Thursday, 21 June 2018


The first large build-to-rent project in Nottingham, designed by architects maber and built by Winvic Construction for the Cassidy Group and Cording Real Estate Group is now on site.

The 350-apartment Saffron Court project is already proving a catalyst for the regeneration of the City’s south side with a neighbouring development now also underway.

Saffron Court is being developed by the Cassidy Group and Cording Real Estate Group on the former Hicking Pentecost site near London Road.

On this project maber are is providing architecture and landscape design services, and assisted the developer to secure planning consent for a revised scheme layout through a Section 73 agreement, which was granted by the city council in January this year. The practice are also working on comparable build to rent projects for clients in the capital.

Associate Director Tim Boxford, the project lead for maber, said: “It’s exciting to see this project really kick-starting the area. We’ve combined contemporary design and materials with more traditional materials, and ensured the scale of the development is in keeping with the historic Hicking Pentecost warehouse.”

In common with the new generation of build-to-rent developments, the scheme includes a host of facilities to serve the development’s mix of studio and two-bedroom apartments. These range from under-croft parking to a communal residents’ lounge on the ground floor and two large, raised courtyard and landscaped terraces at the first floor level.

A central reception, with concierge service as well as post and grocery storage, will be provided as well as a gym and a meeting space.

The apartments have private balconies and terraces with the larger apartments offering walk-through wardrobes between two double bedrooms and en suite bathrooms. Ground floor units have direct access to the street, breathing new life into the local streetscape.

The scheme is due to complete in June next year.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 18 June 2018

Aarsleff Ground Engineering commences piling for 220,000sq ft extension, in Hull

Clugston Construction awarded Aarsleff Ground Engineering the piling contract for a £25m extension to the National Distribution Centre in Hull for workwear and safety equipment supplier, Arco. The 220,000sq ft extension will double Arco’s current warehousing and logistics capacity. The build is part of Arco’s £55m investment initiative to support its ambitious growth plans.

Aarsleff are installing over 3000 No. precast concrete pile, 250 and 350mm, up to 21m in length with their Junttan Pmx22 and Banut 700 rigs. Currently, Aarsleff are on site with 4 rigs and a 70t hydraulic crawler crane.

Aarsleff Ground Engineering commenced work on the 14th May, with a completion date expected mid-July.  The new facility is set for completion in summer 2019.

Syed Ali, Aarsleff’s project manager, said “We have benefitted from a thorough preliminary trial piling exercise carried out on site in early April ahead of the main works to provide the information required by Clugston Constructions consulting engineers (HBPW LLP) to design the overall pile layout.

We are on target to deliver another successful project for Clugston Construction with whom we share a good longstanding working relationship”

Aarsleff Ground Engineering have worked closely with Clugston Construction and HBPW LLP on identifying the most safe and efficient way to execute piling works on a site. So far, Aarsleff’s site team are doing a great job of bettering their anticipated rig output on site with the cooperation of Clugston Construction site management who have prepared our working area to a high standard, enabling us to optimise our productivity and plan works ahead.

About Clugston Group:

Clugston Group was established in 1937 by the current Chairman’s father. The Group, which has offices and operations in Scunthorpe, Leeds, Stockton-on-Tees, Bromsgrove, Billingham, Driffield, Aberthaw, Ashbourne and Haydock, has built a reputation for safely delivering a wide variety of service and projects for customers in the public and private sectors. The company has featured in The Sunday Times Profit Track 100, The Sunday Times Top Track 250 and been celebrated in the London Stock Exchange’s 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain report.

For further information about Clugston visit:

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Trussed rafter industry ready for the next generation

New talent, new leadership, new structure and embracing new technology were just some of the highlights from the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) Annual AGM, which took place last month.

One of the key speakers, Alison Watson, founder of Class of Your Own, inspired delegates when talking about the Design Engineer Construct! programme. She explained how easily the construction industry can collaborate with local schools to give a taste of what a career in the built environment is really like.

Celebrations were in order for two trussed rafter designers who achieved the highest scores in the TRA’s online training. Top scorers Frank Kyne of Wyckham Blackwell and Gabor Vince of Taylor Lane Timber Frame Ltd, will travel to Sweden courtesy of Vida Wood, to visit the forest and mill to experience the felling and logging process.

The AGM was the first official TRA event with Nick Boulton as chief executive and he took the opportunity to announce a new structure to help the TRA move with the fast pace of construction.

Regional chairs will become project champions for this year, heading up an array of projects that were also announced at the AGM. Projects include the spandrel panel guide that will also cover care homes and apartments; the development of a gable panel guide; updates to the installation guide; and a quality assurance scheme for clad panels designed to make checking the specification easier for building control.

Fire safety was another key issue and leading building inspector, Geoff Wilkinson, warned of how the repercussions of Grenfell Tower rippled across the whole construction industry, not just those whose products had been used on the tower.

Geoff gave a comprehensive history of building regulations starting with the Great Fire of London in 1666 and fast tracking to the 1980s. Since then many changes have been made to building regulations and Geoff spoke of how ambiguous they are. At the time of the AGM, the Hackitt Report had not been published but Geoff warned the members to be ready and vigilant to ensure that their products are not substituted and to check that certification can prove their products are genuine.

With Brexit looming, technical standards and the need to embrace technology for the future were discussed. The TRA is now a ‘Relevant Authority’ for BIM, as granted by the CPA for LEXiCON to ensure that all trussed rafters and metal web joists are consistently represented in BIM models. All members comply with BIM Level 2 protocols and earlier in the year committed to using Eurocode 5 for all new drawings and for all legacy drawings from 1 July 2018.

