These non-construction occupations do not require a CSCS card This post should be read with our post about the withdrawal of Industry Accreditation (Grandfather Rights). You might not need to get a CSCS Card at all! These occupations are non-construction related, meaning these workers do not require a card to access sites. If your occupation […] Read More...
What Are ‘Grandfather Rights’ – Also Known As Industry Accreditation?
When the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) was first introduced, there was an obvious need to give people who had been in their trades for years a means to keep on working. This was called ‘Industry Accreditation’.
Under Industry Accreditation,, CSCS Cards were issued to people based on references from employers or other competent people who could certify the person needing the card was capable of doing the job.
This evidence might have relied on the individual’s existing qualifications, or in some cases, just the opinion of the person giving the reference.
Within the Construction Sector, the scheme quickly became known as ‘Grandfather Rights’.
People had a CSCS Card, with their trade on the back and ‘Industry Accreditation’ rather than the qualifications they held.
Some people had the Black ‘Manager’ card, but the vast majority had ‘Skilled Worker’ CSCS Cards, which were blue.
In addition, people who had previously held ‘Advanced Craft’ qualifications, or who were in Supervisory positions, held Gold cards.
Tens of thousands of construction workers still have ‘Grandfather Rights’ CSCS Cards under the Industry Accreditation scheme.
Why Has Industry Accreditation Been Withdrawn?
In 2010, the use of employer references stopped and new CSCS Card applicants had to have the relevant NVQ for their trade, but previously issued Industry Accreditation based cards could still be renewed. (Provided the holder had continuously held the card and kept their CITB Health & Safety Test up to date.)
In 2015, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) decided there should be a single card scheme for the whole industry because with numerous differing schemes in place, it was impossible to maintain consistent standards of training – especially regarding safety on sites.
All cards would need to display the CSCS Logo and would be issued against recognised qualifications (usually NVQ’s/SVQ’s).
Because of problems with fake CSCS Cards, a hologram was introduced and the validity of cards can now be easily checked
In 2019, the CLC decided the industry needed to move to a fully qualified workforce and announced that CSCS Cards issued under the Industry Accreditation would no longer be renewed. (This plan was overtaken by the arrival of the Covid pandemic because CSCS Card renewal periods were extended, but is now applying to people every month as their cards expire.)
The result is that people who have been in their trade for decades are now finding they need to get a qualification in order to renew their CSCS Cards – and unsurprisingly, many don’t know what they need to do. (They’re also deeply unimpressed, because they’ve rightly got a huge amount of pride in their experience and skills, so the last thing they want to do is get the NVQ for a job they know how to do backwards.)
My ‘Grandfather Rights’ (Industry Accreditation) Have Gone – What Do I Need To Do?
Do You Need A CSCS Card?
There’s been quite a lot of confusion over the years about CSCS Cards and who needs them. At one stage, delivery drivers were having to get cards to drop off materials on some sites, which (given the requirements for getting a card, was ridiculous).
So the first thing to know is whether or not you actually need a CSCS Card. If you’re in one of the trades, generally you will, but there are lots of people who work occasionally on sites who do not need cards – See The List Here
You will need to get the NVQ Level 2 for the trade you are in. SuperSkills can help you get this qualification – See Here
You will need to get the NVQ Level 3 in Occupational Work Supervision. SuperSkills can help you get this qualification – See Here
You will need to get the NVQ Level 3 for the trade you are in. You do not need to get the Level 2 before you take the Level 3. SuperSkills provides a range of Level 3 NVQ’s – See Here
For further information, call 01845 527 445 or Click ‘Get Free Advice’ to fill in our contact form.
Do I Need To Go To College To Get My NVQ For The CSCS Card?
Simple answer – No – and it’s probably not in your interest to do so. Beware the temptation to enrol on a Level 2 or Level 3 Diploma programme. For a start, you don’t need any training people have been giving you money to do your job for years. You just need to get your skills assessed and demonstrate you’re working at Level 2/3. Don’t accept ‘reassurances’ that the course you’re being offered is ‘equivalent to an NVQ’. It’s not. NVQ’s have that in their title – for example, the Level 2 Diploma in Trowel Occupations (Bricklaying) is different to the Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Trowel Occupations (Bricklaying) and the major difference from your point of view is you can’t get a CSCS Card with a Diploma that isn’t an NVQ. To obtain a National Vocational Qualification (that’s what NVQ stands for) your work must be assessed in the workplace. So in all probability, you won’t have to be away from work at all.
