What is a CPCS Card and how can I get one?

What is a CPCS Card and how can I get one?

A CPCS Card is a card that demonstrates the skills required for people that work with plant machinery in the construction industry. CPCS is an abbreviated version of the Construction Plant Competence Scheme Card.

The Construction Plant Competence Scheme was created to set a benchmark of common standards for plant operators across the industry, enabling companies to adhere to regulations and requirements. The scheme is administered by the not-for-profit organisation NOCN.

Not to be confused with the separate scheme CSCS, obtaining yours can be done in addition to, but not in replacement of, the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. More on the CSCS Card can be found in this article.

There are three types available: Red, Blue and Black. The Black Card (CPCS Tester Card) confirms that the person holding it has sufficient qualification and experience to test students in an assessment setting. Red and Blue CPCS Cards demonstrate enough ability to work on-site, we will go into what each one is and the differences next.

What is a Red Card

CPCS Red (Trained Operator) Card can be obtained once you have successfully passed the CPCS Theory and Practical Technical Tests. This is the first level that you can obtain and will be the first milestone of your CPCS journey.

Your Red (Trained Operator) Card will only last 2 years and cannot be renewed. This means that within 2 years of achieving your CPCS Red Card you will need to undertake the relevant NVQ in your category within that timeframe. This will enable you to upgrade to the Blue (Competent Operator) Card.

What is a Blue Card

Holding a CPCS Blue Card means that you have demonstrated specialism in a particular machine. To do this you will need to complete the relevant NVQ for that specialism.

NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications) are qualifications that demonstrate capability, competence, knowledge, and training within a field. They are designed to show that you know how to complete a job to an effective standard and in a safe manner.

The blue card has an expiry of 5 years, at which point it can be renewed dependant on specific criteria.

Why get a Machine Operative Card

Having a CPCS Card will open new job opportunities on construction sites. Plant Machine Operators are in higher demand than non-specialised labour roles. This means that you can earn more and have more chances of securing a longer-contract position than other workers.

What can I earn

The amount that you can earn with your CPCS on a construction site depends on the machine that you have specialised in. For example, Dumper Drivers can earn £15ph basic rate, whereas more specialised 360 Excavator Drivers can earn around £21ph basic rate. Roles with this requirement typically earn more than roles that only require a basic CSCS.

How do you get a CPCS Card

What you need to do to get your CPCS Card depends on what type of card you are looking to get. If you are just starting out with CPCS, then follow the instructions for the Red Card.

How to get a CPCS Red Card

To apply for your Red Card you will need to have:

  • Enough training to enable you to reach a standard to pass the CPCS technical test. This can be trainer-delivered.
  • CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test.
  • CPCS Theory Test (within two years of the HSE Test).
  • CPCS Practical Test (within 6 months of Theory and 2 years of HSE Test).

On completion of the CPCS Practical test, the test centre will request the Red Card on your behalf. You can find a list of test centres here.

How to get a CPCS Blue Card

  • To apply for your  Blue Card you will need to have:
  • An NVQ/SVQ for the category being applied for.
  • In-date CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test.
  • CPCS Theory Test (within two years of the HSE Test).
  • CPCS Practical Test (within 6 months of Theory and 2 years of HSE Test).

On completion of the CPCS Practical test, the test centre will request the Blue Card on your behalf. Your CPCS Blue Card will be accompanied by a logbook. It is important that you continue to fill this in, to develop a lifelong commitment to learning and to support your case for renewal.

Have you got your CPCS Card and looking for jobs? Find your next role on our jobs page: www.crewitresourcing.com/jobs/

Let us know about which cards and experience you have when you quick register with us.

5 High Paying Construction Jobs in the UK for 2020

High Paying Construction Jobs in the UK 2020

One of the main draws into the construction industry is the wide range of career paths one can take.

This means that you can start your career with an entry-level role and quickly progress to finding high paying construction jobs.

Below we’ve listed the top five high paying construction jobs we believe you should strive for. All of the jobs in this list can be achieved without a degree, meaning any construction candidate can achieve them (with hard-work and competency).

5. Site Manager

Average Salary: £25ph (based on our salary data)

Site Managers in construction are responsible for looking after the teams on-site. They’ll have worked their way up in construction, be good at managing multiple gangs and be willing to support the Foreman where they require.

