Sir, I'd like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the concerns of A Partington (Letters, June 12).
It is important to make the point that CSCS does recognise the expertise and experience that tradespeople of Mr Partington's level have built up over the years. This is the reason why we gave experienced operatives the opportunity to apply for CSCS cards through industry accreditation initially and why now, as an existing card-holder and a recognised skilled worker, he has automatic renewal on completion of the Health and Safety test.
CSCS provides a reminder to cardholders six months prior to renewal then gives another six months to complete the test so all cardholders have a year to take the test.
The retaking of the Health and Safety test is an important feature of the scheme. Above all it ensures that an individual's health and safety knowledge is kept up to date with the latest changes in legislation and this means a safer industry for all.
Additionally, any employers that are CITB-registered can claim the full cost of the test (£35) back from CITB. The test can be taken in the evenings or on Saturdays to minimise disruption to work.
Yes, there is a small amount of paperwork involved but, with more than 500,000 card members, more people are recognising the benefits of the scheme.
The CSCS card provides valuable industry recognition of an individual's skills, gives access to major construction sites and means the industry is one step closer to a fully qualified workforce. My advice to Mr Partington is retain your membership - you will be glad you did.
Bill Jenkins, secretary, CSCS