How Will My Skills Be Assessed?
A combination of:
Photos & videos of you working
Knowledge questions and answers
Witness Testimony (people in the trades confirming your skills)
Professional Discussion (an interview about how you work)
How Much Will The NVQ Assessment Cost?
At SuperSkills, we keep our costs to a minimum and pass the savings on to our customers, so Level 2 NVQ’s are generally £775, and Level 3 NVQ’s £1150. Occupational Work Supervision Level 3 NVQ’s are £975. There’s an ‘Easy Payment Scheme’ and the fees are Tax-deductible. All our prices include VAT. You may find other providers that look cheaper, but check for VAT and hidden ‘extras’ to calculate the real price. We have an expression “What we say is what you pay” if that helps.
Are Grants Available For The NVQ?
If your company is registered with the CITB, they will be eligible for Grant for qualification achievements. The grants can be paid for both Direct (PAYE) and Indirect (Sub-Contracting) staff. You can see the CITB Grant Scheme here.
There are (very limited) grants that may be available from the Adult Education Budget managed by the Department For Education & Skills. (They are not applicable to non-classroom based qualifications.)
Unemployed people may also get financial support from the Department For Work & Pensions – if you’re on benefits, you will have a Work Coach and they should be your first point of contact.
SuperSkills is an approved contractor for DWP funding and we can offer advice about the support available from them and elsewhere.
If you are self-employed, or your employer is not registered with the CITB and will not pay for your assessment, the probability is the support you will receive will be limited to tax relief on the assessment fee.
How Long Will The NVQ Assessment Take?
Usually, NVQ Level 2 candidates with SuperSkills take about 4 – 6 weeks to send us all the evidence we need. Some take longer, for personal or work-related reasons. A few have everything sorted within a month. Level 3 NVQ’s take a little longer, but as with many things in life, if you get on with the assessment, it will be finished more quickly.
What If I Need A CSCS Card Right Now?
If you need a CSCS Card to get access to sites whilst you are being assessed, you can get a Red ‘Experienced Worker’ CSCS Card once you are registered for the qualification.
How Long Does The NVQ Remain Valid?
Once you’ve got your NVQ, you’re qualified to the Level (2 or 3) that it’s set at. You will need to take the CITB Health Safety & Environment Test for Site Operatives every five years to keep your level of knowledge up to date. That’s because the Test is updated based on the information that comes from accidents and incidents that occur on construction sites. When a new risk is identified, new/different questions are added to the Test.
Will I Need To Take The CITB Health Safety & Environment Test As Well As The NVQ?
If you haven’t passed the CITB Health Safety & Environment Test within the previous two years, you have to re-sit it to get a new CSCS Card. This applies even if you are changing your CSCS Card whilst it still has time to run. Don’t Forget – it’s important you book your Test directly through the CITB. There are websites that will charge you a ‘booking fee’ and we’ve heard of people paying over £50 for their CITB Test. If you’re being asked for more than £22.50 – you’re on the wrong website! Book through the CITB by following this link.
For further information, call 01845 527 445 or Click ‘Get Free Advice’ to fill in our contact form.
What Are ‘Grandfather Rights’ – Also Known As Industry Accreditation? When the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) was first introduced, there was an obvious need to give people who had been in their trades for years a means to keep on working. This was called ‘Industry Accreditation’. Under Industry Accreditation,, CSCS Cards were issued to […] Read More...
You Don’t Need To Pay The Usual Fee Of £36 For An Apprentice CSCS Card
Although SuperSkills no longer trains Apprentices, we offer congratulations this morning to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) for removing the £36 fee for getting a CSCS Card in the case of employees starting an apprenticeship.
