Tuesday, 20 October 2020
Department of Education and Skills
470. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of applicants currently awaiting the renewal of their safe pass registration card; the way in which the matter will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31161/20]
Safe Pass, Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and Quarrying Skills Certification Scheme (QSCS) courses were included in Phase 2 of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. Safe Pass courses restarted on 11thJune 2020 under strictly controlled Covid-19 precaution measures.
Since that date SOLAS has issued 28,815 Safe Pass cards. Comprising 10,325 new entrants, and 18,490 renewal cards. 52,497 Safe Pass cards expired between 1stMarch and 13thOctober. 40,833 of those expired cards still retain an expired card status.
The Minister of State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) introduced a legislative provision for Safe Pass cards that expired after 1stMarch, extending their period of validity to the end of the Covid-19 emergency period. This provision remains in force at the current time, however workers with expired cards are advised to renew their cards as soon as possible to prevent a significant backlog accruing.
SOLAS is also actively examining alternative delivery methods to identify a solution that is equitable with existing Safe Pass course delivery, in being accessible to all eligible workers, providing real time course participant supports and ensuring assessment integrity.