THE COST of a CSCS skills card is going up by a quarter.
Operatives will now have to pay £25 for the cards instead of the current £20.
The hike was announced as the initiative's owner ? Construction Skills Certification Scheme Ltd ? signed a deal with CITB-ConstructionSkills agreeing the future operation of the scheme.
The deal will be rubber-stamped by the end of this month and sees CITBConstructionSkills enshrined as a service provider to deliver card registration while CSCS runs the scheme.
A joint statement said: 'There will be a new, simplified price structure ? a price of £25 including VAT for all cards.
'The price of a CSCS card has remained unchanged for over 10 years. The increase has been kept to a minimum because of improved efficiencies in the card administration process.' Both bodies hope the new arrangement will speed up achieving the goal of a fully carded workforce by 2010.
Latest figures show there are 830,000 cardholders covering more than 230 trades.
CSCS chairman Graham Medcroft said: 'We can go forward from here with CITBConstructionSkills, working in harmony towards a common objective of achieving a fully qualified workforce by 2010.
'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.' A CITB-ConstructionSkills spokesman said: 'We will be communicating the changes more widely in due course as the pricing structure will not come into force until the contract with CSCS is signed.' n CITB-ConstructionSkills and CSCS expect to make an announcement at the end of the month on how much funding will be given to the revamped CSCS card scheme. Officials at CSCS have already identified the first chief executive of the scheme, who will be based at Crawley, West Sussex. He is due to be appointed to the £75,000 a year post in April.