Construction licence will only be issued to people aged 21

Minimum age for construction licence raised from 18 to 21

File photo
File photo

The minimum age for persons applying for a construction licence has been raised from 18 to 21, the Planning Minister announced on Wednesday.

The licence allows holders to carryout demolition, excavation and building works.

Addressing a press conference, minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said the minimum age was raised following suggestions put forward during a public consultation carried out last March.

The legal notice introducing the licensing requirement for contractors is now being finalised and will be published once there is clearance from the European Commission.

A reform of the sector has been on the table for several years but calls intensified after the tragic death of Jean Paul Sofia, who was killed when a building under construction collapsed last year.

The minister also announced building contractors, new and old, will be required to have insurance, as per the new licensing criteria. He said the proposal is still at its early stages, and the government is carrying out discussions with insurance providers for a new formula to be drawn up.  

The applicant’s financial stability, and a clean police conduct, will also be taken into consideration when applying for a licence.

Building and Construction Authority CEO Jesmond Muscat said if an applicant is found guilty of a serious crime, such as misappropriation or fraud in the five years before applying, he will not be eligible for such a licence, they will not be eligible for the licence.

Muscat also said if an individual is found guilty of a crime against the Act or against the rules, the Court will be given more authority to impose the suspension or revocation of a licence. The right to appeal will be available to anybody who feels wronged.