIM is the design tool of choice. SELECT will be there to guide our Members through these changes, adapting a skilled workforce that can feel at home in this changing world.
I will carry on the good work done by Newell and build on the successes, working with Kevin Griffin and the rest of our Presidential team. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you think there is something we can do better or differently. I am always happy to visit our Members for a coffee and a chat, wherever you are in Scotland!