Delegates also received feedback on the success of the new TRA website and how it is helping housebuilders and roofing professionals to find information more easily and get answers to technical queries.

TRA chairman, Jonathan Fellingham, closed the AGM by highlighting the importance of inspiring the next generation to consider a career in the construction industry, and the need for members to find robust solutions to fire safety.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 11 June 2018

Vienna summer study programme shows what makes the city tick

For nine years running, Vienna has been named the best city to live in – and two study programmes taking place this summer help capture the stand-out factors which help make the Austrian capital so desirable.


The Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems (AEMS) summer school and Green.Building.Solutions. (GBS) offer insight, fact-finding visits and the latest thinking from a city which has consistently taken the top slot in the Mercer Quality of Living City Rankings.


AEMS takes place this year between 25 July and 10 August, and GBS between 21 July to 12 August.


The OeAD-Housing Office – part of Austria’s national agency for international mobility and cooperation in education, science and research – operates both AEMS and GBS under a not-for-profit arrangement.


Included in the fee are all social and cultural activities, as well as accommodation in one of OeAD’s passive house student residences in Vienna.


The accommodation is also included as part of the fee for almost a week following each programme, enabling those participants to explore the city at leisure.


Günther Jedliczka, CEO of the OeAD-Housing Office, said: “Both AEMS and GBS attract exceptional lecturers and forward-thinking, astute students who are committed to a more sustainable future.


“AEMS draws in a global following among students of all ages and from all walks of life who are looking for a common solution to tackle financial uncertainty.


“It looks at alternatives to the current boom and bust economic cycle and explores the economy of the future and how it can adapt to balance some of the turmoil, strains and challenges of modern life.


“GBS is another international programme, which brings together passive house and sustainable, smart city expertise from across the globe to identify ways to make buildings more sustainable.


“It receives applications from students and professionals alike in the field of architecture and professions relating to the built environment, who want to learn how to develop new skills to design and build sustainable cities in an environment that includes workshops, lectures, fact-finding visits and insight from world-leading academics.”


The course cost for AEMS is €1390, while GBS is priced at €2,490 for professionals and €2,000 for students.


More details about both AEMS and GBS – including testimonials from 2017’s participants – can be found at


Places are limited and the deadline for applications for both programmes is 30 June, 2018.


from The UK Construction Blog

Friday, 8 June 2018

Almost six million claimed back in tax by construction workers

UK construction workers have claimed back almost £6 million in overpaid tax this year, according to figures from tax recovery specialist Brian Alfred.

The leading tax recovery firm for workers using the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) or Pay As You Earn (PAYE) schemes, has reclaimed rebates of more than £5.7 million in the last 12 months.

Derek Kelly, CEO of Brian Alfred said: “It’s been another big year for rebates, with almost six million reclaimed for our clients, and to be honest that’s the tip of the iceberg. Around a third of workers on PAYE and CIS schemes are overpaying tax, but often don’t reclaim money which is rightfully theirs.” 

Since Brian Alfred started they’ve recovered more than £36 million in overpaid tax and Derek added: “Workers often forget to claim back expenses such as travel, uniforms and equipment they’ve had to purchase or even food bought during their working day. There’s a huge range of work expenses where you can claim back the VAT and end up with a nice windfall.

“On average, workers who come to us recover around £1,500 in tax rebates. This year though we saw some rebates as big as £10,000!”

Brian Alfred has broken down the average rebate claim by region over the last 12 months. Workers in Northern Ireland came out on top, receiving an average of £1,979 from the HMRC as a result of overpaid tax. However it was a worker in Gloucester who received the biggest windfall of £10,200 from the HMRC.

The breakdown on tax rebates by region is as follows:

Northern Ireland               £1,979.16

South West                       £1,727.93

Greater London                 £1,712.99

Wales                               £1,706.50

North West                       £1,683.09

South East                        £1,681.96

Scotland                           £1,678.07

East Midlands                   £1,635.61

North East                       £1,635.27

West Midlands                 £1,631.61

Workers who are either part of the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) or Pay As You Earn (PAYE) are all eligible to apply and rebates can be claimed for the last four tax years.

Derek added: “You can claim refunds for a range of things, but regulations are complicated, and it can take an expert to get the correct amount of rebate from the HMRC.” 

Brian Alfred is one of the UK’s leading CIS and PAYE tax rebate specialists and has helped thousands of people get their tax rebates, some in as little as 24 hours. 

To find out if you could qualify for a tax rebate visit their free online tax rebate calculator

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Does gender play a big part in the construction industry?

According to research, one in five construction companies across Britain have no women in senior positions. With some industry professionals believing that ‘there is a definite prejudice against women’ in the construction industry, there appears to still be an inequality of opportunity for women.

Construction News reported that half of all construction companies have not had a woman lead the business, which is astonishing when gender equality is as at the forefront of our minds. What is even more striking is that, when asking the women who did work within the industry, 48% claimed they had experienced gender discrimination in the workplace, with the most common example of this (28%) being inappropriate comments or behaviour from male colleagues. These are figures that prove that the industry still needs to enforce more regulations to change attitudes towards women in the industry and encourage equality.

