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Call to tackle construction card fraud

Call to tackle construction card fraud

25 June 2015 Email this article

One in five of those responsible for checking cards on construction sites have seen fake certification cards for construction workers in the past year, according to a new survey from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). This means that there is a huge risk that unqualified workers are employed on the nation’s construction sites.  

The UK-wide survey of 1180 construction workers also showed that while 86% of cardholders had their cards checked, under half (43%) were checked to see if they were actually qualified to do the job.

All 1.4 million CSCS cards have microchip technology embedded in them, which allows a site manager access to a wealth of information about each worker, including their qualifications.Despite the availability of new technology, 69% of respondents said they were still checking cards using a paper-based system, with only 6% using smart technology.

Braden Connolly, Head of Product Management at CITB, said: “Producing or using cards fraudulently can constitute a criminal offence. Increased action is needed to stamp out the fraudsters, which is why we are calling on industry to adopt new technology to help tackle this problem.

“CITB will continue to share intelligence and work with the authorities wherever the evidence suggests criminal activity is taking place.”

CSCS Chief Executive Graham Wren added: “Thorough card checks must be carried out before allowing workers on site and employers need to ensure workers have the correct qualifications for the work they do. More and more people are realising technology, such as a CSCS SmartCard, is a simple and cost effective way to do this. By simply placing the card into a reader or compatible device such as a tablet or smartphone you can instantly check the validity of a card and the qualifications held by the card holder.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to increase the use of technology so that relying on visual card checks becomes a thing of the past.”