Changing procurement practices, the industry's vocational training system and hourly pay rates all came up for discussion as Jamie Hepburn MSP spent a day with the Scottish electrical contracting industry.
Hosted by Select, the Scottish trade association for the industry, Hepburn, member for Central Scotland, visited Thistle Generators in Bothwell, Glen Electrical Services in Cumbernauld and Crown House Technologies in Bellshill.
In the evening Hepburn attended the Lanarkshire Branch Meeting of Select, to hear its views on further funding for apprenticeships.
Deborah Feeney, Select Lanark branch chairperson, commented: "We are here to make sure that issues affecting the electrical contracting industry in Scotland are well understood and well represented at government level. Today was all about letting Mr Hepburn meet some of our members and hear first hand of the contribution they make to the Scottish economy and what they need to keep doing so in the future."
Hepburn was particularly interested in the role that the industry's vocational education system plays in encouraging young people into apprenticeships and the importance of establishing the right level of pay for those starting out in the industry. He also paid particular attention to the issues that firms will face in the coming years as the private finance initiatives system is overhauled.
He commented: "Spending the day with Select was a very useful opportunity to learn more about the work and challenges facing electrical contractors in Central Scotland. The industry employs many people across Central Scotland and is an important part of the local economy. I look forward to working closely with Select in the future."
Jim Thomson, regional business leader at Crown House Technologies added: "Spending time with the policy makers is essential in making sure our industry is well represented and understood. We are working incredibly hard to improve our own industry and working in tandem with the government will make this all the more effective."
From the back, left to right – Stuart Cullen, project manager and vice-chair of Select Lanarkshire branch; Tom Mitchell, head of member services at Select; Jamie Hepburn MSP; Jim Thomson, business unit leader at Crown House Technologies; Deborah Feeney, managing director of Thistle Generators and chair of Select Lanarshire branch; Tom Docherty, director of Glen Electrical Services; David Wright, head of external affairs at Select