The Construction Skills Certification Scheme was established to help improve the overall standards and safety that are on construction sites in the UK. However, recently it has been questioned whether or not a 100% CSCS workforce is positive for the industry.
According to Construction News, the CSCS card is being wrongfully used. This is because everyone on site is required to hold a CSCS card. However, not everyone who needs access to the site can obtain one. For example, the scheme has stopped issuing cards to cleaners, catering staff, security and delivery drivers. All of which, may need access to the site.
The clamping down on a 100% CSCS workforce, therefore, means that this results in legitimate, non-construction workers being refused entry on site. Consequently, Construction News argues that this, “represents a misunderstanding of the scheme and undermines the industry’s desire for a fully qualified (not carded) workforce.”
Not only that, but the ‘unnecessary’ 100% CSCS workforce also causes additional safety risks too. This is because the card is being used as a means to get a worker on site. Not, to verify their qualifications.
Of course, it is not being stated that just about anyone should be allowed on site. Construction News explained: “we are not asking site managers to allow just anyone in.”
“If a worker is there to carry out a construction-related activity then a card should be required as proof of their training and qualifications.”
“If they are there to perform a non-construction related activity it then becomes the responsibility of site managers to induct and escort these people to ensure they remain safe at all times when on site.”
“The decision not to issue cards for unrelated occupations is a significant change for the industry, but it has the potential to raise standards, improve safety and move us ever closer to what industry has long desired: a fully qualified workforce.”
In order to achieve a fully qualified workforce though, the CSCS has formed an agreement with apprenticeship body CCATF to encourage the introduction of apprentices on site. This is in the form of a ‘try before you buy’ apprenticeship scheme. Take a look at the full report here.
But what do you think of this? Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below.