The previous experience of scaffolders will be taken into account when seeking the higher Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) award which is aimed at providing professional qualifications for the industry.

SIPTU Organiser, Andrew McGuinness, said: “It is very important that our members who have worked in the scaffolding industry for several years have this period of prior learning recognised in the process of achieving a QQI award on the National Framework of Qualifications. Union representatives strongly pushed for this ‘prior learning’ to be included and we believe it will greatly benefit members who wish to have their knowledge fully accredited by the QQI.”

The QQI is the state agency responsible for promoting the quality, integrity and reputation of the further and higher education system in Ireland. The National Construction Campus in Mount Lucas, County Offaly, where the scaffolding apprenticeship is based began the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process for this course earlier this month.

McGuinness added: “In the initial stage of the process expressions of interest from scaffolders will be sought for those seeking the higher QQI award on the National Framework of Qualifications. On foot of an expression of interest, an application form will be sent to the applicant and then assessed by a panel before acceptance into an assessment and training programme.”