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SELECT Member Gerry Tait looks back on half a century of dedication

As he settles into retirement, Gerry reflects on his proudest moments and some of the best advice he’s been given during his 50-year career

Looking back over the past five decades, there is one theme that stands out in Gerry Tait’s career: his dedication to service. 

At the age of 67, the highly experienced electrician is nowhappily settling into retirement after hanging up his tools exactly 50 years to the day he started as an apprentice. 

And reflecting on half a century in the trade, Gerry’s fondest memories are of meeting and helping so many


“For me, it was never just about the money or lifestyle,” he said. “I’ve done okay for myself, but what I really liked was going out and providing a service to people. Often folk would chat to you over a cup of tea – I loved that part of the job.”

This commitment to his customers lasted to the end of his career. As the country was plunged into a series of lockdowns during the pandemic, Gerry continued to work.

He said: “I prided myself on always being reliable. Even during COVID-19,  I’d be out in my van, turning out in the middle of the night if a house was all off.”


Gerry’s work ethic was first drilled into him at the tender age of 16 when he started his apprenticeship in 1973 with the South of Scotland Electricity Board (SSEB).

It was no easy time for Gerry and around 250 fellow apprentices from across Scotland. They underwent four tough years of training, including two years living at SSEB’s Cumbernauld training centre.

“We all worked to such a high standard and the training was rigorous,” he said. “We’d be doing everything from rewires to installing immersion heaters in tenements. 

“We had to work in the small electrical appliances section, so we’d be repairing kettles and irons, fridge freezers and washing machines. There was also an annual service we helped provide, where people would send us their electric cookers to be stripped, dipped in acid and reassembled.”

One highlight from his time in Cumbernauld was meeting his wife Maureen. The couple have been happily married since 1977.


After his apprenticeship Gerry was given a job by SSEB, staying in his role when SSEB became ScottishPower in 1991. In 2000, he left ScottishPower for Gregor Shore, spending three years based out of Birkenhead, near Liverpool. 

It was around this time that Gerry joined SELECT. Over the years he’s found the training and advice has been a vital resource to help his career flourish.

“SELECT has been a massive help,” he said. “All the training that’s offered keeps you up to date with the latest technologies and advances, and I’ve called the Technical Helpline a few times too.

“whenever you’re faced with a big job that seems overwhelming, just break it down and take it one step at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once. I’ve always carried that with me”

“Even for an experienced electrician, things are changing all the time. You always need questions answered.”

During his 10 years with Gregor Shore, Gerry got his first taste of running a squad of electricians. This gave him the confidence to start his own firm and in 2011 he set up G Tait Electrical, running it for 13 years with support from Maureen.


There have been stressful times over the years, but Gerry has never forgotten one piece of advice. He said: “I remember a friend saying that, whenever you’re faced with a big job that seems overwhelming, just break it down and take it one step at a time. Don’t try to do everything at once. I’ve always carried that with me.”

Another lesson Gerryhas learned is the importance of looking after your own wellbeing.

“It’s vital to recognise the signs of stress and just take it slow,” he said.

“Not long ago I realised that things were getting too much for me.

“I had to tell some clients I’d taken on too much and couldn’t do their jobs. I’m pleased to say most were very understanding and I helped them find another electrician. 

“It can be overwhelming when you’re out there yourself, but it’s important you don’t take too much on.”


Following his decision to retire, Gerry has now sold his trusty van and swapped his cable fishing rod for an actual fishing rod.

“I’ve joined the ScottishPower retired members fishing club and I’m loving it,” Gerry said. “It’s much better than fishing ceilings.”

While recovering from the hip operation he had a week after retiring, Gerry has received messages from the many friends he’s made over the years. This includes one of his oldest pals, Tam.

Gerry said: “We started our apprenticeship on the same day and the boss couldn’t resist pairing us up – Tam and Gerry. We’ve been friends ever since. 

“We also share the same birthday and both married women called Maureen. You couldn’t make it up.”

While Gerry will miss heading out in his van, he relishes the thought of more family time.

“Maureen and I are both from big families,” he said, “so after all these years working long hours, it’ll be great to finally have lots of time to spend with everyone.” 


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