Blog Archives

George Osborne set to announce £5bn construction boost

HM Treasury G. OsbourneChancellor George Osborne is expected to announce tomorrow an extra £5bn of investment for capital projects in the construction industry that will boost the trades and create new jobs.  

In the Autumn Statement, set to be announced tomorrow at 12:30 GMT in the House of Commons, the Chancellor will demand departmental savings of 1% next year and 2% in 2014/15 to raise extra cash for construction projects across the country.

The Statement provides an update on the Government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. These forecasts are published alongside the Autumn Statement on 5 December.

At least £1bn of this is understood to have been earmarked to build an extra 100 new free schools and academies, but the move raises hope that there will be extra cash for housing as well as transport schemes.

Health, education, HM Revenue and Customs and nuclear decommissioning will escape his latest spending cut as well as frontline staff. Mostly savings will come from administration and back office staff.

Treasury sources say £1bn will go towards building 100 new free schools and academies, creating an additional 50,000 new school places.

The new cash for school will be in addition to the new PF2 schools programme that the industry has been eagerly awaiting, which will see £1.75bn spent on building and refurbishing 219 schools.


Get a job with Kier

Kier Supplier Day– Sign Up

Construction workers from Merseyside and West Lancashire, are being invited to meet prospective client Kier Construction at a Constructionline ‘Meet the Buyer’ event on Wednesday 24th October 2012. Kier’s Construction division have secured the contract to deliver a joint Command and Control Centre for Mersey Fire and Rescue Services and Merseyside Police

Event Details

Date: 24th October 2012
Time: 8:30am and 1:30pm.
Venue: Merseyside Fire & Rescue Services HQ, Bridle Road, Bootle, L30 1NY

The event, being held at Mersey Fire & Rescue Services HQ, will see small and medium sized construction companies meet face to face with Kier Construction to discuss working on this project. Kier is looking to build a local supply chain of contractors.

Please note this work is being carried out as part of the North West Construction Hub and as part of Kier’s commitment to the Construction Hub payments terms to all subcontractors have been set at 35 days, to ease the cash flow pressures on SME’s.

The works are due for completion in early 2014 with an overall projected contract value of £6M and will cover the following:

  • > Groundworks
  • > Structural Steelwork
  • > Metal Decking
  • > Brick & Blockwork
  • > External Render
  • > Membrane Roofing
  • > Single Ply Roofing
  • > Curtain Walling
  • > Windows
  • > Roof & Wall Cladding
  • > Electrical & Mechanical related trades
  • > Fire Protection
  • > Metalwork
  • > Lifts
  • > Handrails & Balustrades.
  • > Raised Access Flooring
  • > Labour-only Joinery
  • > Bespoke Joinery
  • > WC Cubicles
  • > Partitions
  • > Ceramic Wall Tiling
  • > Flooring
  • > Suspended Ceilings
  • > Floor Finishings
  • > Vinyl and Carpets
  • > Glazed screens
  • > Movable Walls
  • > Kitchen/Catering Equipment
  • > Steel Doors
  • > Landscaping
  • > Final Clean
  • > Scaffolding
  • > Macadam
  • > Fencing
  • > White Lining
  • > Mastic Pointing
  • > Signage
  • > Painting & Decorating
  • > Demolition & Alterations

By attending our event, you will have the opportunity to Meet face to face with Kier Construction Key personnel and find out about our upcoming opportunity

For more details and registration

The ONS, new orders in infrastructure rocketed by 60 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 .

Today the Office of National Statistics has released a new report showing the growth of new construction orders in the UK, in the first quarter of 2012, there saw a 4.6% increase from the fourth quarter of 2011. The ONS also reported today that new orders in infrastructure rocketed by 60 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same period last year.

According to Nick Hayward, managing director of ATL (Apprenticeships Training Limited – the fulfillment centres for T4TS) one of the UK’s leading providers of building services training, with more than 5,000 students a year passing through its centres, it’s very positive news, demonstrating the opportunities for the school leavers and adults looking for a new career path in construction: “There has never been a greater time to join the industry. We know there is a growing shortage for dedicated skilled tradesmen as more and more workers reach retirement age. Couple this with the news of growth in both private industrial and private commercial work and it just goes to show the industry is still thriving.

“This new statistical evidence information from the ONS clearly highlights the growing opportunities in the construction sector, contradicting the Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers_ Index issued earlier this week, which indicated that British construction hit a three-month low last month. Our experience working with hundreds of apprentices only serves to support the ONS findings further, with ATL students who have entered the sector from school and those moving to construction as a career change demonstrating the popularity of this sector and the real job opportunities that are available. The construction sector will only continue to grow as new buildings and infrastructure increase in demand as the UK pulls out of recession.”