There used to be quite a lot of faff for employers to get an ‘Apprentice’ CSCS card. So many of them were instead opting to register staff for a green ‘Site Labourer’ CSCS Card. This meant also getting them through the Level 1 Health & Safety in Construction qualification. And also the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) ‘Site Operative’ Health & Safety test.
The New System
Submit evidence of the CITB Site Operatives test pass
The CSCS will also accept different forms of Health & Safety accreditation:
A CITB Health, Safety and Environment test pass from within the last two years (as above)
A completion certificate for a one-day Construction Health and Safety Awareness course. You can take this with SuperSkills online – see here.
A Certificate of Unit Credit showing completion of a Construction Health and Safety unit. If this is included in your induction or initial qualification.
Some Hints & Tips
Make sure you have the right Photo ID. Lots of young people (so the majority of Apprentices) don’t get Photo ID until they are 18 (for obvious reasons). It’s a good idea to get one sorted out now, because you will need it for training/examination/CSCS Card purposes.
If you are joining an employer for a ‘trial’ period, just get a ‘Provisional’ CSCS Card, which last six months. All you need for that is a CITB Site Operatives test pass. It save the faff of getting a health & safety qualification. By the time it expires, you will know whether the Construction is the right choice for you.
Not the card you’re looking for? Perhaps you are more suited to the Green ‘Site Labourer’ CSCS Card referred to above, rather than the Apprentice CSCS Card. Take a look here or call us on 01845 527 445 for some Free Advice.
For further information, call 01845 527 445 or Click ‘Get Free Advice’ to fill in our contact form.
You Don’t Need To Pay The Usual Fee Of £36 For An Apprentice CSCS Card Listen Here Although SuperSkills no longer trains Apprentices, we offer congratulations this morning to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) for removing the £36 fee for getting a CSCS Card in the case of employees starting an apprenticeship. There used […] Read More...
It was inevitable really – after Covid cases rising for weeks and many areas in the country being placed under ever greater restrictions – the Prime Minister having to hold a press conference in which he has updated the nation about new measures to contain Covid-19.
I have never (I doubt any of us have) experienced such a period of uncertainty. For life to change so quickly and our ability to do the things we had become used to being taken away almost without warning.
There is no doubt jobs and the economy will take another huge hit – and our hearts go out to everyone affected, whether by getting the virus, or not being able to work. That particularly affects trades who have always worked in people’s houses, rather than on building sites.
Even though construction is an exempt category in general and there are protocols for getting work done in residential premises, lots of trades we speak to are finding people don’t want to have work done in their houses and their work is drying up.
SuperSkills Construction Training is in one of the exempted categories and is permitted to keep going during the “lockdown” period.
It follows that our assessments can go ahead as normal unless circumstances change. In a world of bad news, this means that people who have always done “domestic” work, but who now find they need to get onto sites, but don’t have CSCS Cards, can get the NVQ they need quickly, simply and conveniently.
We are obviously taking the safety of our candidates and staff seriously – we have been doing assessments under Covid secure arrangements since we reopened in June – and remember that if you have symptoms of Coronavirus or have to self-isolate for any reason, you can change your assessment date and just let us know.
You will not lose your deposit in these circumstances. We’ve always adopted a sympathetic approach when people’s arrangements need to change and we’ve no intention of changing now.
There is accommodation available in Thirsk, so if you need an overnight stay, we will do our best to get you fixed up.
You can always contact our office on 01845 527445 should you need any advice.
In the meantime, we trust you and yours remain well and sincerely hope you are not affected by this dreadful virus.
It was inevitable really – after Covid cases rising for weeks and many areas in the country being placed under ever greater restrictions – the Prime Minister having to hold a press conference in which he has updated the nation about new measures to contain Covid-19. I have never (I doubt any of us have) […] Read More...
We need to build three hundred thousand houses a year. That’s a tough challenge. Even more so when you think that we haven’t done that since the 1950’s.
And it’s not helped when there is constant turnover of Housing Ministers. Esther McVey – who started in the post when Boris Johnson became PM last month – is the tenth since 2010. Yes, you read that correctly. The average lifespan of a Housing Minister is less than a year.
Hardly surprising then, that people in the industry lose a certain amount of enthusiasm as the invitations to “meet the new Minister” pop into their Inbox. You’d be tempted to develop an auto response in your Mail programme that just sent a list of things that need to be done.
