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Simpler, faster, hassle-free – SkillsDirect

Read more about SkillsDirect

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Becoming qualified and carded is now quicker and easier than ever; thanks to the SkillsDirect service being launched to the whole construction industry.

SkillsDirect is a one-stop-service, delivering the three key elements to getting workers carded; the CITB-ConstructionSkills Health and Safety Test, the qualification route (where it is required) and the card application process.

Employers or workers make one call to the hotline on 0870 850 5262 and SkillsDirect will guide them through the simplest route to qualify, managing them through the process from start to finish.

What’s more, the service also links with the Experienced Worker Practical Assessment, which enables workers in the main trades to complete their NVQ with a day’s assessment – meaning many workers will be able to get their card in as little as a fortnight and all workers requiring an S/NVQ will be expected to qualify within a year.

With MCG, MHBG and CECA now all committed to a fully carded workforce, and less than three months to go until the first MCG full compliance crackdown, construction companies and workers are being urged to call now to ensure they don’t get caught out by a last minute rush.

Mark Bodger, Acting Head of Certification and Registration at CITB-ConstructionSkills said of the service roll-out:

“SkillsDirect was developed in close liaison with the industry to serve the industry’s needs. Just one call to one number will help businesses and employees through the process of becoming qualified and carded, improve health and safety on site, and raise the standards of the industry as a whole. New developments such as this mean there’s no excuse not to qualify your workforce, and with the MCG, MHBG and CECA clamping down on unqualified workers, the future of your business could depend upon it.”

The SkillsDirect system currently has the capacity to serve up to 750,000 applicants per year and expects to process up to 140,000 applicants before the end of 2006 as a result of the MCG moving towards full compliance.

Stephen Ratcliffe, Chief Executive of the Construction Confederation, welcomed SkillsDirect as a key development in meeting the CC’s target of a fully carded workforce:

“CITB-ConstructionSkills has responded to our request for a simplified carding service, and SkillsDirect is fundamental to our aim of building a qualified workforce that can operate professionally and safely on our sites. From January on MCG sites, it's no card, no entry, which is why the speed of the new qualification process is so important. From piloting the project, we also know that people benefited from the simplification of the service, which now involves dialling a single number for help and support. The SkillsDirect initiative has our full support, and we have already been promoting it to our subcontractors and affiliates.”

To find out more information on SkillsDirect visit the CITB-ConstructionSkills website or call the hotline on 0870 850 5262

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