The importance of CSCS card compliance

By Phil Slinger, CAB chief executive.

It should come as no surprise that the UK is experiencing a serious workforce and skills shortage in the construction industry. The current situation is a result of a workforce laid off at the beginning of the pandemic taking up alternative employment, the loss of a significant amount of European construction workers who have returned home due to Brexit, and the booming UK commercial and residential construction market.

According to Rics, the shortfall in the number of skilled construction workers in the UK is currently at its highest point since 2007.

Shortage of fenestration installers has meant that new workers have been drafted into the industry to cope with increased workloads, but where can companies gain the training needed to ensure that these complex systems are installed correctly to ensure weatherability and sustainability?

The UK’s only aluminium in building sector trade association, the Council for Aluminium in Building (CAB) last year partnered with GQA Qualifications and CSCS to develop a new route to a Curtain Walling Installers CSCS Card.

The one-day CAB introductory course forms part of a mandatory module leading to the award of the card but it can also be used by CAB members as a valuable training tool to teach the fundamentals of curtain wall systems to staff and new employees.

Applications to attend the introductory course for the CSCS qualification are managed by CAB, and candidates can apply by completing the enrolment form which can be found on the CAB website. CAB will then liaise with candidates to book a convenient course date and the training is carried out by a GQA-approved training provider.

The cost to attend the one-day course is just £249+VAT but CAB members will qualify for a discounted rate of £199+VAT.

Training centres will offer guidance to delegates to apply for a trainee CSCS card, temporary card ,or renewal card. Further information regarding the criteria and process for applying for a CAB Curtain Walling Installers CSCS card can be found on the GQA Qualifications website.

The aim of the CAB one-day introductory course is to offer candidates an introduction to the extensive glazed walling seen on building structures known generally as curtain walling.

The course has been designed to be a generic approach to curtain walling systems and covers the principles of construction that is common across all systems manufacturers.

For the more experienced curtain wall installer, the review of the fundamentals of the curtain wall terminology and construction are reintroduced. Along with the key issues of surveying, installation and fixing. Interface details with other parts of the building structure are also covered to give the candidate a broad understanding of good practice. Expected levels of quality are introduced, as are potential areas of failure by way of example. The crucial implication of ‘getting it right first time’ is emphasised as remedial work required after completion can be both costly and difficult to achieve.

Once the introductory course has been successfully completed, the candidate will take an approved system house curtain wall product training course and successfully complete the end-of-course assessment.

To be classed as fully trained and receive a CSCS Skilled Workers Card, candidates will need to have achieved the relevant NVQ or Competency Update Qualification.