New skills cards containing electronic chips will be issued from summer 2007 in time for Olympic projects

The CSCS skills competency card is to be replaced by an electronic smart card version, the CSCS board has revealed.

The cards, which will store competency and possibly health information on workers on a chip embedded in the card, will be phased in from next summer, when the major Olympics projects are scheduled to begin onsite.

The technology will help improve the security of the cards, which have become a target for forgery.

CSCS chairman Trevor Walker said that initially the cards would not store biometric information, but there was the possibility that this could be explored at a later date.

He said that a feasibility study, to be completed by Christmas, would determine exactly what information would be held on the cards.

Walker said: “We want to make the card the valued entity that it should be to reflect the effort the workforce puts in to obtain one. We have taken the decision to switch to smart cards following a series of trials with contractors.”