The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, has launched the online Safe Pass renewal system.
This is a new and alternative option to renew Safe Pass and is available from 23 January 2023. The Safe Pass renewal process is part of efforts to reduce barriers in construction careers, an objective of Housing for All.
Streamlined Safe Pass
Speaking at the announcement at St Andrew’s Resource Centre, Dublin, Minister Harris said: “Having this new streamlined option for Safe Pass renewal is a simple but highly effective way of removing some of the barriers facing construction workers. Over 30,000 people will avail of this option within the first 12 months of the programme going live. And that’s just the start, as we see increasing numbers of Safe Pass applications all the time.
“I would like to acknowledge the work undertaken by SOLAS, CIF, trade unions and members of the Construction Industry Advisory Group who oversaw and guided the establishment of this initiative.
“This is part of a number of reforms we intend to take over the next few months as we continue to promote careers in our construction sector.”
New Safe Pass renewal process
The new renewal system will be cost-efficient and time-efficient, with the renewal process taking just 45 minutes to complete. It is a streamlined service that is cost-effective for all workers in construction.
Workers needing to renew their Safe Pass card can now attend a computer-based test in an approved Pearson VUE exam centre.
Minister of State, Niall Collins added, “I’d like to echo the words of Minister Harris and extend my thanks to colleagues in SOLAS who have worked tirelessly to develop this innovative system. The health and safety of our workers is paramount, and advancement such as this will ensure our construction sector continues to be flexible, responsive and innovative.”
QQI Level 3 Construction Skills programme
The minister has also launched the new QQI Level 3 Construction Skills programme.
The course is run in partnership with SOLAS and the National Construction Training Campus in Mount Lucas. The course programme includes the practical application of skills:
- Mixing and laying concrete
- Laying of blocks
- Use of small tools and equipment
- Moving, loading and unloading materials
- Fabrication of hoarding
- Job workshops
- Interview skills
The QQI Level 3 Construction Skills programme offers core skills sought by employers and is a first step on a pathway to a successful career in construction and retrofitting.
The course is an intensive three-week course, free to all participants and has no entry requirements. Participants will be provided with the opportunity to gain essential health and safety training, including Safe Pass, manual handling and key qualifications required for entry into construction.
The minister also launched an initiative between the Department, SOLAS, and the CIF to offer Safe Pass training to 700 transition year and leaving certificate applied students in 2023.