Skills cards no longer a necessity for non-construction staff on site

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Managers of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme have told site managers non-construction staff do not need official skills cards

New guidance has been issued relating to skills cards for non-construction workers. Site visitors are required to carry Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) cards, deeming them to be qualified construction workers. This means a number of cleaning, catering or delivery services have been denied entry to some sites because they do not carry cards.

However, construction site managers are now being told this is not necessary for non-construction workers.

CSCS head of communications Alan O’Neile said: “CSCS cards are intended for construction related occupations only.

“Due to the wide range of skills required on construction projects, there are times when a worker arrives on site to perform a non-construction related activity, for example catering staff, delivering materials or cleaners.

“These individuals do not require a CSCS card and CSCS has stopped issuing cards for these and many other non-construction related occupations.”

100 per cent carded workforce

Problems have arisen because a number of construction sites still demand all members of the workforce, whether construction qualified or not, carry a CSCS card.

O’Neile said this was not how the scheme was supposed to work and that it had been taken out of context.

“The rigid enforcement of a 100 per cent carded workforce results in legitimate, non-construction related, workers being refused entry to site as they do not hold a card,” he said.

“This indicates a misunderstanding of the scheme and undermines the construction industry’s desire for a fully qualified (not carded) workforce.”

He added: “We are not asking site managers to allow just anyone on site. If a worker is there to carry out a construction related activity then a card is required as proof of their training and qualifications.

“If they are there to perform a non-construction related activity it becomes the responsibility of site managers to induct and escort these people to ensure they remain safe at all times when on site.”

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