Monday 18 March 2024

‘THE COURSE UPDATED MY SKILLS’ Training fund for blacklisted here to help



Training fund for blacklisted here to help

Taken from Unite building Worker for Spring 2024  

Unite building Worker Spring 2024 

Paul Tattersfield, a blacklisted electrician, has become one of the first UNITE members to benefit from the dedicated Blacklisted Construction Workers’ Training Fund that has been established as part of the settlement against construction companies that used the Consulting Association (CA), an organisation that held a blacklist of 3,213 workers who were then denied employment.

 The fund of £230,000, which is not restricted to retraining in the construction sector, is administered by the union for victims of blacklisting who have brought proceedings through Thompson Solicitors, OH Parsons and Guney Clark & Ryan.

 As of 14 January, 17 grants have been made, where Unite members have been able to attend a varied range of courses after having received support from the fund

Grants have ranged from £3217 for two ten-day Electrical Maintenance courses, to £114 for Paul’s one day CCNSG Safety Passport renewal course provided by Humberside Engineering Training Association.

Other courses attended by members include NVQ Diploma Level 7 in Construction Senior Management and City & Guilds 2391-52 Inspection & Testing.

 In 2011, site worker Paul was, thanks to union legal support, awarded just under £24,000 for loss of earnings, injury to feelings and aggravated damages. This was the result of an Employment tribunal finding that Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Ltd had refused him employment because he was on the CA blacklist for being a union workplace rep for his fellow workers.

“I was just the guy who was the lay member on large construction sites who agreed to be an Amicus site representative. I took it seriously on behalf of the workforce who I wanted to see treated correctly under the agreements we had”.

 Balfour Beatty was amongst 64 companies who accessed the CA list and began following the exposure of the Economic League’s practices, that maintained a list of construction workers like Paul, for decades. The League was forced to close in 1993. The Consulting Association was forced to close in 2009 after it was raided by the Information Commissioner’s Office. 


Since 2011 Paul, a keen Rugby League fan, has worked for Balfour Beatty on two occasions, once via an agency, and, thankfully not experienced any problems. He has also taken on the role of a UNITE rep at some workplaces. “It’s just something you do as you need a voice on site. I think it is something to be proud of. I just represent fellow workers”.


The recent course he’s attended is the second occasion on which Paul has benefitted from a fund.

“I did the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) week long Electrical Regs course. It was intense. I passed. It updated my skills. This latest safety passport course will also help as it means I can continue working on large infrastructure construction projects which are usually better organised because of a union presence. Pay and conditions are generally better”.

Find out more

If you were blacklisted who not apply to the training fund? More info and a form is on the Unite website’s construction page

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