Unqualified Workers Not Likely to Find Employment – “More employment opportunities for qualified operatives”

One of the largest building companies in the UK, Major Home Builders Group (MHBG), has pledged today to continue with its initiative to only hire qualified workers in order to raise standards and tackle skills shortage in the construction industry.

The initiative between MHBG, one of the twelve largest UK home builders, and Construction Skills has encouraged more people to become professionally qualified in the building construction sector. An increasing number of companies in the building industry have committed to employ only qualified operatives as the very minimum for workers is have a Construction Skills Competency Scheme (CSCS) card.

More than half a million people took their CSCS cards last year. The test, which is required for all construction workers, has been an important factor for raising health and safety standards, as well as helping workers to improve their general quality of work.

Corporate Director at Construction Skills, John Cowley, welcomed the partnership between MHBG and Construction Skills saying that it is vital for the future of the building construction industry to have qualified workforce which is continually raising work standards and promptly complying with industry’s regulation framework.

Mr Cowley said: “We’re delighted that the MHBG has committed to this partnership. It is a major step forward in our drive to qualify the workforce, making our industry world leaders in the skills and training arena.”

As previously reported in the Sector Skills Agreement, the government has encouraged for a closer partnership between industry officials and training providers in order to encourage more workers to feel the benefits of becoming a professionally qualified person.

Managing Director of Redrow, a member of the MHBG group, Neil Fitzsimmons explained that the requirements for all workers, working on their sites, to have an appropriate qualification sends a strong message that the industry wants a qualified workforce, recognising that qualified workers get the job done faster, with fewer mistakes and accidents.

What is your opinion on the importance of being a qualified professional in order to find better employment opportunities? How much more would a qualified operative earn than a non-qualified? Share your experiences by leaving a comment on the Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

Hopeful Future for 3D Design in the Building Sector

Companies across Britain are pouring millions of pounds into developing innovative 3D virtual technology with interactive features offering maximum flexibility to meet customer’s individual preferences even before construction has began.

Tesco has revealed today one of the latest 3D kitchen innovations which aims to help people make the right choice in deciding what is best for their kitchen using 3D building design technology.  Customers will be able to create any styles that meet their exact needs with custom- made interiors. Using 3D technology in building design has become increasingly popular.

The Construction Project Information Committee (CPIC) which is responsible for providing practice guidance on the content and preparation of construction production information believes its practices will become even more popular in the future due to further innovation in the building design sector.

The UK government is soon to outline its strategy to implement Building Information Modelling (known as BIM) on all public sector building projects. It is expected to make a significant difference to building design and optimise the building process in England.

3D digital modelling is transforming the design process of buildings worldwide saving considerable amounts of money to the building industry. It’s predicted that the new building modelling will save the industry at least 10% on build costs at £1bn to £2.5bn a year if it is used on all major projects.

The new method of planning has been estimated to significantly reduce waste and energy usage to enhance sustainability in buildings. This method will be equally caring for the environment too.

Technologies in building design will also influence the way engineers, architects and designers collaborate on future projects. For example, when creating a model of a building, architects and planners will have the capability to work together in order to test every aspect of the building in a virtual world, before any work on the building has begun.

Such technology innovations will allow every expert involved in a project to examine different elements of the building process and make further improvements.

What is your opinion on innovative 3D Design in the Building Construction Sector? Do you think that the 3D Kitchen Design developed by Tesco is a successful method which will be implemented by other businesses?




Train4Tradeskills fulfilment centre opened in Belfast by ATL

Plumbing and Heating Magazine share more….


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Train4TradeSkills News: Construction Industry bounces back with strong October

The uncertain state of the construction industry has been helped with a strong performance in October, which has surprised some industry experts.

The construction industry reached a five-month high in October, according to the Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI, where orders and activity grew significantly compared to the previous months.

The index recorded a figure of 53.9 in October, which is up from 50.1 in September. Any figure over 50 represents a growth in activity.

Despite these figures, the state of the industry is uncertain at the moment, and the outlook remains gloomy for the foreseeable future. But at least these figures are hopefully a step in the right direction.

Sarah Bingham, Economist at Markit and author of the UK Construction PMI said:

“UK construction output improved in October, as new orders recovered from September’s modest decline.

The outlook for the sector remains uncertain, with October seeing a further weakening in sentiment regarding business expectations. The increase in employment recorded was fractional, despite the rise in new business and activity.

This suggests that constructors remain tentative about the longevity of the sector’s growth profile.”


