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Supporting apprentices with free CSCS cards

Published: July 11, 2022

Employers and the wider industry are being reminded of the importance of ensuring those on, or about to enter, apprenticeships are using the appropriate Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card – specifically the Apprentice card.

Feedback from the industry confirms many employers are either not aware of the Apprentice card or they are put off applying for it by lengthy apprenticeship registration processes. This leads to many opting for the Labourer card instead.

In recognition of this issue, in advance of the new academic year, CSCS is simplifying the application process and removing the cost of Apprentice cards.

From today, all Apprentice cards will be issued free of charge.

At the same time CSCS will be introducing a new process for anyone experiencing difficulties with their apprenticeship registration. In this scenario, the new entrant can apply for the Provisional Card (at £36), before moving onto the Apprentice card, free of charge. This means employers and apprentices will apply for a Provisional card prior to completing the apprenticeship enrolment process.

Alan O’Neile, Head of Communications at CSCS said: “The Provisional card is valid for six months, cannot be renewed and requires the completion of the CITB Health, safety, and environment test, which can be transferred across to the Apprentice card. When enrolled onto the apprenticeship the Apprentice will move off the Provisional card and onto the Apprentice card free of charge.”

The Provisional card does not require the applicant to achieve a Level 1 award (as per the Labourer card), thereby reducing time and costs for both the employer and the new entrant.

Alan O’Neile continued: “The Provisional card option also gives employers and new entrants a six-month window to decide if the apprenticeship is right for them.”

If an Apprentice card is lost or damaged and a replacement is required, this will be charged at the standard fee of £36.

For more further information on Apprentice card applications visit