Not only that, but the gender pay gap is something that is presenting itself forward in the sector. Nearly half of construction companies (42%) do not monitor equal pay between gender in the business and 68% were not aware of any initiatives to support women transitioning into senior roles. Furthermore, according to Randstad, 79% of men believe they earn the same as their female colleagues in the same position. However, 41% of women disagree — highlighting the need for better pay transparency within the industry to dispel perceptions that men are earning more.

With a clear gender divide within the construction industry, Niftylift, work platform provider, explores how the industry can close the gender gap and improve diversity among construction roles. What does the future look like for women in construction?

The direction of the construction industry

Looking at the number of onsite workers, it was found that 99% of positions were accounted by men. Another figure that highlights the lack of gender diversity within the industry. Despite the figures, 93% of construction workers believe having a female boss would not affect their jobs, or would in fact have a positive effect by improving the working environment.

Randstad have said that by 2020, women will make up over 25% of the construction workforce here in the UK. If the industry intends on closing the skills gap, women could potentially hold the key. With the industry raising concerns that it is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, 82% of people working in construction agree that there is a serious skills shortage. If demand is expected to require an additional million extra workers by 2020, women could account for a significant portion of that — especially in senior roles, which have previously been bias towards their male colleagues.

Although, there has been some progress in the last few years which have witnessed more women take senior leadership roles. Back in 2005, there were just 6% of women in senior roles within the UK’s construction industry. However, fast forward to 2015, and this number had risen to 16% and is expected to continue to rise as we approach 2020.

It’s been found that similar progression is visible when it comes to women and promotions. Back in 2005, an unfortunate 79% of women in the industry were dissatisfied with the progression of their careers. However, fast forward again to 2015, and this number more than halved to just 29%, with some of this progression likely to be attributed to the fact that almost half of women in the industry (49%) believe their employer to be very supportive of women in construction.

Although the figures above are promising, there is still a lot of work to do when it comes to achieving gender equality. Ranstad also reports that there remains a tendency within the industry to exclude women from male conversations or social events, with 46% of females experiencing being sidelined. A further 28% said they had been offered a less important role and 25% reported being passed over for promotion.

There is no denying that progress is being made to help aid gender inequality, with 76% of women saying that would recommend a job in the industry to their female friend, daughter or niece. There was also a 60% increase in the average annual salary for women in the industry in the past decade from £24,500 in 2005 to £39,200 in 2015 But we still have a long way to go. Hopefully, by 2020, we can report further progress in the industry, making roles more attractive to females, and improving the gender diversity which could consequently prove to be a solution to the lack of skilled workers for the industry right now.

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 29 May 2018


Chartered financial planners Willson Grange Limited will be relocating its headquarters from Hoylake on the Wirral to a new space on Liverpool’s waterfront.

The wealth management company has signed a 10-year lease of 10,500 sq. ft at No. 12 Princes Dock, Liverpool Waters.

The firm will be occupying space on both the third and fourth floor of the Grade A office building on Princes Dock, alongside neighbours including the international manufacturer Cargill, shipping group CMA CGM and global insurance broker Griffiths & Armour.

No. 12 Princes Dock is one of the most striking office buildings located at the waterfront based Liverpool Waters, and boasts stunning panoramic views of the River Mersey and a rooftop terrace. With some recent high profile moves, the five storey Grade A office space is now 93% let.

The news of Willson Grange’s move to Princes Dock is one many exciting announcements and developments at Liverpool Waters. This year is set to be the busiest yet for the £5 billion regeneration project, which recently broke ground on the £21 million residential building Plaza 1821 and announced plans for a brand-new heritage trial visitor centre at Collingwood Dock.

Stuart Willson, chief executive officer at Willson Grange, said:

“Relocating our headquarters to Princes Dock will signal a new and exciting phase in Willson Grange’s development. Occupying a space in the city centre of Liverpool will not only make us much more accessible to many of our clients but will also allow us to reach a much wider recruitment pool of the very best financial talent the city has to offer.

“We are delighted to be joining the many prestigious neighbours who already occupy many office buildings on the Princes Dock, and of course we are excited to witness the upcoming developments of the Liverpool Waters scheme, which will be happening right on our doorstep.”

Liza Marco, asset manager at Liverpool Waters, said:

“It is fantastic to see yet another successful and thriving local business choosing to relocate to Princes Dock. Businesses are seeing the advantages of being located in the city centre and the benefits that it brings in terms of welcoming new clients and team members. We’re encouraged to see so much interest in our number of office spaces across Liverpool Waters, and as we enter our next phase of development, we’re looking forward to seeing many more organisations join us on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront.”

To learn more about the Liverpool Waters Development project led by Peel Land and Property (Ports) Limited, please visit

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Tradespeople need to do more to keep up with smart home technology

Tradespeople need to do more to keep up with smart home technology


84% of tradespeople said they had never undertaken any training in smart home technology, according to a recent poll carried out by the UK’s largest online supplier of ironmongery, IronmongeryDirect.

Conducted in the lead up to Smart Home Week (21- 27 May) the poll revealed that despite the rise in popularity of smart home products, many tradespeople are still unprepared for the increasing customer demand.

Nearly 30% of UK homeowners now own at least one smart home product[1]. This increase is reaffirmed by IronmongeryDirect expecting sales of smart technology to more than double this year.  This is in addition to previous national research carried out by the leading online ironmongery supplier, which showed that almost 90% of tradespeople are not confident when advising customers on smart products.

Only one in ten tradespeople said they felt “very confident” when it comes to offering guidance on smart products, including products such as smart cameras, smart alarms and locks which can be connected to smartphones.

