Construction Helpline CEO Umer Mansoor discusses the future of the CSCS card system
CITB has been listening to industry concerns and has strategically changed its priorities, focusing more on offering support and taking on a regulator type role. CITB has changed itself so much that even construction champion Mark Farmer acknowledges in his report that the change has produced effective results.
I have attended recent events held by CITB where employers and training providers both were present. A common theme I have noticed is a sea of confused faces, training centres who weren’t sure why CITB is in such hurry to leave everything behind or sell to non industry stakeholders. Many in the construction industry do not understand why CITB are looking to move towards their current model, a different image in the industry.
CITB has controlled all training from content to approval of training centres. CITB played a key role in introducing CSCS cards. These are supposed to work as a mechanism to ensure a skilled and competent workforce on construction sites. In order to get a CSCS card, individuals need to pass a CITB test (which is owned by CITB). CSCS worked as more of a controlling mechanism where CITB was able to promote its tests and qualifications.
I wonder in which other industry you must pay for a card and take it with you otherwise you are not allowed to work. The question on everyone’s lips is post CITB restructuring, would CSCS become a mess or a solution to a better workforce on construction sites? There are a few questions that can be asked in this instance. For example, if it is going to be an effective tool in ensuring a competent workforce, then why promote it to commercial sites and not to domestic as well?
In my opinion, all stakeholders in the British construction industry should have a pragmatic approach and £36 shouldn’t be charged to individuals. Bringing a free, easy to access database which is available to both domestic and commercial markets would be the ideal solution. Candidates should only be concerned that they have the right qualification. The information should then be stored in a database controlled and handled by CITB.
At CH we will soon be launching a one-stop-shop solution for building professionals where construction qualifications and certifications would instantly be available to construction sites nationwide.
Site Managers will also be able to instantly verify workers before letting them enter using blockchain technology. It’s a solution that will ensure there will be no fraud or fake CSCS cards.