The CITB has called for help to crack down on fraud in construction testing, as unknown facilitators cash in on a surge in demand resulting from the months of lockdown
As the construction industry begins to recover from the effects of Covid-19, CITB has received reports of assisted one-day Site Safety Plus (SSP) courses and the CITB Health, safety and environment (HS&E) test costing more than £1,000 – the true cost of the HS&E test is £21.
Training providers in London, as well as areas in and around major British cities, are being approached by individual facilitators allegedly offering to bring in large numbers of candidates for construction testing and asking to use the provider’s facilities and registrations.
Some of these facilitators offer large amounts of cash as an incentive, but after the courses are run the cash is not forthcoming and the centre finds their standards may have been compromised.
CITB is currently conducting investigations and involving law enforcement agencies including the National Crime Agency, police, Home Office Immigration Enforcement and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority as appropriate.
Quality assurance audits are being provided to training centres, and CITB’s fraud team also identifies and targets offenders, including through unannounced audit visits.
Fraudsters capitalising on surge in demand
Ian Sidney, CITB fraud manager, said: “The intelligence we are receiving is that the fraudsters are trying hard to capitalise in on a surge in demand caused by the lockdown.
“We know that organised crime infiltrates the testing process to get unskilled, illegal or trafficked people genuine qualifications so they can work in conditions of modern slavery on construction sites.
“This generates vast sums of money, some of which is known to help to finance terrorism and other organised criminality.
“You can help put a stop to it by getting in touch.”
If you are approached by unknown facilitators, contact the CITB here.