Now in its second year, Smart Home Week aims to raise the profile of smart home technology and to inform, educate and reassure consumers about the benefits and opportunities of living in a smart, connected way.

Wayne Lysaght-Mason, Managing Director of IronmongeryDirect, said: “Smart products are redefining the way that a property functions, and there is a clear need for tradespeople to keep abreast of the developments involving smart technology. With basic burglar alarms now enhanced to monitor, control and interact with a home or business premises from a smartphone or tablet, we are just at the beginning of this smart tech revolution.

“There is still a demand for traditional products, but these new smart alternatives should not be ignored. There are some fantastic products on the market, whether you want to specialise in security, lighting, heating or household appliances.”

Training organisations around the UK offer courses in smart technology, including the AWE Smart Home Academy in Surrey, which equips tradespeople with the skills and confidence they need to advise customers on the technology. For instance, its Foundation Workshop is aimed at the less experienced residential smart technology installer and focuses on the fundamentals of custom installation.

IronmongeryDirect stocks a variety of products including the The Yale® Easy Fit Telecommunicating Alarm, a top-of-the-range house alarm, the Yale® Smart HD1080 4 Camera CCTV Kit a durable and hard-wearing product that can monitor a property with its high definition video quality camera and the Yale® Conexis L1 Multipoint Smart Lock.

The customer service team are available from 7am-8pm 7 days a week and can help with any questions or queries you may have about smart home technology.

IronmongeryDirect has over 16,500 products available and in stock. Orders can be placed as late as 8pm for next day delivery from Sunday through to Friday and by 4pm on Saturdays. Free, no quibble returns are available on all products.

For more information, visit or call their team of specialist advisors on 0800 168 28 28.


from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 21 May 2018

The sky’s the limit — Edinburgh Airport’s construction history

Edinburgh Airport started life as a small Royal Flying Corps aerodrome named Turnhouse in 1915 —the first commercial services weren’t launched until 1947.

But by the end of 2014 it exceeded the 10 million passenger mark — the busiest year ever for a Scottish airport.

And the hub’s transformation over the course of a century involved some fascinating civil engineering projects.

So it’s worth reviewing a few highlights from its construction history.

Control tower

Edinburgh’s stylish air traffic control tower opened in 2005 after taking a year to complete.

The 57-metre-high structure cost £10 million to complete and was designed by Reid Architecture, with Laing O’Rourke as principle construction partner.

Advocates of aesthetic design appreciate the award-winning tower’s sleek, stretched pepper-grinder silhouette.

But it’s also innovative — featuring a seven-metre diameter concrete circular core with service riser and stairs clad in diamond-shaped aluminium shingles.

A slide-out drawer in the first floor for removing and replacing technical equipment adds a final ingenious flourish.

Parking facilities

Edinburgh has also displayed innovation in terms of its parking facilities.

In 2004, owners BAA opened a new five-storey car park opposite the terminal building with a terminal walkway and 2000 additional spaces — rapidly reducing the time taken to enter and exit the main building.

The design has a one-way search to all floors, independent vertical circulation and payment areas kept separate from vehicle thoroughfares to protect pedestrians — features that helped it win Best New Car Park at the British Car Parking Awards in 2005.

Private firms also provide excellent secure parking options near Edinburgh Airport that further enhance its provision and offer drivers a range of long- and short-term options.

Terminal expansion

Over the past 10 years, Edinburgh has undertaken a comprehensive terminal expansion project aimed at increasing its capacity and making facilities more efficient and comfortable for customers.

The first stage of the project was completed in 2010 and involved the construction of a new departure lounge with a wider choice of bars, restaurants and retail outlets than previously available.

An initial £25 million terminal expansion plan was announced in 2013, which added 6000 square metres of additional space for passengers, shops and a security area — this was opened in 2015.

Finally, work on the new three-storey terminal building at Edinburgh began in early 2017, with BAM Construction awarded the contract for its first phase.

This latest addition is part of a wider £80 million investment that will futureproof the airport to cope with a significant projected rise in passenger numbers.

It’s also attempting to address environmental concerns by committing to a carbon trading system that lowers emissions in a sustainable way in the long-term.

Edinburgh Airport’s evolution closely shadows that of aviation itself — it’s moved from housing some of the first reconnaissance and fighter planes to gargantuan commercial models that carry passengers to far-flung destinations daily.

If it continues as an agile business, the sky’s the limit in terms of where it’s flights might carry passengers in another 100 years.

What’s your favourite airport construction project? Share your opinions in the comments section.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 14 May 2018

New national research suggests 1 in 10 suspect illegal drug use by workplace colleagues

New national research suggests 1 in 10 suspect illegal drug use by workplace colleagues

  • One in five don’t take any action if they suspect a friend, family member or colleague of using illegal drugs
  • Regional variations show that almost twice as many Londoners suspect colleagues of drug use compared to national average
  • Would simple drug tests in the workplace help? New technology enables employers to screen employees using a simple fingerprint sweat test

New research released today suggests that more than one in ten workers across the UK have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs. This figure rises to 24% in London – almost twice the national average, while at 6% those surveyed in the North-East appeared to be far less suspicious of their colleagues.

The research, commissioned by Intelligent Fingerprinting to determine UK attitudes to drug screening in the workplace, also shows that one in five employees took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use. This, despite the fact that 43% of people worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe. Similarly, just under a quarter (22%) have suspected a friend of taking illegal drugs, but again those one in five did nothing about it.

