St. Andrews in Focus
Ronnie Grant talked to Flora Selwyn about his family’s firm, R.B. Grant, Electrical Contractors.
“It works for us.”
Registered with the NICEIC, the industry’s governing body, R.B. Grant is obliged to uphold strict standards of competence. Training in the most up-to-date practices and materials is on-going and rigorous. As Ronnie stresses, electrical equipment is potentially lethal in the wrong hands. Customers must have confidence in their contractors, and NICEIC registration is therefore vital. “The regulations now are very, very different from what they were ten years ago – there are a lot of changes. Most people should get their houses checked every ten years for their own peace of mind.”
Still trading from Denhead, a new office has also been opened in Kirkcaldy. Projects range from simple domestic installations to shops, offices, the NHS and Fife Council. “I can design systems as well as install them.”
The firm also has apprentices. Everyone is extremely proud of one young man, Scott Filipovic, who has twice won the Apprentice of the Year award at Adam Smith College in Kirkcaldy, and who is currently the Best Second-year Apprentice in the East of Scotland. He is setting his sights on even higher awards! Ronnie is expecting to have five adult and seven junior apprentices later in the year. “The standard is phenomenal now; where before you were getting 16 year-olds leaving school and just wanting to be electricians, you’re now getting people who are going to university.”
“I can’t be as cheap as the man in the street with a white van because I’ll be on courses for the rest of my life” to comply with safety standards in a constantly changing technological world. “Regulations are a difficult thing to explain to people. People say, ‘I’ve lived here for ten years, it’s been safe before, why should I change it?’ But they don’t put these regulations in to make money, they put them in for safety. I take the responsibility. The NICEIC will come out and check us, and they will make sure that we keep to the standard.”