He was presented with his card during the B&ES Meeting the Industry’s Skills Challenge conference by association president Jim Marner and conference chairman Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan.
The first ‘smart’ Engineering Services SKILLcard was presented in front of a packed conference room at the Wellcome Collection in London last week.
Luke Copper Solomons, an apprentice plumber with Price Building Services of Wallington, Surrey – a long-established member of the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) – received the first digital version of a SKILLcard, which is used by more than 50,000 mechanical engineering workers to provide proof of their skills and to access project sites in line with health and safety requirements.
The Engineering Services SKILLcard is the first of the specialist schemes affiliated to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) to switch to chip-enabled smart technology.
The greater functionality means that employers and site managers will be able to check the holder’s qualifications and skills much more quickly, with information on the card accessible via smartphone, card reader or tablet. The details held on the card will also be more accurate as it can be rapidly updated with any new skills and qualifications – and any qualifications that lapse can be readily removed.
Smart cards are also much more difficult to fake, so will help the industry to tackle counterfeiting and misuse by unqualified “cowboy” operatives.