Dr Paul Yates of Intelligent Fingerprinting commented: “drug misuse has always been a concern when it comes to health & safety in the workplace, however this latest research suggests the issue could be even more widespread than previously thought. It is clear that drug usage not only puts the safety of individual employees at risk, but also contributes to the cumulative workplace accidents that cost the UK some £4 billion every year[1]. It’s particularly an issue in those sectors where drug misuse takes place in safety-critical working environments such as construction, manufacturing, logistics, public transport networks and utilities.”

“What is notable from the research is that colleagues are reluctant to act – perhaps because they do not have the ability to provide proof or evidence that drug usage has actually taken place,” adds Paul Yates. “Employers who do implement a drug and alcohol policy are often frustrated by the practical challenges within their specific workplaces. Operating a traditional drug screening service using urine tests on a construction site, for example, is rather inconvenient. It’s perhaps no surprise that our new fingerprint-based drug screening test – thanks to its portability, ease-of-use and non-invasive approach – is already generating interest from those health & safety managers and occupational health professionals who are responsible for safety in the workplace. It takes only a few seconds to collect a fingerprint sweat sample and screens for multiple drugs of abuse – amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and opiates – in a single test, delivering results in under eight minutes. It’s an ideal platform for spontaneous workplace drug screening and we know that regular random drug screening, combined with an effective drug and alcohol policy, acts as a strong deterrent to drug use in the workplace.”

Interviews are available with Dr Paul Yates, a Director at Intelligent Fingerprinting and Abigail Morakinyo of Health in Check – to find out more information about the research.

Facts and figures from the research and regional breakdown

The research for Intelligent Fingerprinting was carried out online by Opinion Matters between 27/04/2018 and 30/04/2018 amongst a panel resulting in 1,200 respondents. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).

have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs while at work
43% worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe
20% took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use

East of England
have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs while at work
46% worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe
17% took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use

have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs while at work
37% worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe
21% took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use

East Midlands
have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs while at work
42% worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe
18% took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use

West Midlands
have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs while at work
42% worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe
13% took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use

North East
have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs while at work
44% worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe
11% took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use

North West
have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs while at work
42% worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe
29% took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use

Northern Ireland
have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs while at work
50% worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe
40% took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use

have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs while at work
49% worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe
22% took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use

South East
have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs while at work
42% worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe
22% took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use

South West
have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs while at work
45% worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe
23% took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use

have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs while at work
39% worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe
11% took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use

Yorkshire and the Humber
have suspected a colleague of taking illegal drugs while at work
45% worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs makes their workplace unsafe
21% took no action to help or confront the colleague they suspected of drug use

The Intelligent Fingerprinting Drug Screening System consists of a four-panel test cartridge and the portable Intelligent Fingerprinting Reader 1000 analysis instrument. Together these have the potential to be used almost anywhere, any time to support a range of applications including drug rehabilitation programmes, tackling drug use as part of offender management, police initiatives such as roadside testing for drug driving, coroner services, as well as establishing fitness for duty in safety-critical workplaces such as the transport and construction industries.

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 10 May 2018


Incredible new visuals for the £5 billion Liverpool Waters project, which will transform Liverpool’s Waterfront, have been released to show how the 60-hectare development will look once completed.

The new CGI’s bring to life Liverpool Waters’ vision to completely restore the city’s northern docks, regenerating the 2 million sqm site to create a world-class, mixed-use waterfront quarter in Liverpool.

Within this vision are five unique and dynamic neighbourhoods, running from the edge of the already established Princes Dock, nearly 2km north along the waterfront until it reaches Bramley Moore Dock, the proposed site for the new Everton football stadium.


As well as aerial views of the entire project, the CGI’s also offer a glimpse of some of Central Dock’s most impressive features, including Clarence Square, Central Park and a new cultural hub. The 185,860 sqm neighbourhood will also be home to family housing with private gardens as well as residential and office buildings that will offer views of Central Park and the River Mersey.


These CGI’s have been created to accompany a refreshed masterplan for the project which encompasses all five unique neighbourhoods. The masterplan has been updated to maximise the project’s potential and ensure it is future-proofed for generations to come.


One of the biggest changes in the plan is the relocation of Central Park, with the intention to move it closer to the River Mersey. Covering almost two hectares, Central Park will be one of the many jewels in Liverpool Waters’ crown and will perfectly encapsulate the distinctive mix of culture and community to be found at the Central Dock neighbourhood.


Other changes in the plan include a re-imagined Clarence Square at Central Dock, which is set to be one of the most distinctive and interesting public spaces on Liverpool’s waterfront. The masterplan also showcases many changes to the layout of various pedestrian areas to prioritise pedestrians and cyclists and ensure that views of the River Mersey are maximised and highlighted where possible.


Managed by Peel Land and Property (Ports) Limited, this year Liverpool Waters has already moved forward with a number of developments including breaking ground on the sixteen-storey residential tower Plaza 1821, which when finished will house 105 one and two bedroom apartments as well as offering commercial space on the ground floor.


Darran Lawless, development director at Liverpool Waters, said:


“This really is a landmark time for the Liverpool Waters project. Following a decade of meticulous planning, we are now firmly in the delivery phase of this project, and I am excited to see these plans take shape. The aim of the Liverpool Waters project is an ambitious one, but one that will expand the city centre as well as creating jobs and bringing economic benefits to not only North Liverpool, but the region as a whole.”


