CSCS " worker certification"

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Paul Fear, Mar 18, 2018.


Agree with this post

  1. Yes

    11 vote(s)
  2. No

    2 vote(s)
  1. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    No onslaught mate, it's a refreshing change to take part in a debate that isn't politically driven.

    I agree with almost everything you've written, on principle and theoretically and if I felt it actually happens as a norm, then I would agree with that too.

    The trouble for me is that the reality in my experience is hugely different, at least on the majority of housebuilders sites I've worked on in the last ten years (though that may not say much about me, perhaps I'M the issue) the likes of Persimmon, Barratts, Taylor Wimpey, Charles Church, and more that I can't even remember.

    To a man, Safety comes third. As much as people don't believe it, it's true, health and safety comes third. Money comes first, Speed comes second, Welfare third. The main reason H+S exists on these sites is of the principle that the housebuilders don't want to get sued, if the HSE didn't have the powers to shut down sites and summonse companies I can assure anyone who cares to listen that H+S would be virtually non-existent from the housebuilders perspective. The site I currently work on won't install a birdcage scaffold system inside the houses for trades to work off because 'Its too expensive!!?', and that has come from the Site Manager himself, instead we have to use an archaic crash bag landing system that is as useful as an epileptic at a disco. So working safely isn't top priority.

    If you can't do the work to the time that they set you, the firm you subcontract to may possibly lose the site after a couple of instances, you won't have any work with them any more, and the housebuilder simply ushers a new subcontractor in to take over where the previous left off. So things are done to speed, which makes the housebuilder more money quicker, and safety and competency takes a back seat.

    Which brings me to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. A scheme, not law, legislation or legally binding. The theory behind it is a nice sounding ideology, but put into practice it is a facade, sham and fallacy. It is akin to a competent electrician paying to be a member of 'X' amount of schemes which require him to retake the requirements on a regular basis, or whenever they opt to change a sentence in their whatever edition, all of a sudden what's gone before is null and void, and if they don't retake the test (at their cost!) then they're suddenly deemed incompetent/unsuitable to undertake any more certification and testing work!!? Substitute spark for plumber (corgi, gassafe) even a window fitter (fensa) and there seems to be more scams than you can shake a stick at.

    Competency doesn't come into it, as most people who work on housebuilding sites will testify, have you seen the average level of 'tradesman' currently inhabiting site these days? I wouldn't let most of them build me a kennel, let alone a four bedroom house. And site management is worse. The CSCS 'test' houses a majority of questions that my nine year old sister could answer correctly, and she's certainly no child prodigy.

    City and Guilds count for nothing now, no Grandfather rights bear any relevance, unfortunately you have to pay to get an NVQ or two, and then to work on a building site (as millions have and do) you aren't allowed on without a different coloured card supposedly stating your skills and qualifications, that tens of thousands if not more of older trades once had coming out their ears, but now are no longer recognised!?? No wonder there's a huge skilled labour shortage, older blokes are retiring earlier than planned due to red tape, beaurocracy, and increased 'course requirements' whilst there's limited numbers youngsters coming through, and there's no one to teach the ones that do!

    Most subbies on a building site work for a firm day in day out, under CIS scheme, the words 'overheads,' 'profit,' and 'rates' don't even come into it for the majority, they're just employees without any employment rights or benefits, so even though the CSCS card/test is £50odd, it's fifty quid that is handed over to be 'allowed' to work on site, a tax by another name, and there's no specialist skills training in any of the tests I've ever taken, so there's certainly nothing given to you for your money, apart from your new shiny card to enter the site gates.

    One thing to note, is that paperwork and safety on commercial sites is the opposite end of the scale, over the top the majority of the time and actually inhibits getting the job done due to the (some ridiculous) requirements of the site, but I'm trying to be fair to the industry as a whole. They have a different set of issues, but I'd rather some degree of welfare than none.

    I'm absolutely all for safety, who isn't, but those cards are nothing to do with that whatsoever and I'm sick of being fed cobblers by white collars that think I sailed in off the banana boat yesterday and that I'm about to fire my nailgun into my eye socket due to lack of 'training', and that I should be charged accordingly so I then become 'safe and competent.' I'm self employed at the end of the day, with various insurance cover in place and years of workplace based experience, getting the colour codes correct on fire extinguishers isn't going to make me or those around me safer workers, only common sense does.

    On a final note (thank fxxk, everyone thinks) whilst I detest the CSCS scheme, I do personally believe that the industry needs an improved, suitable alternative, that the workers believe in, have visible benefits from and doesn't kiss you on the cheek whilst it rams you up the rear.