But what would be on that list? I suspect everyone would have a different view – which won’t be helped by the disjointed voice of the Construction Sector as a critical element of the economy. Will the new ministerial team speak to the Federation of Master Builders, the Construction Industry Council, Build UK or the Strategic Forum for Construction?
This point, ably made by Lem Bingley, the newly-appointed Editor of Construction News recently, highlights just one of the problems the new Ministers face. They must look with envy upon their colleagues at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who ask their officials who they need to meet to talk about Farming and get pointed in one direction – the National Farmer’s Union.
Lem quite rightly calls for the sector to speak with one voice. But something else is also being overlooked. Anne Milton MP was the sixth Skills Minister since 2010 and left the Government last month, by “pre-resigning” on the assumption Boris Johnson would pursue a Brexit policy she could not support. She had only been in post a short time – Gavin Williamson took over as Secretary of State having been out of Government for a short period prior to the latest reshuffle. He’s kept the skills brief within his responsibilities according to the Department for Education website.
At the moment, the nation is woefully short of trained construction workers and this year’s apprenticeship starts data indicates there will be less than 10,000 new starts in 2019. There are just over 2.3 million construction workers presently, but the workforce is getting older and construction careers are not being promoted sufficiently in schools.
If we are to build enough houses, the nation has to have a strategy that encompasses all aspects of the issue – land availability, construction methods, workforce and financing. Consistency is essential to achieve the goal – in leadership, approach and delivery.
It’s time to turn off the music and get to work.
We need to build three hundred thousand houses a year. That’s a tough challenge. Even more so when you think that we haven’t done that since the 1950’s. And it’s not helped when there is constant turnover of Housing Ministers. Esther McVey – who started in the post when Boris Johnson became PM last month […] Read More...
A few weeks ago Richard Harrington the Business Minister spoke at the annual Construction Sector Forum and made a particular point about the need for large contractors to pay their bills to subcontractors on time.
He highlighted a couple of cases where, as he put it, big businesses were using the money they owed to subcontractors as a form of financing within their own enterprise.
It’s quite clear that where subcontractors are being placed in the position where they will not get the work unless they agree to terms such as invoice date +60, or large retentions, this is unfair and to be blunt, a form of corporate bullying.
Yet I also see it on a very regular basis. At SuperSkills, we are always very wary of dealing with the Public Sector, because of previous difficulties in getting paid promptly.
There are government guidelines that are issued to different departments of state requiring them to adhere to quite strict standards when it comes to paying suppliers. However, it is equally clear that when you are told you’re not getting paid on time there is little you can do about it.
We used to do quite a lot of work for a school in a nearby town and the Admin staff seemed to take a pride in messing our payments about. They were quite surprised when we told them to look for a new provider.
Without naming names, there are some councils that we simply will not do business with and one very large department of state that has to pay us in advance at the time of placing their order.
Interestingly, the Department for Work and Pensions is a good example of an organisation that is set up a system that pays its suppliers promptly. We do a lot of work for them and they make it dead easy to invoice and get paid. (Why there’s conversely such a delay for Universal Credit payments is beyond me…….)
But it’s not just big business or the public sector – one of our assessors had this experience recently on a shop refurbishment and he’s soon at the Small Claims Court to get his money.
He’s avoided using a solicitor, because with the greatest of respect to them as a profession, they do tend to be the only people holding any money after the dust has settled…………………
Looking at social media it seems that late payment is pretty endemic in the construction sector and one reads with interest posts where particularly creative means of persuasion have been used. (And I don’t mean “sending the boys round”.)
I confess to smiling yesterday evening reading about a plumber who had secretly installed an additional isolating valve to the water supply, the location of which was only disclosed after payment had been received!
It really is time late payment of people further down the food chain was clamped down on – not least because it means those small businesses can’t pay their bills and funnily enough, they have a greater motivation to do so.
A few weeks ago Richard Harrington the Business Minister spoke at the annual Construction Sector Forum and made a particular point about the need for large contractors to pay their bills to subcontractors on time. He highlighted a couple of cases where, as he put it, big businesses were using the money they owed to […] Read More...
