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Mon July 15 2024

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Scottish electricians are getting younger

13 Dec 23 Scotland appears to have bucked the trend in lowering the age profile of at least on of its construction trades.

Of the 19,566 people in Scotland with an Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) card – an industry requirement to demonstrate competence –40% (7,813) are aged between 16 and 29, with just 19% (3,836) aged 50 or over.

Some 24% of holders of the accreditation that permits holder to carry out electrical work are aged between 30 and 39 (4,603), with 17 % (3,314) in the 40 to 49 bracket.

Fiona Harper, secretary of the Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB), said: “These encouraging findings counter the oft-heard fears of an ageing workforce that won’t be replaced. Instead, it suggests an engaged and eager younger generation who are already embracing the challenge of new technology and will continue to safely heat and power our homes and business for generations to come.

“As the electrification of society continues, we are looking ahead to 2024 with confidence that a healthy pipeline of young talent is emerging, produce qualified electricians who have a solid, broad base of knowledge that can be added to with additional training as required.”

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The new figures have emerged during another bumper year for electrical apprenticeships in Scotland, with 908 new starts and full classes for the 2023/24 intake following the 900-plus apprentices and adult trainees recruited for both 2022/23 and 2021/22.

 Anne Galbraith, chief executive of the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT), which manages training on behalf of the SJIB, said: “The healthy state of electrical skills training in Scotland is reflected in the high apprentice and adult trainee intake for the past three years, with enthusiastic students, and committed employers, most of whom are members of Select [the Scottish electrical contractors’ trade association].

“These employees are the future of the industry and it’s vital that everyone recognises the importance of the industry-led scheme which is an exemplar model. It’s crucial that an electrical apprenticeship continues to be the recognised route to market to ensure we train the workforce of the future in the skills they will need to deliver net zero successfully and safely.”

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