Andy McDonald MP highlights employment and social benefits of ECS Check

The Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights, Andy McDonald MP, has voiced his support for ECS Check and the benefits an ECS Check registration can bring for contractors and local authorities.

The Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) is the sole ID, qualification and competency card registration scheme for the electrotechnical industry run by the Joint Industry Board (JIB) for over 50 years. Since launch in early 2020, ECS Check as a compliance system throughout the UK, and a Licence to Practise system for the electrical industry in Northern Ireland, has gone from strength to strength. Via ECS Check, as a free-to-access digital platform, the electrotechnical industry has a means to conduct audits to verify all electrotechnical personnel on site throughout the supply chain. There are already over 350 clients, local authorities, main or electrical contractors signed up to access the system. The two most recent local authorities signed up are Durham County Council and South Gloucestershire Council, who join others like Derbyshire County, Lincoln City and Doncaster Borough councils. Local authorities looking to build back better and put value first before cost, are reaping the benefits of better oversight and information within their procurement, employment and health and safety teams.

Andy McDonald MP said: “ECS Check provides a structured framework of competency and enables greater visibility for clients to show building project work is being carried out by qualified electrotechnical personnel in all levels of the supply chain. Digital solutions like the ECS Check systems identify where apprenticeships are in place to bring through the talent of future generations and prevent the race to the bottom in employment standards and training.”

Over the past two generations, the UK has seen levels of direct employment decline steeply – far more so than in any other comparable economy. Direct employment improves productivity, protects the industry against future threats and underpins a safer and healthier workforce. It also allows for investment in people and results in better jobs and careers for society.

On the benefits of ECS Check, Mr McDonald continued: “More than just assessing competency in supply chains, this system is one which recognises the benefits of direct employment and utilising companies under collective agreements to achieve the highest standards for terms and conditions, improved safety records and greater employment protections, which ultimately benefits everyone.”

Clients and main contractors can also use the system to promote apprenticeships and training; for example, by setting required numbers or proportions to be met for apprentices or trainees. This helps promote social and best value in procurement as well as allowing clients to specify the expected levels of qualification and competency for their projects.

Mr McDonald concluded: “ECS Check gives information to clients to make better informed choices about how projects are contracted and will be a valuable tool in assisting authorities to meet local employment and social value objectives.”

In helping to promote a safer working environment and raise employment standards, ECS Check plays an important role in establishing the highest levels of on-site competency in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. To sign up to the system, click here or email or call 01322 661 622.

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