Celebrating outstanding achievement

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Awards News

  Posted by: electime      2nd February 2019

As we begin to prepare for the 2019’s Electrical Industry Awards, we take a closer look at last year’s winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award, Newell McGuiness

On Thursday 25 October last year, Newell McGuinness was announced as the winner of the Outstanding Achievement award at The Electrical Industry Awards 2018, held at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London. McGuiness was given the award for his time at SELECT and the impact this had on the electrical industry.

During his time at SELECT, McGuinness oversaw its growth from 500 members to the now 1,250. At the same time, the organisation became Scotland’s largest trade association and is currently the ninth largest UK trade association by net assets.

Born and raised in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, McGuinness started his career in the industry at the young age of 15 and has worked in the electrical sector for the whole of his working life.

Starting his career as an apprentice in the 1970s, his first job was as a trainee technician working for the Northern Ireland Electricity Service where he worked for eight years whilst gaining his professional qualifications. McGuinness then moved to Aberdeen, working as a divisional electrical engineer for Grampian Regional Council. He later relocated to London to take a position at the ECA.

McGuinness return to Scotland in the late 80s when he accepted the position of Technical Advisor with what was then the ECA of Scotland (now SELECT) in Edinburgh, before becoming technical manager and then head of technical services. He succeeded Michael Goodwin as MD of the re-named SELECT in 2004.

Speaking about this time, McGuiness said: “We’ve grown enormously in the past few years – to the point where we represent the entire industry in Scotland. This growth has led to an expansion of the current premises, which will soon include the addition of the ESC’s Scottish office. My long-term focus is to see SELECT’s Walled Garden as the centre of the building service industry, bringing it all together to support each other.”

In the 29 years McGuiness was associated with SELECT he has driven the sector in raising standards as well as delivering stable industry conditions for employers and the electrical industry’s workforce via the SJIB. A great deal of work was put into developing and delivering SELECT’s training and inspection regimes, which is testament to his initiative and drive. SELECT now delivers over 30 types of training courses to more than 3,000 individuals on an annual basis. Raising the Public awareness of SELECT to an all-time high has also been achieved under McGuiness’ stewardship and SELECT is also well known and respected amongst client bodies and politicians in the Scottish parliament.

McGuiness has now retired from his role at SELECT. Thanking him for his contribution to SELECT over his 13 years, new managing director Darrell Matthews, said: “Newell’s will be difficult boots to fill. I am privileged that he offered me such valuable guidance and helped me get my feet under the desk. He has done a cracking job over many years of promoting the electrotechnical industry in Scotland.”

Unfortuntley McGuiness was unable collect his award in person, but in a video message shown at the event he said: “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry I can’t be with you in person to collect this award. Throughout my time as MD of SELECT and director of the SJIB my sole focus has always been to strive to make the lives of both individuals and businesses in the electrical industry as good as it could be. If this award is acknowledgement that I have achieved this objective even to some degree, then I’m very proud indeed. Thanks again.

The award was accepted by Fiona Harper head of employment affairs at SELECT, pictured below with presenter Ian Moore (left) and Steve Brawley, chief executive at JIB.