Construction workers in Scotland will be required to be registered with the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) or an equivaent scheme before they work on public sector projects.
The assessment scheme asks workers a series of questions about health and safety as well as for evidence of college certificates or courses and costs between £20 and £30.
Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Adopting schemes like CSCS can make a significant difference to efficient working and health and safety on construction sites.
“This is particularly important given the significant challenges the construction industry faces in the current economic climate. I would urge other parts of the public sector to adopt the same policy.”
The Scottish Building Federation has been pushing for CSCS to become compulsory. Its chief executive Michael Levack said he was delighted to see the Scottish government putting its weight behind formal accreditation.
“This is an important step in a continued drive to ensure everyone working in the Scottish construction industry is properly qualified and accredited,” he said. “We welcome all efforts the Scottish government can make to support firms with getting their workforce signed up to recognised schemes.”
Alan Watt, chief executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association Scotland, added that at present over 80 per cent of the body’s workforce across Scotland hold CSCS or equivalent cards, “and these cards are now required on most major civil engineering sites across Scotland”.
Mr Watt added: “CECA has strongly supported the principle of a fully carded workforce for many years and has set itself improvement targets through annual audits.”