Site Manager roles will commonly look for good communication skills, multi-discipline knowledge and a problem-solving attitude.

Required Qualifications: SMSTS or Gold CSCS Card.

4. General Foreman

Average Salary: £28ph (based on our salary data)

Working alongside the Site Manager, a General Foreman may have full control of the operational side of a construction site. On larger sites, the General Foreman may delegate some operational duties to the Site Manager, so that they can manage the various teams working on site.

General Foreman jobs will require a good amount of experience in construction as well as a range of trades.

Required Qualifications: SMSTS and NVQ Level 6.

3. Construction Manager

Average Salary: £30ph (based on our salary data)

As a Construction Manager on a construction site, you’ll have a wide range of responsibilities. These include health and safety procedures, project completion and project budget.

You’ll manage the practical side of the project while working on-site. Working closely with the project managers, quantity surveyors and the other management team.

To secure a role as a construction manager, you’ll need good experience in the industry, alongside a construction certification. Any additional experience and qualifications you can obtain will also be beneficial.

Required Qualifications: NVQ Level 6.

2. Setting Out Engineer

Average Salary: £32ph (based on our salary data)

A role as a Setting Out Engineer is perfect for recent graduates, apprentices and aspiring engineers.

Using their engineering knowledge, they’ll use construction plans and technology to assess the viability and approve the construction site to begin work. This role comes with heavy responsibility as Setting Out Engineers will test for utility systems and access roads before the construction works starting.

In return for the responsibility and this role is a high paying construction job.

Required Qualifications: City and Guilds 17th Edition or Engineering Degree, Setting Out For Construction Certification or similar.

1. Handback Engineer

Average Salary: £38ph (based on our salary data)

A Handback Engineer or Track Handback Engineer is a construction role that is found within the rail industry. This role is the opposite of a Setting Out Engineer, meaning the have to use technology and knowledge to assess whether the track can be passed back after construction works have finished.

With strong potential implications occurring, this role requires an engineering degree. It is the highest paying construction job on our list, and this is due to the responsibility that comes with it.

Required Qualifications: City and Guilds 17th Edition or Engineering Degree, Track Handback Engineer Certification or similar.

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When it comes to progressing in your construction career and getting a high paying construction job, two factors come into play: experience and qualifications. Don’t underestimate the power of personal development. Continue to earn more certifications and gain new experience where possible.

We regularly receive these roles, to be notified when they come up, quick register with us and we’ll be in touch if we have anything suitable for you.

crewitresourcing.com/quick-register

Alternatively, take a look at our current job openings to discover if we have these roles available now:

crewitresourcing.com/jobs

Working For Crewit Resourcing- On Site With Nicolae Soare

Working For Crewit Resourcing- On Site With Nicolae Soare

Originally from Romania, Nicolae Soare has been living in London for the last 13 years. Prior to coming to the UK, he lived in Spain, working as a Dozer Driver for two years.

“Crewit Resourcing has always supported me throughout my professional development by giving me the chance to become competent in many areas.”

In his time with Crewit Resourcing, he’s developed from a Controller of Site Safety through to a Site Manager, with a variety of roles and competencies in between! As well as his continual work-, he’s in his final year at the University of Derby on track to graduate with a BSc in Civil Engineering.

We caught up with Nicolae on a site he was managing (completing a successful project over Christmas).

Nicolae Soare Headshot

What were you doing before you found Crewit Resourcing?

I was working for another company as a Controller of Site Safety (COSS), Ganger and Machine Operator.

How did you come across us?

Some friends who were working for Crewit Resourcing recommended the company as being an excellent one.

What made you chose us?

At that time, Crewit Resourcing was quite new in the market and I was looking for a change. I liked the idea of working for a growing company that was offering me the opportunity to grow alongside. I met the team and got along really well with them.

What did you first start working for us as?

My first job at Crewit Resourcing was as a 360 Operator.

And where are you now?

Crewit Resourcing has opened me up to various roles including Controller Of Site Safety, Crane Controller, Machine Controller, High Voltage Competent, Protection Controller, Supervisor and Safe Work Leader.

I’ve now progressed to working on a longer-term project as a Site Manager.

