The UK construction industry still seeks a comprehensive solution to the problem of ensuring competence
The ICM fully applauds and supports the FMB's initiative ...
As things stand, many would argue that too few builders and contractors are subject to meaningful checks and balances. This is because, unlike the gas and electrical trades, anyone in the UK can set themselves up as a builder or tradesperson ...
At the heart of this problem is how we can ensure and promote competence across the whole of the industry. It is difficult to see how this will ever be possible without some mechanism by which we can regulate entrance to and exit from the industry to ensure commitment to basic standards accepted by all.
A comprehensive and mandatory licensing scheme would provide a framework through which to facilitate upskilling and promote understanding of, and adaptation to, technological and regulatory change. It would enable the removal of the worst elements, and over time serve as a mechanism to drive up standards across the board. The point of entry and the point of sanction would provide a means to bar from the industry those who are shown to fall below required standards. The point of licence renewal could also be used to promote upskilling in a way which drives professionalisation and leads to a step change in culture and productivity across the sector.
ICM Director of Education & Training David Jones says ─ " there was a time when anyone could get in a car a just drive it on a public highway " ─ compulsory testing was introduced for all new drivers with the Road Traffic Act 1934 and the test was initially voluntary to avoid a rush of candidates until 1 June 1935 when all people who had started to drive on or after 1 April 1934 needed to have passed the test ─ " both safety and quality have fallen to alarming levels of incompetence ─ it simply is mindless and madness for the UK government not to actively commence to move to a new way of controlled working! " ─ says David Jones