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A National Construction Worker Registration System – Workshop Feedback

This week and last week found QualiBuild partners DIT and LIT around the country meeting with construction workers and other interested building professionals to discuss the details of a national registration scheme for construction workers and the upcoming Foundation Energy Skills programme for building construction workers.

The Registration System – what’s it all about?

We all know the importance of regulating and standardising the building construction sector, but no national body has taken this on board. One aspect of the QualiBuild project is to develop a system to address this.

The registration system is for building construction workers – operatives and craft workers alike. It is intended to be an independent, audited and interactive registration system that will include each glazier, blocklayer, steel fitter, carpenter, concrete formworker, insulation installer, heating installer, electric and gas services provider. Essentially, it will cover every trade in the construction sector.

What’s happening at the Registration Workshops?

At the workshops there was a good debate and discussion on many issues around the building sector. It was no surprise that all the participants at every workshop showed their concern about the black market – with no enforcement and indeed a lack of information for the home owner to understand that quality and value for money should be their main priorities.

Tim O’Leary from DIT (the partner responsible to develop the registration system) gathered valuable input from the attendees and discussions ranged from how to audit the registration system and maintain independence, which national body would take over the running of the registration system, how much membership to pay per year, what incentives would the building construction workers get for this membership, how to promote the registration system and when the system would become mandatory.

Some of these questions could be answered but many are still not. The QualiBuild team will continue to work to capture what the majority of building construction workers need from a registration system so a report can be compiled to show how a registration system is needed to improve the building construction industry.

The registration workshops kicked off in Dundalk on 24 November and moved on to Waterford and Cork during the week, with the Sligo workshop on Saturday. A further 2 workshops will be held at Limerick and Dublin on the 3rd and 4th December respectively. There is still time to book on to these workshops here, and everyone involved in the construction sector are welcome to have their say!

QualiBuild Training Programmes

Both the Foundation Energy Skills programme for building construction workers and the Train the Trainer programme for experienced industry trainers are vital component of the overall project, as we are all aware that delivery of quality, low energy projects can be improved with more awareness and upskilling of those currently working in the sector.

During the workshops, Seamus Hoyne and Lis O’Brien from LIT, presented The Train the Trainer and Foundation Energy Skills (FES) Programmes. The Train the Trainer course was discussed with the understanding that trainers need to be initially upskilled so that building construction workers will benefit with up-to-date information and advice. The Train the Trainer course is presently underway in Dublin and Sligo and further courses will be held in the Cork and Limerick areas in Summer 2015. Those interested in completing the Train the Trainer programme can apply for a place on http://www.qualibuild.ie/train-the-trainer/

It was also explained how the Foundation Energy Skills programme will benefit building construction workers and help to set a minimum training level for future upskilling and training. The course is aimed at 200 workers initially from a range of trades and levels of expertise. If you wish to avail of this FREE course then go to the QualiBuild website at http://www.qualibuild.ie/fes-training/ and fill out the expression of interest form. The places are starting to fill up fast!

What’s next?

We would like to have more of these conversations with those in the industry interested in Quality Building, upskilling and awareness, and who want to see a registration system that helps the worker, the employer and the customers. If you or your organisation would be interested in talking with us, fill out our contact form, and we can organise additional breakfast meetings in association with the CIF.

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