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SKILLcard survey to assess demand

The Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) is conducting a survey on the future of blue, experienced worker SKILLcards.

It follows concerns raised at regional branch meetings about clients clamping down on the use of green SKILLcards issued by Engineering Services.

The survey aims to determine whether or not members feel these should be continued and on what basis.

The Engineering Services SKILLcard is the CSCS-affiliated personnel registration and card issuing scheme for the mechanical services sector of the building services industry.

Experienced worker cards are issued to workers who carry out skilled work, but do not have formal qualifications.

To obtain a SKILLcard, workers must first register on an appropriate NVQ for their trade. They then have the three-year life of the card within which to complete the necessary programme of assessments to qualify for the award of the qualification.

The B&ES reports Engineering Services’ ability to issue cards on this basis was interrupted when the industry’s NVQs were revised to adopt the QCF format, making it difficult to use the NVQ as the basis of assessing experienced workers.

This may have led to the issue of green (unskilled) cards to workers undertaking skilled tasks on site.

There are now signs that clients will be clamping down on what they regard as an abuse of green cards, with effect from the beginning of the new year.

B&ES members are encouraged to complete the survey and have until 9 January to do so.