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Sparks to pay price for reassessment

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OLDER electricians who learnt their trade in the days before NVQs may soon be forced to pay up to £300 to be reassessed in order to qualify for the Joint Industry Board's Electrotechnical Certif ication Scheme.

The scheme will eventually replace the UK Register of Electricians and the JIB Grading System by rolling them both into one. The anti-cowboy scheme of fers an enhanced identif ication card that also shows the level of competence of sparks by displaying the holder's JIB grade, which eliminates the need for two cards.

But JIB chiefexecutive Martin Pollard warned that older sparks need to get their applications in quickly. He said: 'We will set a date for close of applications some time next year and after that only people with NVQ level 3 will be eligible to join.

At the moment, the men that have a similar, older qualif ication can join. But after the deadline it will be a lot harder.'

Mr Pollard said that these men would have to be reassessed and passed by an NVQ examiner. This process, known as the Accreditation of Prior Learning, would take up about 15-20 hours of a worker's own time and cost about £300.

One spark said: 'I've been doing this for about 20 years and I don't think anyone could teach me anything I don't already know.'