Ian Pollitt, assistant project director at Liverpool Waters, said:


“For over 10 years we have developed this project from an initial idea into the biggest single regeneration project in the history of Liverpool and one of the biggest of its kind anywhere in the world. It’s the comprehensive re-imagining and subsequent restoration of this derelict dockland which will reinstate the area back to its former glory. With these new CGI’s and our updated masterplan, we are demonstrating that Liverpool Waters will truly be a waterfront to the world.”


To learn more about the Liverpool Waters Development project led by Peel Land and Property (Ports) Limited, please visit

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Construction activity falls 3.3% in first quarter

Construction activity slid by 3.3% in the first three months of 2018, impacted by Carillion’s collapse and bad weather.

The fall contritubed a 0.2% fall to UK GDP, which grew by jus t0.1% during the first quarter.

It is the first preliminary estimate of GDP by the ONS and incorporates 45% of total data for the quarter, so be subject to further revisions.

The ONS published its preliminary estimate for GDP in the first quarter of 2018.

Rebecca Larkin, Senior Economist at the Construction Products Association, said: “This preliminary estimate gives the first full indication of how construction was affected by the liquidation of Carillion in January and the adverse weather at the end of February and beginning of March.

“The quarterly decline of 3.3% was the worst since 2012 Q2 and implies a £1.3bn loss of output in the opening months of 2018.

“Some degree of catch-up is expected throughout Spring and Summer, but on the CPA’s forecasts, amid continued economic uncertainty and weakness in commercial construction, output for the year is still expected to be flat at best.”


from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Ransomware: how to avoid falling victim to the global threat of malicious malware

Ransomware is a growing cyber-threat that finally hit mainstream headlines in 2017, due to the Petya and WannaCry attacks that throttled the NHS and caused huge financial losses for globally-recognised businesses.

The aftermath of the attacks proved the most costly for two of the most high-profile victims of the Petya attack: Merck and Maersk.

US pharmaceutical giant Merck lost over $310million due to the production shutdown caused by the Ransomware virus. Its operations were shut down, employees weren’t even allowed to work, and it estimated $135million of the total cost of the attack was due to lost sales.

Similarly, Maersk, the largest shipping company in the world, attributed a loss of over £210million to Petya as the majority of its 76 ports were shut down. So severe was the attack, the company had to deal with no IT infrastructure whatsoever for 10 days, and manually dealt with arrivals at its ports every 15 minutes.

This infographic from UK IT support company TSG presents some key statistics on the growth of Ransomware, as well as tips on how to avoid falling victim to this omnipresent threat.



from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Transformation of UCL’s world-class Law teaching facilities completed by Gilbert-Ash

Award-winning UK construction, refurbishment and fit out contractor,
Gilbert-Ash, has recently completed an extensive £16.2m rebuilding and remodelling of UCL’s renowned Faculty of Laws facilities in Camden, London.

The works connected the University’s past with its future, fully integrating a Grade II listed building, Bentham House, with a neighbouring mid-20th century building, Hillel House which housed the Gideon Schreier and Graduate Wings, within the predominantly Georgian conservation area. The adjacent building was significantly remodelled including a major extension at the rear and a completely new exterior façade with Portland stone, complementing UCL Laws original historic home.

With a growing UCL student and Faculty body, Gilbert-Ash delivered a high-quality, technically advanced, bright space, reflecting modern methods of learning. Working closely with leading architects Levitt Bernstein, the development also comprises a central social hub, state-of-the-art research facilities and cutting-edge office and teaching areas.

The two buildings are now linked across all levels, with floor-to-ceiling windows, maximising the natural light and a new spacious atrium improving the student and Faculty experience. The development incorporates sustainability features, including a bio-diverse roof with photovoltaic arrays.

Rodney Coalter, Project Manager, Gilbert-Ash, commented, “Working closely with UCL, Levitt Bernstein and the whole redevelopment supply chain, we are really pleased with the high-end teaching facility that has been created.  It enhances the learning environment and experience for both students and faculty, as well as visitors and alumni. Recognising the renowned reputation of UCL, the redevelopment also aims to build on the traditions and character of the University whilst providing an extended, modern space for continued ambitious learning and socialising.”

Professor Piet Eeckhout, Dean, UCL Laws said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have the pleasure to welcome the Faculty back home to Bentham House. UCL Laws has, at long last, a home fit for our world-leading research, teaching and social enterprise. The project has given the Faculty more than a building: it’s given us an inspiring environment in which our whole community can come together.”

Professor Dame Hazel Genn, UCL Project Sponsor said, “At the very core of the vision for redeveloping Bentham House has always been how the building will support, inspire and motivate the world-class teaching and thriving research culture within UCL Laws.

“The highly creative plans for the building have seamlessly married the much-loved traditional spaces with bright, modern facilities, giving our Faculty a home that reflects and respects its heritage, while also supporting and driving its forward-thinking, global agenda.”

The UCL Faculty of Laws development is part of a larger scheme, Transforming UCL, the largest capital programme in the university’s history. It will see substantial investment of over £1.2 billion over a 10-year period to refurbish and develop some of UCL’s most iconic buildings whilst also bringing forward new world class buildings to enable continued growth.

Highly detailed design, advanced logistical planning and development goes into every Gilbert-Ash project, with the team skilled in delivering the finest quality projects in the UK and globally.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 23 April 2018

Bill proposes greater security for SME construction contractors

Bill proposes greater security for SME construction contractors

A change to the way UK construction companies deal with contractors may be imminent as MPs get set to debate the second reading of a proposed new Bill later this month.

The Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill is seeking to ensure retention money (payments to contractors that are withheld for an agreed period of time after the completion of a project) is held in a ring-fenced trust.

According to construction law experts at Manchester firm Slater Heelis the Bill, if passed, will offer greater financial security to SME construction contractors.

Matt Grellier, head of construction & engineering at Slater Heelis, said: “Employers rarely place retention in a separate bank account held on trust. This exposes contractors to financial risk as the money is not ‘ring-fenced’ in the event of employer insolvency.

“The collapse of Carillion has amplified the concerns of many SME contractors. The new Bill proposes that retention monies are placed in a Government approved scheme, similar to that which applies for deposits taken from shorthold tenancies.”

According to Government figures, almost £8bn of cash retentions have remained unpaid over the past three years and with no ring-fencing in place retention cash can be used to pay other creditors in the event of employer insolvency, leaving contractors out of pocket.

According to Mr Grellier, even if the Bill is passed, contractors must not become complacent over the terms of contracts into which they enter.

He added: “Contractors must still ensure they protect themselves in the terms of their contract to ensure prompt payment.

“It pays to be on your guard in relation to bespoke amendments to ‘standard form’ building contracts. Amendments to provisions regarding payment, defects and time for completion may have knock-on effects on retention release.

“Contractors should risk review payment terms pre-contract formation. Contractual ‘milestones’ in relation to payment should be diarised so that key dates are not missed.”

The Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill is set to be debated by MPs in the House of Commons on Friday 27 April.

from The UK Construction Blog

Friday, 20 April 2018

York council terminates Interserve Guildhall revamp contract

City of York Council is terminating its £9m Guildhall development contract with Interserve.

The two stage contract has been ended after costs came in over budget on the first stage.

The council said: “The first phase has now completed and the council has reflected on the current approach to developing this complex and historic site.

“As a result, the construction phase will not progress and instead, the council will consider options before inviting new bids from the market.”

Interserve was working with SES Engineering Services and hosted a supply chain event late last year to find subcontractors after being awarded the deal last August.

Construction was originally due to start early this year.

Neil Ferris, director of economy and place, City of York Council said: “I can confirm we have terminated our contract with Interserve to develop the Guildhall.

“We set-up the contract following government procurement rules and as such, included a contractual break point after the first stage of the contract.

“We recognised from the start that given the site complexity and risks around the foundation structure, there was always the chance that estimate would be higher than anticipated.

“We structured the procurement in this way to protect York residents from potentially spiralling costs.

“We remain committed to the Guildhall development and are excited about the potential it offers local businesses, communities and visitors.

“Our next steps are to review options to reduce costs, such as revising the scale, scope or access arrangements to the site and we will invite members to confirm their preferred option in May.

“In the meantime, to reduce delays, we will progress less disruptive works, such as fitting new utilities.”

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 16 April 2018

PSH. forms new leadership team to position business for exponential growth

Leading engineering consultancy PSH. has promoted four of its team to director roles as part of a re-structure as the firm lays foundations ahead of its ambitious growth plans for the next five years.

Ian Law and Andrew Haskins have been promoted to directors for the Mechanical team.  Charlie Cross becomes director for Electrical, and Mark Whitfield is now director of Project Management. Photographs of the newly promoted directors can be downloaded here.

PSH, provides specialist mechanical, engineering and plumbing (MEP) services to the real estate and construction industry.  Its current clients include Centrica, Crosstree, Legal & General, GLH Hotels, Marriot International, Cadogan Estates, Quintain and Rockwell. Over the last 15 years PSH. has enjoyed rapid expansion and now includes more than 30 professional members of staff across its offices in London and Wokingham. 

Peter Scholes, Managing Director, PSH. said: “PSH. has an established reputation across the property sector as a highly recommended and trusted MEP building services expert. With the skills and experience of Ian, Andrew, Charlie and Mark behind them, our highly skilled teams will continue to work with some of the biggest players in the real estate sector, across all different areas of the market.”

PSH. has increased its annual turnover year-on-year since launch in 2003 and has ambitious growth plans over the next five years.  The initial stage of this includes establishing a new leadership team with sector and services specialisms.

Peter Scholes, said: “PSH. has worked hard to build an experienced and professional team, with unrivalled market knowledge and sector experience.  We have an excellent track record of repeat business and our client list includes some of the very best names operating in the sector today.  The re-structure will enable us to develop a more agile approach across the company as we grow, giving our clients an even better service.”

PSH. provides full MEP building services, as well as offering sustainability, vertical transportation, BIM, fire services and acoustics advice to developers, consultants and contractors across all sectors of the property and construction industry.

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 10 April 2018


A leading utilities and construction training provider has added its voice to calls for change in the Apprenticeship Levy.

As latest figures showed a 25 per cent slump in new apprentices, Chris Wood, CEO of Develop Training, said: “The government should take action and make structural changes to the Levy.”

Develop Training, whose customers include some of the biggest names in construction and household name utility companies, has called for three adaptations to the scheme.

  • Make the Levy more flexible by extending the time allowed to use funds beyond the current two years
  • Widen apprenticeship choice
  • Unshackle the de facto value cap on apprenticeships, a move which would help training firms to deliver more schemes

Mr Wood added that employers also needed to get to grips with the scheme: “There are issues with how the Levy works, but it could be argued that a major cause of the problem remains ignorance of the Levy and its implications.”