NVQ Assessor Mark Smith (R) Interviewing a Candidate at SuperSkills
I meet dozens of construction workers every week and speak to even more on the telephone. (At this point, I may need to point out to people who’ve Googled “Become an NVQ Assessor” and landed here, don’t be put off – most of this applies to other sectors as well………………………..)
Almost without exception the men and women I speak to are hard-working people, who play by the rules and want to get on in life. They work in a tough industry, have a great pride in the skills they have acquired over the years and in most cases are self-employed.
However, not very many have a “Plan B”. Without the ability to do their job, they don’t have something to fall back on if something happens.
The most likely cause of being unable to work will be injury or illness – contrary to what has become a common misconception, the risk of being unable to work because of falling demand has reduced enormously.
The Government’s desire to increase infrastructure projects, to build houses and to stimulate the economy means there will be years of work ahead for people who know what they are doing and get on with the job.
Construction Sector Work-Related Injuries (Source – HSE)
Disgracefully, deaths and serious injury in construction continue to follow a predictable pattern. Most deaths are caused by falls from height. Far too many people get lung disease from silica dust. 64% of work-related illness or injury is musculo-skeletal. Lifting and handling accounts for 22% of injury (Source: Health & Safety Executive)
What would you do?
Just think for a minute. What is your “Plan B”? God forbid, you have an accident. Your years using that palm sander means you lose feeling in your fingers and can’t hold a brush. Some muppet drops a brick off a scaffold as you are getting out of a truck and before you’ve got your hard hat on.
But let’s not always fear the worst……
You’re a construction worker in the trades. But deep inside, when Monday comes, your heartstrings do not play a melodious tune. Not because you’ve got a hangover. Not even because Arsene Wenger is convinced just being in the “Top Four” is the pinnacle of success and The Arsenal dropped a point or two (yet again) on Saturday.
You know you’ve got more to offer.
That youngster you showed how to fit a lintel last week sucked in knowledge like a sponge and it made you feel great.
Young People Can Be Like Sponges When It Comes To Knowledge
The Site Agent put you in charge of a team sorting out snags and took you for a pint because he was so pleased.
You knew what had to be done. You told people what was required. You checked it was to the right standard. You provided a report.
Those are exactly the skills Trainers and NVQ Assessors need. I quite often come across people who want to be an NVQ Assessor and they ask me what they need to do to become one. I’m always happy to help.
Will you get a job if you qualify as an NVQ Assessor?
You betcha! (Slight reservation – this does depend on your talent and motivation. Getting fed up with being outdoors is not a good reason.)
The Government plan to increase the numbers of Apprentices during this Parliament by 3 million. The industry is becoming more regulated. Companies are having to get their staff qualified. The number of good NVQ Assessors is not growing sufficiently to meet demand.
What qualifications will you need to become an NVQ Assessor?
I always tell people the criteria I use to recruit people into SuperSkills. I always start with the Personal Skills. The right motivation – to bring on the next generation. To share your knowledge. To help develop the UK’s skills base. Diligence – the ability to do a 100% job every time. Customer awareness. Predictability. Punctuality. Reliability. The list goes on – basic employability skills.
Literacy and Numeracy. As my Granny would say – being able to read, write and do numbers. Here I need to use some “training jargon”. You need English and Maths at Level 2 – which is GCSE A*-C or the equivalent.
NVQ Assessor Qualification. The current qualification is known as TAQA – Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance (Click the link to see the details.) It is at Level 3 – the equivalent of an “A” Level (and you can progress to Level 4). It will take about six months. If you’re in or near Yorkshire, try YH Training Services, who deliver it and are excellent.
Teaching Qualification. Don’t worry – you don’t have to get a set of leather patches for your elbows and head off to College for three years – the standard qualification is known as “Petals” – from the acronym PTTLS – which stands for Preparing To Teach In The Lifelong Learning Sector. To find a local provider, Google “PTTLS“ . A suggestion – choose carefully. Check reviews from students. There is a mixed bag of provision, but a fairly standard price. If you want to be an NVQ Assessor, you’ll be investing a lot of time and money.
