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In order to provide for the needs of the family and to address the demands of having a better life, some people, especially the skilled workers from all parts of the world flock to developed countries and seek for better opportunities. The UK is not an exception to this trend. Because of the rise of workers from different countries, the employers recognised the need to determine the qualifications of migrant workers and to make sure it works under the same standards with the domestic workforce.
Therefore, employers of migrant workers need to make sure that each of its workers undergoes the same process and assessment to ensure that all its workers are qualified, competent and safe.


Before employing a migrant worker, employers must make sure that the worker is eligible to work in the country.

Health, Safety & Environment Test

To determine the migrant worker’s competence and health & safety awareness when on site, there is a need to take and pass the Health, Safety and Environment Test. This is to ensure that the worker is equipped with the necessary knowledge needed when it comes to promoting a safe and healthy work site.

There also available foreign language titles that will help migrant workers understand the basics of health and safety on the construction site.

Onsite Assessment Workshop

In addition to the HS&E test, the migrant worker should undergo one-day Onsite Assessment Workshop. It covers the requirements, qualification induction and introduces the worker to the site diary process. The Assessment Workshop is also ideal for –

  • People working in the industry who needs to get a hold of a CSCS card
  • Individuals who work better in a more controlled classroom environment
  • Individuals with years of experience but has no formal qualifications
  • People who want to prepare for the assessment process

In other words, there are no specific requirements as long as the candidates need to work on the site according to their relevant occupation and needs to have a certification as proof of its competence and qualification.

Prior to the workshop, an assessor from the Nation Construction College will brief the worker about the site diary. During the workshop, the worker will be given a site diary that needs to be filled up and completed while working on the site. The diary will be validated by the employer and will be used for the final assessment.

Once the migrant worker successfully passed the workshop, he may gain certification and can be qualified on any of the following occupation areas –

  • Roofing occupations such as BUFR, RTS and RSC
  • Scaffolding, although there is also a need to obtain a CISRS Card which is a different assessment process
  • Plant Maintenance and Operation where additional assessment also needs to be done in order to get a CPCS Card
  • Construction which includes concrete, ground works, highways, kerbs, and drains among others
  • Wood occupations such as carpentry, formwork and shopfitting
  • Plastering occupations which include interiors, dry lining and relocatable

The workshop costs £699.00 and will be trained by the National Construction College. The assessors from the college will also help the migrant worker prepare for the assessment by providing adequate knowledge in the relevant field as well as help him process the CSCS card application.

Experience Worker Practical Assessment

There are different courses available for migrant workers depending on its relevant skills and qualifications. The National Construction College provides different courses such as Scaffolding & Access course, Health & Safety, Leadership & Management, Construction & Building Specialist and Plant Operations among others.


Safety is very important, especially in the construction industry. That is why employers should make sure that all its workers remain safe on the site. In order to provide the necessary safety guidelines, the following steps can be done –

  • Make sure that the worker pass the Health, Safety & Environment Test
  • Take advantage of multilingual publications pertaining to health and safety
  • Enrol workers in additional health & safety courses
  • Undertake formal inductions
  • Organise Tool Box Talks on key safety issues
  • Translate key documents into foreign language which migrant workers can understand
  • Consider interpreters if necessary, especially when the worker cannot speak and understand English
  • Encourage migrant workers to attend ESOL Classes

Aside from this, the Health Safety Executive has a portion dedicated to migrant workers that provide guidelines on health and safety legislation. There are also different publications which the worker can turn to for further information.

TUC also provides health and safety information that are available in different languages.

Technical Information

There will always be differences with other countries in terms of construction processes, culture, legislations and materials used. Because of these differences, it is important to educate migrate workers with how the construction industry in the UK works. The workers should be informed about these technical differences before assigning them any work on the site. Inform them about the common types of materials used, methods of application, expected behaviour on the site, construction processes and carrying out of work and even units of measurement used.

This is to avoid confusion and possible problems in the construction and building itself and at the same time, to make sure that a uniformed standards, policies and practices will be applied to the work site.

Integration of Services

Aside from giving migrant workers an opportunity to work in the UK, employers should also consider providing them essential services such as housing, healthcare (hospital, dental, pharmacy, eye care and social care services among others), bank accounts, driving license and help with the local councils.

The NHS provides different services such which can cater to the needs of the migrant workers.

The employers should provide equal treatment to all its workers, whether domestic workers or migrant ones. Regardless of where the workers came from, it is important that each of them will be equipped with adequate knowledge in terms of health and safety and should be given an opportunity to prove their competence in the chosen occupation.

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