A £9m joint-venture learning initiative will train and assess more than 10,000 workers in a bid to increase the number of qualified staff in the construction sector.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has teamed up with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to offer training as part of the drive to have a fully qualified workforce by 2010.
The scheme will develop a series of local training networks where assessors will visit staff in the workplace to deliver the training.
Workers will be assessed to NVQ level 2 or 3 standard and then added to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme as proof of competence and safety awareness.
As well as providing essential skills, the scheme is seen as a way of improving the construction industry's health and safety record - in 2001, the sector accounted for 79 of the 249 workplace fatalities.
If the initiative proves successful, the LSC may take the same approach to improving skills in other industries.