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Hirers propose scheme to ratify European operators

PLANT

FOREIGN plant operators could be able to work on British sites without having to re-take UK competence tests under a scheme being considered by the Construction Plant-hire Association.

The CPA is planning to approve individually the qualifications of drivers coming from the EU to show that they have achieved standards equivalent to the UK Construction Plant Competence Scheme.

The move follows a case in which a German crane driver was prevented from working for not having a CPCS card.

The driver was reinstated after his past training record was assessed and approved.

Hire companies and agencies are reporting increased numbers of EU drivers wishing to work in UK const ruct ion.

Colin Wood, director of the CPA, said: 'We need to address the issue of foreign plant operators coming to work in the UK.

'In most cases, they don't have competence cards or licences in the way that we do.

'We feel we need to ratify their qualifications via the CPCS.

'The European Commission is bringing in the Services Directive, which seeks to make it easier for workers to work in other EU countries. We want to facilitate the movement of plant operators across the EU too.' He added: 'This could be a lengthy exercise as it will involve vetting the operator's international qualifications.' Mr Wood said he would also raise the case of plant operator certification at the next meeting of the European Rental Association.

He said: 'My aim is to form a committee with all the other countries so that operators can be moved with their equipment across borders.'