Trade Qualification. You will need Level 3 NVQ in the Trade for which you want to be an NVQ Assessor. There. I’ve said it. I know a lot of people will disagree. They say “Assessment is assessment is assessment”. Remember – I’m describing the criteria we use at SuperSkills. There are some providers that will let people do NVQ Assessment without that level of qualification. (Or even any!) We just happen to take the view that when you are assessing somebody, you need to know what you are talking about.
NVQ Assessment At SuperSkills Is Quick, Simple & Convenient. Click For Details
Experience. (Lots of.) By this I mean detailed experience in a specific field. It’s got to be current. All SuperSkills assessors also practise their trade on a commercial basis when they are not assessing. We also only use them to assess their own trade.
There is such a thing as a “Swiss Army Knife”, which can do everything, but I’ve always preferred to use a screwdriver if I want to get a screw done up properly. My eyes glaze over when I hear of an “NVQ Assessor” (the quotes are deliberate) who can “assess” bricklaying, dry lining, plant operations and roof tiling.
Some trades go together – plastering and tiling, for example. But there is a limit. I always bear in mind the candidate. He or she will have a fierce pride in trade skills acquired over years – decades even. Credibility is essential. In my experience, trades can spot a faker a mile off. But even more importantly – people pay hard-earned money to get their qualifications and they have a right to expect the best at all stages in the process.
The future of the Construction Industry
If you’ve already got your “Plan B” – that’s great. Tick the box, move on. Site Management, Health & Safety Adviser, run a Pub, form a Blues Band, you name it. Congratulations.
If not – think how you can help develop future generations of Construction Workers. Become an NVQ Assessor!
Construction Workers need "Plan B" to guarantee their future. Scroll down to find out how to become an NVQ Assessor Read More...
It’s about this time (Nine o’clock on the First) in January that most people discover they have already broken their “New Year Resolution”. The tell-tale cigarette butt, the rather nice (sugared) coffee, that muffin, left over from Christmas, that tasted wonderful. “These simple things…………………” remind you that your pledge to treat your body as a temple “come the New Year” has once again failed.
Yet it is all part of our annual festivities surrounding Christmas and the New Year, at which time Christians celebrate the birth of Christ in Nazareth, Jews mark the re-dedication of a temple with Hannukah and Druids acknowledge the shortest day of the year by celebrating the Winter Solstice.
The New Year does present a time for reflection and whilst breaking an addiction (smoking, sugar or over eating) is perhaps too ambitious, it could also be in the smaller, personal and day-to-day interaction we could make a few changes that will help us and those around us feel a lot better.
The smile you receive when you let a fellow motorist out. See? You both feel good. (And the muttered expletive when they come out, but don’t acknowledge your courtesy, can give you a similar release of serotonin…..)
Perhaps Mrs W Had A Point When She Said To Clear Out The “Man Drawer”
Getting your office/van/desk/bedroom (delete as necessary) tidy. Great feeling, no cost. (Says the man who has just cleared the “Man Drawer” during the Christmas break. Anyone want some Omani Rials?)
But the best by far has got to be “Learning something”. There is no better means of taking control of your own life. One of the greatest facilities for information gathering is at our disposal twenty four hours a day. And what do we use it for? Looking at pictures of cats. Photographing meals. Shouting (METAPHORICALLY!).
By now you’re probably thinking a person who owns a training business is promoting “Learning” as a good thing. What a surprise. But I am not REALLY NOT saying anything about what SuperSkills offers. People who read this blog are usually people who know what we offer already and they tend to get to it last, which is why we don’t use it to sell stuff.
By “Learning something” I mean just setting yourself a goal that means you will not avoid doing things because you lack the “know how”. Or not offering an opinion because you’re just an “Ordinary person”. (And by the way, be prepared to see a posting on just that concept of “Ordinary People” here soon.) If you don’t know – find out.
360,000 Videos On You Tube About “Changing A Plug”
A friend who is an electrician gets asked to change fuses in plugs by people. I’m not kidding. They would happily pay him, rather than look on You Tube. There are 360,000 UK results on You Tube for that subject and people call him. Bonkers.