How have we exceeded your expectations while working with us?

Crewit Resourcing has always supported me throughout my professional development by giving me the chance to become competent in many areas, which reflects in the jobs I mentioned above. I also enjoyed being given more and more responsibility and the fact that they entrusted complex tasks to my abilities flourished my confidence.

I always displayed an engaging attitude, which I also think was helpful. In other words, Crewit Resourcing provided the best working environment that enabled me to get to this stage I didn’t even envision when I started.

How have we helped you develop your career?

By always requesting me to attend training courses and becoming qualified in many jobs, and more importantly, the fact that the expectations were set to a high standard motivated me to do my best.

Would you recommend us to a similar candidate looking for work?

Definitely. If I were to go back in time 8 years ago, I will undoubtedly make the same choice.

Interested in developing your Rail Construction career like Nicolae? Quick Register with us now.

Budget 2020- Highlights for Rail & Construction industries and employers

Yesterday, the Chancellor announced his Budget for 2020 amid the growing COVID-19 crisis.

‘If the country needs it we will build it’ says Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Rishi Sunak, presenting his first budget in front of the House of Commons, announced a range of spending plans signaling growth for the Rail & Construction sectors.

Key highlights from the Chancellor’s budget include:

  • More than £600 billion in the budget earmarked for spending on roads, railways, broadband and housing by mid-2025.
  • Over £44 billion for transport and £32 billion for housing and environment in the budget for this coming year.
  • Rail industry is exempt as the Government plans to abolish the annual tax relief on red diesel by 2022.

For Rail and Construction Industries

Getting into the finer details of the Budget 2020- West Yorkshire has been allocated a deal that includes more than £1.8 billion in investment to ‘Drive up living standards’. Transport is included in this strategy. Midlands Connect’s Midlands Rail Hub has been awarded an additional £20 million for the project.

Approaching 3 years after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, £1 billion has been allocated to a ‘safety fund’ to remove combustible cladding from buildings above 59ft tall.

A £2.5 billion package is due to be spent on fixing the potholes crisis. Aiming to fix 10 million potholes per year, councils said they welcomed the plans as they are currently fixing a pothole every 17 seconds.

For Employers and Workers

Concerns for the self-employed as the COVID-19 outbreak is seeing more of the population advised to self-isolate has put pressure on the government to include this in the Budget. They’ve announced a £500m boost for self-employed workers that are hit by the Coronavirus. This entitles those who are self-employed, to claim Employment and Support Allowance from day one, as opposed to day eight.

Statutory Sick Pay is to be extended for all those that are advised to self-isolate (providing they are eligible). To support employers, they will meet the cost for businesses that have less than 250 employees, for 14 days.

To support cashflow through the COVID-19 outbreak, a temporary coronavirus business interruption loan will be available of up to £1.2 million. British Business Bank will offer the scheme, which will guarantee 80% of the value of the loan to lenders backed by the Government with no-charge.

Subject to economic conditions, the National Living Wage is set to rise to £10.50ph by 2024, and the National Insurance threshold from £8,362 to £9,500. This comes as both the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage are due for an increase in 3 weeks (see below image).

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates

https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

Will the announcements affect your business?

Working For Crewit Resourcing- On Site With Selous Nicolle

Working For Crewit Resourcing- On Site With Selous Nicolle

When you think of part-time work during University, you probably picture bartending, retail or handing out leaflets for the student nightclub!

Student Selous Nicolle is different, choosing to spend his working time on the railway.

Students working as a labourer in rail construction could potentially earn 2x more than the national minimum wage.

He studies property development at Oxford Brookes University. Working in rail construction ties in nicely his interest in construction and after he graduates, is looking to develop a career in the industry. We caught up with Selous to ask him about his experience in balancing both worlds.

Selous Nicolle Headshot

What were you doing before you found Crewit Resourcing?

Before starting at Crewit Resourcing I was at school, unsure of what I wanted to progress into following my studies.

How did you come across us?

I came across Crewit Resourcing through one of the employees working there; Grant Oliver who is a fellow South African, and he mentioned how he supported himself whilst at university through working on the rail. Following from his lead I started looking at options for doing the same and got my PTS which allowed me to start on the rail thanks to Crewit Resourcing being my sponsor.

