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Qualifying the existing workforce

1. How can all stakeholders work with small and medium contractors to widen the initiatives adopted by the Major Contractors Group and Major House Builders Group so that we can achieve a fully qualified workforce?


A means of recognising those with fully qualified workforces i.e. use them and they should get it right first time.

Those that impose the requirement must follow up with checks to ensure a level playing field.

A quality accreditation badge/marketing to users?

HSE to pursue on site visits.

In return for compliance, offer help on other areas e.g environmental/waste mgt
Legal requirement?

Clients should use their contracts to require contractors to have a trained workforce and take on apprentices.

Use the Skills Pledge to get insurance companies to not give insurance unless it is a fully carded workforce.

In Northern Ireland, lack of Government funding due to full qualification not being necessary to obtain card.

Make it a legal requirement - give people a few years to obtain it first.

Health and Safety should put pressure on contractors on site.

Industry needs to accept it as best practice and clients need to drive it.

Through the National Skills Academy for Construction?

Clients putting pre-requisite of CSCS into procurement.

Need to find a way of influencing domestic market, seeing workforce move into the area to get away from CSCS.

Only way is through legislation, if we are to influence the domestic market? But run the risk of regulation and 'black market'.

For SME subbies, to be influenced by the main contractor- need to make it simple to obtain CSCS.

Others such as the civil engineering contractors assoc have for a number of years been doing work but not recognised in this question.

Problem is those that have to check cards don’t know what they are about - in theory if they have a card it should lead to reduced insurance premiums.

SMEs need to be paid on time by major companies - some are withholding grants.

Training isn't cheap and need to get clients to recognise value and should be reflected through price.

Need major companies to have the right ethos.

From a business point of view, insist on these things being in the contract. Client is king in all these cases.

Will always be a small number of companies who will not join up.

Pressure from within industry to get qualified.

Balance between regulation and non regulation. A fully carded work force is that what we want?

Salford University developed a system to recognise work based learning with Balfour Beatty - being rolled out to other companies.

Some do and some don't (enforcement). Needs to be strengthened.

What's 'fully qualified' - what does the industry mean? Level 2 and Level 3 - which is fully qualified?

Fully qualified or fully carded workforce? Lots of different levels in the industry - should be progression through. Transition points through levels needs consideration.

Fully / qualified / workforce - each term needs a precise definition

Small builders and domestic builders - local authorities could help / insurance companies. Is the card a guarantee of quality work? Doesn't guarantee continuing competence.

Bricklayers, carpenters, etc. need quality controls and more regulation.
Health and safety issues encourage regulation - those trades where H&S is less of an issue attract less regulation

Use procurement to specify a qualified workforce and then enforce it on site.

Work with both private and public clients to specify a competent workforce to work on their projects.

Encourage insurance companies to specify a demonstrably competent workforce.

Sector accepted VQ's should be accepted as a fully qualified workforce.

How do you define a fully qualified workforce.

A licence to operate is the way forward.

Developing the supply chain for larger organisation to help the smaller ones.

CSCS has deficiencies because it is not enforced.

Clear career paths and recognising career potential is highly important.

2. What further incentives can be offered to all parts of the industry to achieve full compliance?


Major/significant clients should impose on their major contractors, who in turn use smaller companies and can generate momentum.

For smaller perhaps a link with Trustmark.

Start by looking at lower level stats across industry and specifically target actions.

Federation membership becomes conditional on card adherence?

Offer help support to very small companies even just with paperwork.
Use kitemarks to show which companies have trained workforce.

Tell companies about the insurance benefits available.

Can make the CSCS process much easier _ keep language simple.

Stress importance of it in courses.

Government Departments need to back it.

National Skills Academy for Construction approach - build into costs.

Lots of funding i.e. T2G, however little funding at higher levels- industry self fund.

Need to ensure qualifications are fit for purpose, they must be relevant to the occupation to ensure the value of the CSCS card is maintained.

Need to ensure if we are to pursue assessor base to respond to the CSCS push.

Recognition of internal training programmes!!! Need to get message out there if routes do exists.

Map onto CSCS.

Use of professional interviews.

Foundation Degree routes!! Especially for higher level, especially for recognising internal routes.

Won't get compliance until it is made compulsory - some companies are not part of the scheme.

Issue about how retain folk when you have invested in their training
must have compulsion via procurement.

Professionals often need to do further training - there is a CSCS card but not much uptake as the professional bodies feel there is mission creep re cards - should be about health and safety.

For professional we need to ensure they are asked when they are onsite if they have cards.

What is the barrier for getting people through incentives?

What is stopping people from getting cards- we need to define this, what is stopping people taking the test?

Cards- need policing. People are scared of failing the assessment.

Lot of ignorance there, people who have been qualified for a long time, are scared of the outcome. They ask what do they get out of it?

Regulatory and commercial advantage is the reason people do things.

License to practice only if fully carded.

Permeating whole industry is difficult - need a stepped approach.

Mandatory requirement in Government procurement.

Promote CITB-ConstructionSkills employer work experience guidance

Client driven

Building training into project and contract requirements.

The apprentice 'system' needs to be simplified - companies are becoming confused by the vast amount of variances on offer.

The funding, systems, framework of apprentices presents barriers to developing new apprentices.

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