Written Answers. - Construction Industry.

David Stanton

Ceist:

36 Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the plans, if any, the Government has for the registration of building contractors and building workers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8037/00]

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

48 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the plans, if any, he has for the registration or licensing of builders and building contractors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10041/00]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 36 and 48 together.

The 1997 report of the strategic review committee on the construction industry included a recommendation for a registration system for building contractors and sub-contractors. The report recommended that an independent body be established by the construction industry to administer the system.

In December 1999, the forum for the construction industry submitted an interim report setting out preliminary proposals for the registration of contractors, the implementation of which would require legislation to protect the title of registered contractor.
I accept the forum's proposals in principle subject to a number of modifications which are principally designed to enhance the coverage and independence of the registration system, in the interest of consumer protection. My Department has now conveyed my views to the forum and I await the forum's response.
The registration of building workers is primarily a matter for FÁS, which operates under the aegis of my colleague the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment. I understand that FÁS already maintains registers of skilled building workers who have completed their apprenticeships and of semi-skilled workers who have completed training under the construction skills certification scheme. I understand that FÁS plans to introduce by the end of this year the pilot phase of the safe pass scheme under which all building workers will participate in a basic training course on health and safety on construction sites. FÁS will also maintain a register of all those who participate in the safe pass scheme.