What made you choose us?

I chose Crewit Resourcing as they created the opportunity for me and supported me through my progression and training on the rail.

What was your role when you began your journey?

I first started working as a labourer but worked my way up picking up new skills along the ways, such as small tools and electrical track maintenance. This allowed me to take on more challenging jobs on the railway, and has led me to work with a range of companies with Crewit Resourcing and opened up my options in the Construction industry.

How have we exceeded your expectations while working with us?

Crewit Resourcing has far exceeded my expectations in terms of training and growth in the industry. It has also instilled in me a hard work ethic and has developed my skills through teamwork and good leadership. The fellow workers have been fantastic in passing on skills and teaching me a range of new knowledge and overall have helped me to pursue my interest in construction and development.

Would you recommend us to other university students looking for work?

I would recommend, and have already recommended Crewit Resourcing to university students looking for work, a few of which are particularly interested in starting on the rail. It is a fantastic opportunity for students as most of the work is over holiday periods and weekends and can give you invaluable experience in the construction industry for when they come out of university. As well as developing a range of skills applicable to further careers.

I enjoy working for Crewit Resourcing and hope to continue my progression on the railway and construction industry.

If you’re a university student looking to work in rail, quick register with us and we’ll be in touch.

What is a Sentinel Card and do I need one

What is a Sentinel Card and do I need one?

The Sentinel Card is a passport scheme issued by Network Rail. It’s in place to ensure the safety and quality of works carried out on the UK’s rail infrastructure.

The Sentinel passport scheme has is in place to host a real-time database of people working in rail. It tracks when and where people work, what competencies and training they have, and which companies are sponsoring them. It also tracks medicals and drug and alcohol tests to ensure people working on rail are fit to do so.

What is a Sentinel Card?

With improper safety protocols, the railway can be a hazardous place to work. There are 1000’s of people working on the UK rail infrastructure every day. Located in various locations across the nation, Network Rail has to keep track of where they are to manage their safety. That’s why they decided to upgrade the passport scheme to the Sentinel system.

Everybody that steps foot on an active rail construction site requires a Sentinel Card and be a member of the Sentinel scheme.

This allows Network Rail to track what competencies they have, what training they have, whether they have a valid Drugs and Alcohol test and which companies are sponsoring the individuals. A big factor in health and safety is worker fatigue. The Sentinel system means that sponsors, site leaders, and Network Rail can monitor workers’ rest to ensure that workers are alert.

When workers report to site, they must sign in by scanning their Sentinel Card. If they do not have their Sentinel Card on them, they will not be able to work. By utilising smartphone technology, site leaders can scan Sentinel Cards to check-in workers and check data. This saves them having to carry paperwork with them to site.

There are two qualifications required when applying for a Sentinel Card. Applicants will need either a Personal Track Safety (PTS), if working trackside or an Industry Common Induction (ICI), if working non-trackside.

Once they have one of these, they can apply for a Sentinel Card through their sponsor. By requiring a basic qualification, it means that every person that works on the railway has the basic knowledge of the railway.

Why get a Sentinel Card?

Being part of the Sentinel Card safety scheme means access to work on the railway system in the UK. This opens a new industry for to work in. After receiving a card, there is a range of extra qualifications someone can work towards and begin to earn a larger salary.

How do you get a Sentinel Card?

To start working in rail, and get a Sentinel Card, the first step is finding an employer or recruitment agency willing to be your primary sponsor. They will need to put you through a PTS or ICI qualification with a licensed training provider. They will then apply to sign you up or the Sentinel scheme, which can be found online here.

Only sponsors can purchase a card, it is not open to the general public.

If the application is successful, Sentinel Cards will arrive within 10 days. They must then be scanned when you arrive and exit the site.

Are you part of the scheme? Quick register now to let us know you’re available.

Working in Railway Construction- 2020 Salary Guide

Working in Rail Construction- 2020 Salary Guide

The Rail & Transport industry is so vast in size that, to provide valuable insight into each role, we’ve decided to focus on one area. In this article, we’ll cover railway construction. This sub-sector encompasses the planning, building, and development of the rail infrastructure.