    All my own opinion, of course :)
  2. Paul Fear

    Paul Fear Member

    Well said! The law requires workers to be competent to do their work safely. No mention of NVQs etc. The CSCS card is an occupational license and all the normal democratic checks and balances required of such licenses have been circumvented. Democratic checks and balances exist because our forefathers fought for them, anything else is fascism and an insult to their sacrifice to secure for us a democratic country.
    David Baker likes this.
  3. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    I'd tone down the political side though personally mate, even if you are correct as it's at risk of eclipsing your main valid argument, people see the word 'facism', stop listening and start battening down the hatches :)
    WillyEckerslike likes this.
  4. Paul Fear

    Paul Fear Member

    Point taken. But occupational licenses are very powerful things and in the wrong hands they can be very dangerous.
  5. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    Too late I fear. It has been obvious that this was purely political once reference was made to the Arab Spring.
  6. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    My kind? Like you I am a hardworking tradesman but unlike you I have not suggested kicking anyone anywhere.
  7. AlvyChippy

    AlvyChippy Active Member

    Apart from time waste in having pretend offenses "historical rape charges" have you made an effort in relation to the topic or idea of it?
    Grown suspicious, having horsing over takes priority this time round ;)
  8. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    For the record. For much of my working life I have been fortunate to work for employers who genuinely put safety first working on the notion that having a safe business is 'good business'. I have continued that principle in self employment as not only is my own health and well being important to me it also adds to the impression of a professional service for which my clients pay - alongside good quality work of course. Clearly this is not the experience of all and whilst I'm happy to stand by my principled argument, I wish you well in your campaign.
  9. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    What? Sorry haven't understood that one at all Alvy.
  10. wau5

    wau5 Active Member

    Your card or the 1hour ''training'' really won't matter when the accident is about to happen, only the skill/experience of each person will if something is going to happen and if it is -if they will be able to react to it and do something about it.

    You can tell me all you want about what kind of safety I will get with your fancy card , at the end of it- Every1 is for himself!
    AS the saying goes- Watch out for yourself and the God will also watch out for you!
    Those cards are nothing but Scam , I'm up for an actual training and improvement tho and Highly Encourage it! Those provide none of that...
    AlvyChippy likes this.
  11. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Screwfix Select

    The whole thing is a scam, and recent changes make it ridiculous. For example, a pneumatic tube system installer (which is a specialist trade requiring both pipe fitting and electrical power and data cable installation) has now been completely removed from the cscs scheme, and Floor Flatness (Surveying, remedial grinding, floor joint repairs) Operative, which is obviously highly specialised requires a labourer card! These changes are because for many specialised trades there isn't a nationally recognised qualification - the operatives have developed their skills from other trades. So how does that work then? I'm not sure what's happening "out there" when specialist trades, excluded from the CSCS scheme are required on a 100% CSCS site......
    AlvyChippy likes this.
  12. AlvyChippy

    AlvyChippy Active Member

    should have worded out better, sauber'er, sorry... :D
    I meant a joke of those popular "historic Rape cases", when them days females where agreeing to sex with ie film producer, after 15 years decided it has not been consensual...
    Question projected has been of you taking a view of historically, before and after gaining the card- doubt you have changed attitude in relation to the safety... already you seemed to have mentioned, to have gained some confidence towards other tradesman knowledge- workmanship... but it is up to you

    I meant to have grown suspicious of you simply having an "academic argument" or just testing other tradesmen attitude, although it is clear now- you do actually state your genuine believes... seems only one poster out of 5 responders in this topic, in relation to this issue...

    ah well... as some say- "whatever rocks your boat" ;)
  13. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Well, that's cleared that up! :rolleyes: Just out of interest Alv, what is your first language? :)
    WillyEckerslike likes this.
  14. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select


    No offence. Couldn't resist.
    Jord86 likes this.
  15. AlvyChippy

    AlvyChippy Active Member

    Born To Lithuanian and German parents, mongrel or gibberish seems fairly sufficient :p
    Jord86 and WillyEckerslike like this.
  16. AlvyChippy

    AlvyChippy Active Member

    Bumping for the awareness
  17. chippie244

    chippie244 Super Member

    Are you senis?
  18. AlvyChippy

    AlvyChippy Active Member

  19. chippie244

    chippie244 Super Member

    I thought that was Lithuanian for old man but disappointing is funnier.
    We have 2 Lithuanians at work and that was their nickname for someone, they were obviously fibbing about what it meant
    Jord86 likes this.
  20. AlvyChippy

    AlvyChippy Active Member

    Terribly insulting...

    Not as much as damn cards though, so you still have a chance to get me pint ;)

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