Train4TradeSkills News: Jobs for the Girls Campaign gathers force as NICEIC hit Westminster

The NICEIC’s Jobs for the Girls campaign is gathering supporters as they hit Westminster in a bid to get more women into the construction industry.

Train4TradeSkills News told you about the NICEIC campaign back in January and now the scheme is gaining some supporters.

A Parliamentary reception was hosted by Labour MP Chi Onwurah, who talked about the importance of getting more women into the construction industry as plumbers, electricians and builders,

Ms. Onwurah is the MP for Newcastle Central and a former electrical engineer. She said in her speech:

“Just 1% of electro technical apprenticeship starts are women, despite half of all apprenticeships overall and half of our workforce being taken up by women.

I will be pressing the Government more widely as to what they have been doing and what they can do further to encourage more women into trades apprenticeships.”

This was backed by a number of MP’s, who want to see more women get involved with the construction industry, NICEIC Chief Executive Emma McCarthy said:

“It was great to speak with other women and learn about what entering the construction industry means to them. I would like to thank Chi for backing NICEIC and we can spread the word, engage with young women and do something positive for the industry.”

Earlier this year Train4TradeSkills News spoke to trainee electrician and student blogger Amanda about the Jobs for the Girls campaign. She said:

“I think it would be great to see more women taking up the tools, There is certainly a small section of society that would maybe feel more comfortable with a female technician entering their homes. On a whole though I think it would just be great to see more women having the confidence to get out there and take up the trades they want to be in, but many feel hesitant to do so due to the fact so many trades have been stigmatised as a male domain. I think if you want to do it, just go for it”

Read the full interview with Amanda on Train4TradeSkills News here.

What do you think – will the Jobs for the Girls campaign be a success? Let us know what you think and comment below:

Train4TradeSkills News: Construction Industry shocks experts with excellent figures

UPDATE: It seems the ONS have got it wrong (again) and has admitted an “arithmetical error” and revealed instead of 2.3% growth, the construction industry instead grew by 0.5%. READ MORE>>

The construction industry’s performance over the last few months has surprised experts by faring much better than expected, according to new figures.

The new statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the UK construction industry grew by 2.3% in the second quarter of 2011, much higher than initial reports suggested.

The ONS’ initial figures stated that the construction sector grew by 0.5%, which was initially good news after six months of decline.

But the actual figures were much better, with 2.3% of growth and house building also jumped by 4%, which is a good sign of growth.

The ONS said in a statement:

“Given today’s figures for construction output in [the second quarter], GDP growth in [the second quarter] would be revised up by 0.1 percentage points.”

Here’s a breakdown of the figures:

Infrastructure: up 6.2%

Private housing: up 4.4%

Public housing: up 4.2%

Public non housing: down 0.7%

Private non housing: down 5.5%

Housing RMI: up 1.6%

Non housing RMI: up 1.4%

What do you think about these figures? Let us know and comment below…

CIOB: London Olympics work deserves more recognition

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) have called for more recognition and praise to recognise what a good job the UK construction industry has done on the facilities for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The CIOB have described the Olympics as one of “the UK’s most important and iconic regeneration developments of the 21st Century”, with CIOB Chief Executive Chris Blythe saying:

“The closest praise so far have been back-handed compliments that ‘at least it’s not another Wembley’, with only the architecture drawing any sort of recognition. Yet it’s the people of UK construction who have turned those five-ringed dreams into reality.

The UK should be proud of its construction industry for creating a landmark development on time, on budget, and with an excellent health and safety record in tough economic times and with a barrage of complexity.

The bigger picture at play here is that whilst UK construction is quietly, frustratingly so, delivering an eye-popping regeneration project it is setting new standards along the way. The truth is the Olympics are just a small part of what the construction industry delivers every day. The professional expertise within our industry is exported all over the world and it still leads the way.”

The Olympic Games in London has definitely had a big impact on the UK construction industry and created thousands of jobs at a time when the industry was struggling from the recession. 98% of the facilities for the Games have been built by British companies. That is almost £6bn worth of business, or 1,400 contracts, that have been directly awarded to UK companies as well as thousands more businesses further down the supply chain. Altogether an estimated 75,000 firms have won work related to the 2012 Olympics.

Following on from the work on the Olympics, the CIOB believe UK contractors can have an impact abroad, with CIOB chief Chris Blythe saying:

“So while we naturally focus on London 2012 lets not forget the myriad of projects up and down the country and across the world that are delivered to world class standards. Brazil 2016 will have a hard act to follow, but it will be made easier because no doubt UK construction will be involved there too.”