Four employer federations aim to simplify and trim costs from skills card scheme after deposing boss

Contractors are set to lead reform of the industry’s Construction Skills Card Scheme, after successfully deposing its controversial chairman Trevor Walker.

Walker resigned from the scheme on 6 December after a concerted campaign by industry employers to remove him, paving the way for wide scale reform of the scheme.

Building understands the four employer federations that campaigned for Walker to resign will now draw up a business plan for the scheme with unions by the new year.

The employers are prioritising simplifying and trimming costs from the scheme and repairing relations between the CSCS and the industry, which they claim were damaged by the scheme’s leadership crisis. CSCS cards are demanded as proof of occupational competence by most major construction sites and are used by 1.7 million workers.

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Federation of Master Builders, National Specialist Contractors Council and UK Contractors Group, who jointly run the CSCS with three unions, are heading up the reform proposals.

Stephen Ratcliffe, director at UKCG, said, “We want clear strategic goals for the CSCS.”

It is understood the employers also want the CSCS to reopen dialogue with CITB-ConstructionSkills, which administers the scheme but put its contract on notice in April due to commercial differences.

Brian Adams, chief executive of CSCS - who pledged last month to postpone his retirement for three months in order to manage the CSCS through its leadership crisis - told Building the organisation had already re-opened dialogue with CITB.

CSCS announced last week that former MP Michael Clapham will replace Walker as its chairman.