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  1. #1
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    Qualifications and Skillcard

    I have been in refrigeration and air conditioning for 30 years but never completed my BTEC course in the early 90s, so don't have any formal qualifications.
    I am the only director of my Limited company turning over around 750k, with 2 guys very similar to me and use sub-contractors when we get bogged down. We have completed design and build for many projects using off the shelf equipment through to bespoke from our own workshops.
    Needless to say I complete my F Gas every 5 years and this has been enough to carry on trading.
    However, without any formal qualifications we cant renew our blue Skillcards, and therefore cant complete any work on a construction site. 1 of us has recently run out, another got a year left and I have a few years.
    The Skillcard application states that a qualification is a must, so basically when mine runs out I wont be able to escort the other lads on site that will then only have green cards.
    So we have a choice, simply walk away taking all our experience with us and work at B & Q, or in our 50s go back to college!
    There appears to be something wrong with this, has anyone any ideas? Retirement isnt an option sadly
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  2. #2
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    .

    It's a fact that the skill card does need a fridge qualification.

    Why do you need a blue card?
    The Green one gets you onsite does it not?

    Rob

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  3. #3
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    Green card is for a mate or assistant, therefore they must be alongside a blue card skilled worker.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    .

    Have you no other formal qualification, plumber, gas, electricity or such?

    From your previous statement I imagine not

    No help to you but because of this the industry, all industry had a skill amnesty back in the Nineties and in the 2000's and anybody who could prove they were confident and experienced were given a grandad status qualification equivalent to the minimum one required to work unsupervised.

    over the years the industry has been trying to increase the quality of the professionals doing the work and one way they chose was qualifications. we are now 20 years into a system that says you need to prove you are capable and you need to do it every five years.

    It is a way of policing the quality. It might not be the best way or the way everybody agrees with but the industry has said for 20 odd years you need to prove you are capable and qualifications in their eyes prove that.

    Short of doing night school or other training course / qualification you could alway employ somebody and use their quals?

    Rob

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  5. #5
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    Thanks Rob,
    Conversations today have revealed that my card will remain because of the grandfather rights, others not so. Our customers over the years have been very relaxed about the whole CSCS thing so we never bothered to keep up with it, however things appear to be changing quite quickly and we need to do something about it. I understand the reasons and applaud any policy that will improve the quality of engineering within our sector, but a piece of paper proves you can listen to a lecturer and remember what they have said, it doesn't make you a good engineer or fitter. We wont be going back to college, nor will we be training anywhere again, I simply couldn't spend 2 years at a college with 16 year old children 1 day a week and 1 evening, it would ruin the business anyway. So we will be carefully selecting our customers ignoring all the ones that want paperwork over skills, if we can last another 10 years we will have succeeded and hopefully helped a few more people and businesses along the way.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    Quote Originally Posted by CCLPaul View Post
    Thanks Rob,
    Conversations today have revealed that my card will remain because of the grandfather rights, others not so. Our customers over the years have been very relaxed about the whole CSCS thing so we never bothered to keep up with it, however things appear to be changing quite quickly and we need to do something about it. I understand the reasons and applaud any policy that will improve the quality of engineering within our sector, but a piece of paper proves you can listen to a lecturer and remember what they have said, it doesn't make you a good engineer or fitter. We wont be going back to college, nor will we be training anywhere again, I simply couldn't spend 2 years at a college with 16 year old children 1 day a week and 1 evening, it would ruin the business anyway. So we will be carefully selecting our customers ignoring all the ones that want paperwork over skills, if we can last another 10 years we will have succeeded and hopefully helped a few more people and businesses along the way.
    I think you're correct and it's good that your experience has been recognised by the skill card

    From experience it's the biggest construction sites that seem to be the keenest when enforcement of the passport to work scheme and yet they seem to be the worst working environment to work in

    Any way it's good to hear your good for a few more years eh

    Rob

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  7. #7
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    Would not the white CSCS refrigerant handler skill card not suffice to get onto site.
    I am in a similar position with no formal qualifications, I have gained access to building sites with a green card for commissioning and warranty all be it with the construction operative card. They seemed more interested in the fact I had the health and safety on the card.
    I did read somewhere that they are looking to change from the multi coloured cards to just the one card.
    Gibbo

  8. #8
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    Hi Gibbo
    We have several chill stores to fit on a construction site and the site manager wont let us on without a blue Skillcard. Sadly, I think the way it is done he is correct. The only other card he will accept is a green mate or assistant card, but they must be with somebody with a blue card. They are also now insisting that 1 person from each trade has SSSTS qualification also everyone must have attended facefit course for dust mask. needless to say we all also have PASMA and IPAF. Wont be long and we will be spending more time in a classroom than actually doing the job! Think I might apply to be a postie soon and jack all this crap in.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    Unbelievable mate feel for you, I have only months to do so will be glad when I don't have to put up with the bull**** anymore.

  10. #10
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
    Unbelievable mate feel for you, I have only months to do so will be glad when I don't have to put up with the bull**** anymore.
    You may retire from work but don't leave us my friend!
    Grizzly.
    Despite the High Cost of Living it still remains Popular!

  11. #11
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    You may retire from work but don't leave us my friend!
    Grizzly.
    We're not in the Hotel California refrigeration site are we?

    You can check out any time you like,
    But you can never leave!



    Rob

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  12. #12
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    You heard it here Rob. ����

    Gibbo

  13. #13
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    Relax says the "Nice man"!
    We are programmed to receive!
    Just appreciate valued input that's All Glenn.

    Steve.
    Despite the High Cost of Living it still remains Popular!

  14. #14
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    The other side is out here it's pretty much a free for all. Plenty of unqualified unskilled guys split bashing without a care in the world despite everyone must by law F-Gas registered and certified with the local government..Most don't have recovery rigs and probably wouldn't know how to use it in any case.

    There is a royal decree now (either out or about to) which bans non certified people buying air con so that may well start the long process to proper regulation

  15. #15
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    Re: Qualifications and Skillcard

    Quote Originally Posted by r.bartlett View Post
    The other side is out here it's pretty much a free for all. Plenty of unqualified unskilled guys split bashing without a care in the world despite everyone must by law F-Gas registered and certified with the local government..Most don't have recovery rigs and probably wouldn't know how to use it in any case.

    There is a royal decree now (either out or about to) which bans non certified people buying air con so that may well start the long process to proper regulation
    Of course I totally understand, I know an electrician that buys from Ebay, I dont suppose that will ever be policed and he will continue to do all the time he can. Anything to improve the engineering must be applauded, however F Gas is a joke, I was on a course a while ago and half of the class were people that weren't refrigeration engineers, but they all passed, of course they did, they were given the answers!
    My problem is with guys that are good but haven't got the proof on paper, I could employ some 18 year olds that have all the relevant paperwork but have no idea how to carry out the work quickly, accurately and efficiently. Sadly on some sites my hand is being forced, anyway must go, I am off now to a course to make sure we all know how to fit a dust mask!
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