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Man Jailed For Producing Fake Construction Skill Cards

Man Jailed For Fake Construction Skill Cards

 

CSCS Card

An issue that's gained alot of spotlight lately is those on the tools have been faking construction skill cards in order to secure work on site. Now just recently, one man has been sentenced to just under 4 years in prison for manufacturing such fakes which included ECS Cards. The online trader was charged under Section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006; for the production and sale of fake documents.

After an investigation carried out by the Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards, it was discovered that the man facing such charges used his own printing firm to produce the fakes, before selling them on the company's own website.

Now for anyone working onsite, we all know just how in demand construction skill cards are. So it's no wonder why relevent card schemes within the industry, such as the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) backed the investigation in an attempt to safe guard the public from sub standard construction work.

Why is that such a problem?

CSCS Card

Well if you have a 'tradesman' who has lied about his qualifications and experience, you have someone who doesn't know what they're doing on site. This opens the door to mass amounts of health and safety issues, with the main one causing a serious risk to the health of not only fellow tradesmen on site, but to those who the project has been designed for. Considering innocent lives will be at risk, it's of upmost importance that anyone else producing fake skill cards should be severely punished too.

CSCS Card

To help prevent future cases, the ECS have created a check service allowing tradesmen as well as employers to verify cardholder details. Chief Executives of both the ECS and CSCS weighed in on the situation as Steve Brawley (ECS) was first to say:

We hope that this case will serve as a message to would be fraudsters that their actions will not be accepted. Fraudsters on construction sites present a danger to themselves and others and we need to work together to stamp this activity out.

Graham Wren, Chief Executive at CSCS also stated that:

This is another example of the industry working together to tackle card fraud. CSCS will always support the authorities to identify and act against those attempting to deceive construction employers. This case also highlights the need for thorough card checks, ideally electronically, to ensure construction workers are who they say they are and have the correct qualifications for the job they do on site.

It's worth noting that the culprit was also sued by CSCS for copyright infringement and ordered to pay damages of £6000. Now that's a hefty punishment!

Voicing his opinion also was Fraud Manager at CITB (Ian Sidney) as he said:

This sentence shows just how serious construction card fraud is and the lengths that CITB and the whole industry will go to in order to stamp it out. The use of fake cards could easily lead to accidents, injuries or even fatalities where contractors do not have the required skills, training or qualifications. Employers must remain vigilant when checking workers’ documentation and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.

It simply isn't fair for tradesmen who have worked hard to earn their experience and qualifications, for to someone earn the same wage through cheating. Necessary Construction Training Courses provide industry recognised qualifications and a provider such as ourselves are most certainly backing the campaign to stop such fraud continuing!