And it is really important to know stuff at the moment, especially as we head towards a fundamental change in our trading relationship and security alliances over the next few years. We can’t afford to outsource these things to the “clever people”.
Do you know that if we do not have a trade deal with the European Union we still have to comply with their standards for goods and packaging to sell things in the EU – even if we are doing so within the terms of the World Trade Organisation? And does that matter to you as an individual? I’m pretty sure that as I don’t manufacture stuff – let alone sell it to the EU 27 nations, the question of having two different production lines won’t matter to me. But if the UK has a different standard in years to come, my pal who makes truck parts is quite worried about the prospect. And that matters not only to him, but all the people who work for him.
Where Did All These USB Cables Come From?
And it probably matters to the salesman in Wickes who told me they “Aren’t allowed to say their products are made in England because it’s racist”. Which of course it’s not. But it is true to say that EU Member States have agreed to forego national identification of products, because they are all made to the same “CE” standards. But it does explain why my new Utility Room is being kitted out in products from B&Q.
So as we go into 2019, perhaps you can join me in just trying to learn something new every day – something that will help you in life. Perhaps it might be the answer to the question I asked myself the other day…………….Just how did I accumulate so many USB cables?
A friend who is an electrician gets asked to change fuses in plugs by people. I'm not kidding. They would happily pay him, rather than look on You Tube. There are 360,000 UK results on You Tube for that subject and people call him. Bonkers. Read More...
Life has many disappointments, but high on the list must surely be when somebody looks down on you. And there is no surer way to do that than to demean somebody’s occupation.
The Class Sketch – Iconic Take On The Class System From 1960’s TV
This country has spent many years seemingly moving away from the old-fashioned “class system”, where the unpredictability of birth set your pathway in life. But occasionally there are attempts by some people to suggest they are “better” in some way than their fellow citizens.
I remember in my first job – a Bank Clerk – seeing one of the customers had his occupation listed as “Gentleman”. Puzzled, I asked what this meant, to be told in reverential terms that “he doesn’t have to work for a living”. Shades of Bertie Wooster! Of course these days, a set of numbers in the National Lottery can put you in that position. So can being able to throw, kick, or run with a ball.
But as a wise old owl once told me when I was about to get a bollocking for some misdemeanour at work, “Just imagine he’s got his trousers down” – that’s certainly something to create equality.
Yet we have a number of structures to segregate us into groups – my postcode will help tell my insurers how much my premium should be. It will add or subtract points from my credit rating. Having a mortgage rather than paying rent will do the same. Occupations count as well. Try getting car insurance if you’re a musician or an actor if you want to find out.
My education level and occupation will inform advertisers, as well as politicians. There are two groups that you hear about quite often – the “ABC1’s” and the “C2’s”. Advertising – particularly online – has got more sophisticated over the years. But when newspapers call me to sell advertising space, they will give the breakdown of their readership in terms of ABC1 and C2. (Mind you – it won’t make a blind bit of difference, print advertising just doesn’t pay its way for a business like ours. That’s why print media companies are having such a tough time.)
Political parties know they won’t win an election unless they have the support of the C2’s – better known as “White Van Man” and his Missus – (usually referred to by politicians as “Schoolgate Mums” with a complete lack of awareness as to how stereotypical this might be).
Whilst we go through life knowing these truths, to be looked down upon is still something that rankles.
SuperSkills is a place where trade skills matter. We have the unenviable job of assessing whether somebody has that level of skill, experience and knowledge to be regarded as a “Skilled Worker”. That’s the difference between having a job or not in the trade these days. And people are rightly proud of their skills. They have taken years to learn and earn. That’s why we value and respect them.
That’s why I was so annoyed to learn that as part of the preparations for Brexit, the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee has decided that all construction trades are to be regarded as “Low Skilled”.
That means a number of things – not least for the number of people coming into the trades. It’s been difficult enough trying to persuade schools to promote construction as a career for young people to consider without putting this additional obstacle in the way. Trade rates of pay are now higher than they have been in ten years. Yearly earnings north of £50k are common. If you want to work in London, even higher. A “Head of Department” in a school will earn on average about £43k. But still the careers staff won’t promote construction as a valuable and rewarding career.
