Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Education and Skills
SOLAS Training and Education Programmes
290. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he has considered restarting the Safe Pass course at a reduced number of places during a course or creating an online course to enable relevant workers who have returned to Ireland since the Covid-19 pandemic access employment. [11518/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 160 and 290 together.
Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013, construction workers in Ireland are legally bound to hold a valid Safe Pass Registration Card to work on site.
SOLAS has examined the potential for online delivery as a means of continuing national construction health and safety courses while adhering to public health measures. No immediate solution has been identified that is equitable with the existing Safe Pass course delivery model, in being accessible to all eligible workers, providing real time course participants supports (literacy and numeracy) and interpreter services, as well as ensuring assessment integrity.
On 5th June, the Government sanctioned the inclusion of Safe Pass, Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and Quarrying Skills Certification Scheme (QSCS) course delivery in Phase 2 of the Government’s Roadmap for reopening society and business, on condition that public health guidelines are adhered to by approved training organisations.
This meant that the onsite delivery of these courses could recommence with effect from 8th June 2020 in line with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation’s Return to Work Safely Protocols, relevant HSE advice and as set out in the SOLAS’ Standard Operational Procedures (SOP). However, as many training providers required some lead in time to make the necessary arrangements the majority of providers will commence offering Safe Pass courses from 15 June.
Anyone wishing to book a Safe Pass training course should contact their local Safe Pass training provider. A list of approved Safe Pass providers is available on the SOLAS website at Safe Pass Accredited Tutors register.