The Scottish government is introducing a new policy whereby all companies engaged in new public sector construction contracts must ensure on-site staff are registered with the Construction Skills Certification Scheme.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Scotland's public sector spends over £2 billion per annum on construction-related contracts. Adopting schemes like CSCS can make a significant difference to efficient working and health and safety on construction sites, and this is particularly important given the significant challenges the construction industry faces in the current economic climate. I would urge other parts of the public sector to adopt the same policy."

Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF) chief executive officer Robert Burgon said: "We welcome this announcement by the Scottish government. For over 40 years we have operated a skills database and registration card scheme for operatives who work in the plumbing and heating industry. Our scheme, which is run by the Plumbing Joint Industry Board, already incorporates the CSCS health and safety qualification. We hope that this announcement will help ensure that only competent and safe workers are used on site."