“Imagine the kids sitting in school hearing about ‘low-skilled’ jobs.
Then ask yourself why any pupil would choose to pursue a trade, when the prime minister herself thinks it’s of secondary importance.”
Classing All Construction Trades As “Low-Skilled” Risks Damaging The CSCS Card Scheme
Additionally, the construction sector employers have all signed up to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme – to ensure the workforce has the right skills and qualifications for the particular jobs they are doing. The CSCS scheme is in danger of being undermined by this proposal.
And I wonder if this decision has actually been informed by regard of perceived social status of construction workers by those who make up the Migration Advisory Committee – or is it just they are woefully ill-informed by the highly technical nature of the trades involved and the level of knowledge and skill required to undertake these jobs?
Are they really suggesting that gas cookers all over the country have been fitted by “Low-Skilled” workers? Or your electrical wiring? This is nonsense. But it’s in danger of becoming “Government Approved” nonsense.
There’s another issue. Placing construction trades in the category of “Low Skilled” work means they cannot recruit trades from overseas using the “Tier Two” Visa. When this applies to workers from the EU after Brexit, firms will not be able to recruit staff in the way they have in the past.
The construction sector needs at least 40,000 new entrants a year – just to keep pace with last year’s Ministerial promises about house-building. Both political parties have added to these numbers since then.
About 9000 people graduated construction Apprenticeship programmes last year – and the number of youngsters starting has fallen since then.
Is The Person Wiring Your House REALLY A Low-Skilled Worker?
That’s a shortfall – each year – of 31,000. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out we actually need Pavlov the Plasterer as well as Bob the Builder if we are to build the houses the country so desperately needs.
That’s why we need to start valuing people – regardless of their occupation – for the contribution they make to society – but in particular, to get away from this poorly thought out proposal that lumps all the construction workers together with this blanket “Low Skilled” label.
The Migration Advisory Committee should think again.
Life has many disappointments, but high on the list must surely be when somebody looks down on you. And there is no surer way to do that than to demean somebody’s occupation. This country has spent many years seemingly moving away from the old-fashioned “class system”, where the unpredictability of birth set your pathway in […] Read More...
……are From People Whose CSCS Cards Have Expired……….Or Who Have Been Putting Off The “Evil Day”
Here at SuperSkills, we care about our customers. I’ve thought long and hard about writing this, because the last thing I want to do is unnecessarily scare people – or worse still, for suggestions to be made that we’re indulging in some sort of “Project Fear”. However, it’s sometimes right to tell people something they might not want to hear.
I always worry about the phone calls we get from people who have allowed their CSCS Card to expire before they make arrangements to be assessed – or who have never obtained one.
It is particularly concerning when they have already been sent away from a site, because they are going to have to find work elsewhere, on a site that has not become as strict as most when it comes to cards, or even go back to the domestic market.
Historically, we got those calls about once or twice a week.
However, I get the impression things are getting more difficult for people who have yet to get their NVQ’s sorted out.
This morning, I have received two calls – one of them first thing today – from trades who have been turned away. The second was from a gang of people due to start on a new site.
We will move heaven and earth to get your assessment sorted as soon as we can – but we have no control over the time it takes for your qualification to be issued by CSkills Awards. We always tell people to allow up to a month for that certificate to arrive (it’s sometimes quicker, but we can’t guarantee that) so if the site you need to work on says “No Card, No Job”, that’s a problem.
We do find some sites will allow people on if they have arranged their assessment and others if the individual has a temporary CSCS Card issued when they have started their assessment programme. But I’m not sure I would bet my mortgage payments on it.
So – if you need to get your NVQ, just call us on 01845 527 445 and we will get you in for assessment as soon as we can – then you can relax in the knowledge you won’t be one of those facing the prospect of getting sent home early.
……are From People Whose CSCS Cards Have Expired……….Or Who Have Been Putting Off The “Evil Day” Here at SuperSkills, we care about our customers. I’ve thought long and hard about writing this, because the last thing I want to do is unnecessarily scare people – or worse still, for suggestions to be made that we’re indulging […] Read More...