§ Lord Sainsbury of Turville
My honourable friend the Minister for Construction and Energy and I announced that, following the evaluation of quality mark pilots in Birmingham and Somerset, the scheme would be rolled out across the country over a three to four-year period. A Quality Mark Shadow Ownership Group has been set up to drive the scheme forward and is developing a comprehensive roll out strategy and detailed business plan.
The first recruitment event took place on 26 June in Oxfordshire. The event was well attended and the DTI expects to see good take-up from Oxfordshire firms in the weeks and months to come. There will be a series of similar recruitment events in urban areas around the country to get contractors on board.
The DTI continues to work with a number of reputable trade bodies to fast-track members into the quality mark scheme. Following recommendations in the pilot review, the scheme is subsidising registration costs for a limited period with the object of achieving a critical mass.
The DTI is also working with local authorities, financial services groups, consumer groups and others to promote the scheme to tradesmen and encourage the participation of the latter wherever possible.18WA
The scheme is already being marketed successfully to consumers in Birmingham and Somerset through a variety of media, including Yellow Pages and a number of local papers and radio stations. Further targeted marketing will follow in new areas, once sufficient numbers of builders and tradesmen are registered.