SELECT presents ‘unsung hero’ Alick Smith with Lifetime Achievement Award


An “unsung hero” of the electrical industry has been recognised for his remarkable contribution to the sector with the 2023 SELECT Lifetime Achievement Award.

Association stalwart Alick Smith was honoured at our second President’s Lunch, sponsored by Electrium, at the voco® Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow last Friday. 

After starting out as an electrical apprentice in the 1960s, Alick has enjoyed a long and distinguished career and in recent years has played a key role at SELECT as lead negotiator in wage discussions with the industry trade union, Unite.

Announcing the award, Fiona Harper, Director of Employment & Skills at SELECT, said: “Alick is the true definition of what I would call an unsung hero. Over the years, he has done a great deal of work on behalf of our industry, quietly and efficiently, never seeking the limelight and rarely receiving the recognition he deserves.

“I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time with Alick, travelling thousands of miles and consuming vast amounts of black coffee. He is a fantastic ambassador for our industry who is always on hand to offer support and guidance with a quiet, discreet, yet totally significant word. 

“He is also immensely proud to be an electrician and being part of what he describe as a vibrant and exciting trade, and especially enjoys spending time with the apprentices and future electricians who, in his opinion, society cannot live without.”

Ms Harper added: “Working with Alick has been a delight. I admire his tenacity and dedication, instinctive understanding of employee relations and pure love for our industry and the people in it. But most of all, he makes me smile.”

There was a standing ovation (above) as Alick accepted his award from Fiona and SELECT President Alistair Grant at the event, which was attended by around 100 senior industry figures, was co-sponsored by MacRoberts LLP and included Monica Lennon MSP as a special guest (below).

Alick, who lives in Inverbervie, Aberdeenshire, thanked the assembled guests, adding: “I am extremely humbled to be the recipient of this distinguished award.

“When I look back, the role of an electrician has changed greatly over the years, but with all the new technology, we still have a long road to travel, with plenty of things we need to stay abreast of, so it’s more important than ever that we are competent in everything we do.

“I would also like to thank everyone at SELECT for their support and guidance over the years and I still feel that it is great to be a Member of the association.”

Alick began work as an apprentice in the mid-1960s and developed his skills through a wide range of roles over the years, including estimating and surveying.
In 1996 he moved to a new company, initially as Operations Manager, before becoming Managing Director in 2003, overseeing a significant increase in the turnover and staffing of the business. 

Alick has been a committed supporter of SELECT since attending his first meeting in the 1970s, serving on many of committees and boards and becoming President in 2009.

The Lifetime Achievement is SELECT’s most prestigious award and is intended to reflect extraordinary contributions to the industry. Past recipients of the award include Chair of the SJIB Jock Simpson, SELECT Past President David Smith and industry campaigners Len Bunton and Professor Rudi Klein. 

A full report on the President’s Lunch, including images, will appear in the upcoming edition of cabletalk.