As we enter a decade of large rail projects, including Cross Rail and High Speed 2, there isn’t a better time to train to work in railway construction. Large investment can mean more work and more work results in more jobs created. Consistent work isn’t everything in this industry though. Whether you already work in the industry or are debating entering, salary is also likely to be a factor.

We’ve created an overview of popular rail construction roles and they’re average salary. Use this to benchmark how the project you’re working on is rewarding you.

Rail Construction PTS Labourer- Average Salary

The common entry point for an unskilled worker in the rail industry. Once you have your PTS (Personal Track Safety) card, you can begin to work on the rail. As a PTS Labourer, you can learn the basics required for working on site.

PTS Labourer Average Advertised Salary: £13.00ph Distribution: £11.00-15.00ph

Rail PTS Ground Worker- Average Salary

Ground working is a more skilled role than labouring.

PTS Ground Worker Average Advertised Salary: £15.22ph Distribution: £14.50-£16.00ph

Rail COSS- Controller of Site Safety- Average Salary

A Controller of Site Safety is someone that holds a COSS qualification issued by Network Rail. This qualifies them to supervise safety on or near a rail construction site. The qualification needs an investment of £500 ex vat, but in return, COSS roles can return better salaries.

COSS Average Advertised Salary: £16.74ph Distribution: £14.00-£19.20ph

Rail Site/ Section Engineer- Average Salary

Requiring a relevant degree in Civil Engineering, the site engineer is responsible for the quality, implementation and engineering management of the project. Junior engineers can earn around £25,000pa, whereas senior engineers carrying out contract work can earn over £300pd.

Site Engineer Average Advertised Salary: £37,000.00 Distribution: £32,500-£39,000pa

Rail Construction Average Salaries

The data from this research shows the variation and distribution of salaries is vast. A variety of factors impact salaries, including: geographical location, size of project and resource demand. Every project is different, and sometimes the guarantee of longer-term work is more of a priority.

View our latest railway construction jobs here.

*The data referenced in this article was collected on 17/12/19 from various available sources including job boards. Each average salary was calculated from at least 5 job advertisements with advertised salaries. Datapoints were spread around the UK, with at least 3 regions included in every average salary.

5 Reasons To Work In Rail

5 Reasons Why It’s A Good Time To Be Working In Rail

1. Strong demand = Job Security

Today the rail sector contributes £7bn a year to the UK economy while employing more than 85,000 people. Every single day, millions of people across the UK catch a train and for many of these individuals being able to do so ​is vital to the way they live their lives. As rail remains so important to the entire country, demand for skilled staff to work in the sector will be high for the foreseeable future, which is good news for anyone hoping to find a job in the industry.

2. Large Scale Investment = more jobs & job security

With the number of passengers doubling over the past 20 years and the government still keen to reduce pollution and harmful emissions. Use and investment in the rail industry is going only one way  UP and in 2017 the government announced that £48 billion will be invested spent on the network over the next five years. Including more maintenance and a huge uplift in renewals to increase reliability and punctuality for passengers.

3. This is not just a London focused industry = more jobs closer to home

Across the UK there is over 2,500 stations and 32,000 kilometres of track stretching from Thurso to Penzance – this is a UK wide industry. With plenty of ongoing maintenance/upgrade work and billions being spent on the new large scale projects outside of the London/Home Counties area including HS2, HS3, Trans Pennine route upgrade and the Trafford Park Metro which means there are plenty of employment opportunities for people across the UK.

4. A wide range of  opportunities   = plenty of choice

Types of jobs include PTS Operatives, Plant Operators, Electrical Engineers, Estimators, Civil Engineers, Planners, HV Staff, Crane Operators, Telecom Engineers, Document Controllers, Ground workers (PTS), Quantity Surveyors, Scaffolders, Health and Safety Managers, Site Agents, Cable Pullers, Site Managers, Design Engineers, CAD Operators, Administrators and Land Surveyors to name a few.

5. And Finally . . . Crewit Resourcing (Building Quality Teams)

Crewit Resourcing has a proven track record supplying highly experienced and skilled rail staff in the UK and around the world. As part of our offering we continually train our operatives to understand what targeted outcome needs to be achieved on each shift for every client. As always in Rail, safety is our first and foremost concern and we are proud to say we have an excellent record for safety management, and have never had a major incident.