Specific requirements in the Construction skill area
This article describes specific requirements that may apply to industry placements in the Construction skill area.
When you get to the detailed preparations for industry placements, you should consider which requirements apply to you, with the school, college or other type of provider you are working with. You should talk to them about any specific compliance obligations on your business.
Health and Safety (CSCS card)
For some occupational specialisms in construction, students may require a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. It would be for the employer or site operator to decide what card is required.
The T Levels provider you are working with should apply for a CSCS Industry Placement Card to the card scheme issuer that is relevant for the student’s T Level. Providers should also consider when it would be most appropriate to cover the Health and Safety content of the Technical Qualification. Further information on the CSCS card schemes and the occupations they cover can be found on the CSCS website.
These temporary cards will last for 3 years. They are available for learners undertaking construction related qualifications or training programmes which requires the completion of a work placement, such as T Levels or Trainee Skills Development Programmes.
The following card schemes are currently available:
- Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)
- Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS)
- Engineering Services SKILLcard
- JIB Plumbing Mechanical Engineering Services (JIB PMES)
It is important to apply to the card scheme relevant to the construction pathway being followed by the learner. For example, a student undertaking a T Level in Building Engineering Services with a specialist pathway in Electrotechnical Engineering should apply to the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme. Identifying the correct card scheme ensures the learner starts off on the right pathway and enjoys smooth progression through the construction industry.
However, whether a student has card or not, it is extremely important that a thorough risk assessment is carried out for each activity and measures put in place to mitigate risks if necessary.
A health and safety induction must also be completed. All of these requirements will be standard practice for construction employers. Further guidance can be found on the Health and Safety Executive's website.
There are a number of tasks and environments that may not be wise for someone under the age of 18. You will need to consider:
- is the task beyond the student’s physical or psychological capacity? Check the young person is capable of safely lifting weights or is able to remember and follow all instructions.
- does the task involve harmful exposure to substances? If so, you will need to ensure they are legally allowed to carry out the task and exposure limits are understood and adhered to.
- is there a risk of an accident occurring due to the student’s lack of experience?
- are there risks to health from extreme cold, heat, noise or vibration?
If you host a student with special educational needs or disabilities in a construction placement, you may need to make reasonable adjustments so that the student in question has access to the same tasks as their peers. This may be as simple as providing a particular type of control on a piece of machinery.
The school or college you are working with should share relevant information about a student’s disability and needs with you, with the student’s consent. You should discuss and arrange reasonable adjustments with the school or college and student before the industry placement commences.
You need to hold up-to-date Employers’ Liability Insurance (ELI) and Public Liability Insurance and you must notify your insurer about placements. If you don’t have ELI, you need to have it in place before the placement begins and for the full duration of the placement. If your insurer is a member of ABI, or Lloyds, ELI policies already cover placements. Find out more on the Health and Safety Executive's website.
Equality and diversity
Industry placements provide an opportunity to showcase your construction company to under-represented groups, such as women and ethnic minorities. All staff should have an awareness of, and should follow, high standards making the workplace an inclusive environment.
The CITB Be FaIR framework is an accreditation scheme with a set of supporting resources, focussing on fairness, inclusion and respect, for employers within the construction and built environment sector.
The legal compliance article gives you more information about your main responsibilities and provides links to detailed guidance and resources.
The content in this article is for information only and does not constitute advice. Suggestions or considerations are offered for you to take into account. It’s your responsibility, supported by your school or college, to comply with any legal duties that you might have.
If you're interested in offering an industry placement, get in touch with T Level providers near you.