Construction Skills Certification Ltd is a company limited by guarantee which has been on the go for 17 years. The latest accounts show almost £1,000,000 cash at bank.
Apparently 1,671,454 people have CSCS cards.
The oversight element seems to be provided by ConstructionSkills, Reg Charity No 264289.
I doubt if any of it is worth a damn. From my own experience the NVQ scheme is a verbose paperchase whose sole achievement as far as I can see is to support "trainers" who know little about anything practical. Some NVQs gained in sectors where the big employers co-operate probably are worth something, though they'd be worth a lot more if they were called something else.
If Mayhew is frank and knows the building trade I am sure he will admit that when certification moved away from the industry it ceased to mean anything. All part of the process of cheating its youth, in which the UK is a market leader. I did an apprenticeship and learnt a lot, even though my master was not an easy man. There again, neither was I. I was never tarred and feathered but suffered some humiliations which were very educational.
He will also know that to be a building contractor it is not necessary to have a trade, though many do. What is important is to have, and keep, a team. That is difficult in good times and in hard times as well. I was involved in speculative house conversions for a few years and know how tough it is. Financially, it's feast or famine. The building contractor doesn't develop on his own account but he still needs a fair amount of capital. Prepayments by Clients are legitimate but they are often applied to finance other jobs.
Finally I am sure he would agree that if there were no "stupid cow" clients there would be no cowboys. The client has got the major responsibility for the successful running of a building contract and if he or she does not have the requisite knowledge (and it is unlikely that they do) they need someone to advise them how to specify, run and certify the contract. Otherwise they are shirking their responsibilities, inviting the attentions of a cowboy, and facing the outcome of a bad job and loss of money. To expect anything else is a dream.
Have there ever been small building contractors in Bulgaria? I rather doubt it from what I have seen. So I wish Mayhew well, without endorsing him or condemning him. But a few references to the Construction Chamber and the extent of its powers would, I respectfully suggest, inspire more confidence than references to CSCS. Maybe they are there on Facebook. If so, my apologies but lights under that particular bushel remain hidden from me.