The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science has published a bill aimed at reforming and modernising the licensing system in the construction industry.
The department says that the Construction Safety Licensing Bill 2023 will make construction “an even safer place to work”, and also make the industry more attractive to future workers.
One of the most significant changes in the bill is the establishment of a new licensing authority.
This will replace the existing training model, where qualification certificates are issued for life.
Renewal of licences
Workers will now have to hold a licence, and will have to renew those licences periodically to keep their skills and training up to date.
The new authority will keep a register of licensees, and will also act as the competent authority to recognise qualifications gained from outside the State.
The proposals aim to ensure that safety skills will be embedded into workers’ skills development.
The new legislation also gives recognition to people on site who are not qualified apprentices or professionals, but have relevant construction skills.
They will be able to obtain a licence that recognises their skills as they relate to the person’s activities on site.
Minister Simon Harris described the bill as “a central pillar” to his department’s response to skills and workforce needs in the construction sector.