CSCS Ltd to own skills card scheme and CITB-ConstructionSkills to act as service provider.

The CSCS board and CITB-ConstructionSkills have agreed a blueprint for a seven-year deal covering ownership and financing of the CSCS scheme.

Under the deal, CSCS Ltd will own the scheme and CITB-ConstructionSkills will act as service provider. Both organisations will be committed to a five-year rolling contract for a minimum period of seven years.

The blueprint, which will be finalised by the end of March, also introduces a simplified price structure for the scheme. All cards will cost a flat rate of £25, including VAT.

The deal follows months of wrangling between the CSCS board and CITB-ConstructionSkills over the future organisation of the scheme. CSCS chairman Graham Medcroft said: "I am delighted that we have made such significant progress on a new working relationship that will strengthen and develop the CSCS scheme. The past relationship, which was based on a loose form of co-operation, will now be underpinned by an agreement which places it on a firm commercial footing."

Peter Lobban, CITB-ConstructionSkills chief executive added: "We are very pleased with these new working arrangements. They give an excellent platform to drive forward the industry's qualifying the workforce initiative."