CSCS makes apprentice cards free

The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) has made apprentice cards free in advance of the new academic year.

The decision was made to make the cards free after feedback showed that some employers were not aware of the apprentice card. Others were put off applying for it by the lengthy apprenticeship registration processes.

At the same time, CSCS will be introducing a new process for anyone experiencing difficulties with their apprenticeship registration. In this scenario, the new entrant applies for the £36 provisional card, before moving onto the apprentice card for free.

The provisional card does not require the applicant to achieve a Level 1 award. As a result, CSCS claims, it reduces time and costs for both the employer and the new entrant. 

Alan O'Neile, head of communications at CSCS, said: "The provisional card is valid for six months, cannot be renewed and requires the completion of the CITB health, safety, and environment test, which can be transferred across to the apprentice card. When enrolled onto the apprenticeship the apprentice will move off the provisional card and onto the apprentice card free of charge. 

"The provisional card option also gives employers and new entrants a six-month window to decide if the apprenticeship is right for them."

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