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News Desk: Industry News

CSCS Card Scheme Update and implications for employment programmes

13 December 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Heather Ette
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CSCS Card Scheme Update and implications for employment programmes

by Matt Kingswood, CEO, The Digital College

For many people getting their first proper job on a construction site requires a CSCS Card. And with card carrying workers in short supply in the construction industry, it is an excellent route into sustainable employment. However, the card scheme has undergone a significant shift over the last couple of years with implications for employability practitioners helping people into construction jobs.

Cards for everyone!

Historically the Construction Skills Certification Scheme asked that 100% of all site attendees had a card. The rationale was that card-carrying site visitors and workers could demonstrate that they had sufficient training to preserve the safety of themselves and others. However, the drawback meant that the scheme had to support a wide range of card for visitors - even including a card scheme designed for those filling up vending machines! It also created a possible shortcut where construction workers could attend sites with basic cards designed for casual visitors with little or no training.

The move to “100% qualified”

Since 2016/2017 CSCS has changed the strategy ensure that construction workers are 100% qualified but not everyone is card carrying. So, filling up the Coke dispenser no longer requires a card but labourers and other workers are expected to have the proper bit of plastic with them. This has seen a steady closure of unqualified cards: first the white Construction Related Occupation (CRO) card (in 2017); and now the yellow visitor’s card will cease to be issued in February 2020. The industry is making steady progress and is a little over a year away from ensuring sites only have qualified construction workers.

So, what does this mean for Employability Practitioners?

Customers seeking work in the construction industry will be required to obtain a card backed by suitable training and qualification. The “entry level” CSCS labourer’s Green card is a suitable and valuable first step for many. By including the associated Level 1 Health and Safety qualification it is also often a recognised outcome within many programmes. “Short-cuts” such as visitor’s cards will not be an option for much longer.

The Digital College provide online resources about navigating the CSCS card process and will work with IEP to keep the membership updated as this transition continues.