He said a cut in the rate of the Levy, which some have called for, was highly unlikely as it could be politically suicidal and fail to address underlying skills shortages. Conversely, raising the rate, in an attempt to put more pressure on employers to make use of it may negatively impact the important work performed by other separately levy-funded bodies such as the CITB and ECITB.

More flexibility in the scheme, allowing Levy funding to pay for different kinds of training, might help, he said, welcoming news that more firms were implementing higher level apprenticeships.

This month (April) marks the first anniversary of the Levy, which requires larger employers to invest in apprenticeships or forfeit their contribution to the scheme. However, preliminary government figures released at the end of March showed a 25 per cent drop in the number of people starting apprenticeships in the first two quarters of 2017/18. This led to employer organisations, including the Engineering Employers Federation and the CBI, to renew calls for an overhaul.

The government pointed out that the latest figures are preliminary, and also welcomed the rise in higher level training being provided under the Levy.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 9 April 2018

More buildings hit by Scottish school collapse defects

Construction faults have been found at 19 more public buildings across Edinburgh in the wake of a wall collapse at Oxgangs Primary School in the city.

A report from watchdogs at the Accounts Commission confirms the scale of problems unearthed by investigatiors since the school wall failure.

Nine tonnes of masonry came crashing down in 2016 at Oxgangs due to missing wall header ties.

Seventeen schools were closed following the incident.

Now it has emerged that further problems have been found at schools, libraries, community centres and care homes across the city.

The Accounts Commission report states: “At the end of January 2018, of the 154 properties where assessments had been completed, 19 properties had been identified as having issues similar to those identified at Oxgangs School.

“Remedial work to address the defects identified on these buildings (which include schools, libraries, community centres and care homes) is ongoing.”

The Commission is now calling on all councils to improve their checks on construction work.

It said: “The report emphasises the importance of all councils undertaking regular, comprehensive structural risk assessments and inspections on public buildings to ensure the safety of service users.

“Where a council employs a company to provide construction services, it’s vital that it puts in place appropriate checks and controls.”

Graham Sharp, Chair, Accounts Commission said: “While reduced resources mean councils must make difficult decisions about service provision, they should have an appropriate level of expertise to deliver and safely maintain buildings.

“People must have confidence in the safety and integrity of public buildings.”

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 4 April 2018


TIMco, one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of screws, fasteners, fixings and power tool accessories, are launching their latest and biggest catalogue to date as well as unveiling brand new ranges at the NMBS show at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on the 11th April.

The catalogue will feature 6,500 product lines including an array of new ranges from screw caps and covers to aerosols, wood glues and wood fillers. The largest catalogue to date will also see the extension of existing ranges including the addition of wagon ropes and brick lines to the VETO range as well as a further extension to the new TAURUS range.

During the show, TIMco will also be hosting visitors at their stand with freshly made coffees and an array of refreshments. Customers can take time out at the stand and discuss the new products/ranges by visiting TIMco on stands 265, 266 and 269.

Simon Midwood, Managing Director of TIMco comments: “The NMBS show is one of our biggest events in the calendar, with a lot of our customers attending the show – making it the perfect place to launch our biggest ever catalogue and see our customers’ feedback first hand. We can’t wait to have a coffee and a chat with visitors about our exciting new product launches and range extensions.”

For more information on the NMBS show or to register for tickets to the show, visit:


TIMco is headquartered in Nantwich, Cheshire and imports and supplies more than 6,500 product lines from around the world to distributors throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.  The company was established in 1972 and now employs 137+ members of staff from its offices in the UK, Ireland and Taiwan.  For more information, visit

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 3 April 2018


Workers are being urged to claim back their tax rebates before the deadline passes.

The call comes from tax recovery specialists Brian Alfred who have claimed back more than £36 million for clients in overpaid tax.

According to the firm, around a third of tax payers are due a rebate in the UK and claims can range from £1,500 to £7,300 for people working in the construction industry.

Workers who are either part of the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) or Pay As You Earn (PAYE) are all eligible to apply and rebates can be claimed for the last four tax years.

However anyone who fails to put their claim in before April 6th will permanently lose the chance to claim a rebate for the 2013/2014 tax year.

Derek Kelly, CEO, Brian Alfred said: “Each year millions of pounds of hard earned money goes unclaimed. The time is now fast approaching to get your tax rebate claims in, as you can only go back four years at a time, so basically if you haven’t claimed a rebate for the year 2013/14, it’s either do it before April 6th or forever lose the opportunity for that year.

“Whatever your trade or profession, we are here to help you. The tax rebates really can make a difference and it is money that people are entitled to and have worked hard for.”

According to Brian Alfred it’s simple things that people don’t realise they can claim for, from travel expenses to work uniforms to equipment and even food costs. 

Derek added: “You can claim refunds for a range of things, but regulations are complicated, and it can take an expert to get the correct amount of rebate from the HMRC!” 

Brian Alfred is one of the UK’s leading CIS and PAYE tax rebate specialists and has helped thousands of people get their tax rebates, some in as little as 24 hours. 

To find out if you could qualify for a tax rebate visit their free online tax rebate calculator

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Weston Homes stunned by football club sponsorship snub

House builder Weston Homes has been left fuming after its ten-year sponsorship deal with Colchester United has come to a “bitter end”.

The League Two club confirmed its decision not to renew the deal to staff and fans this week.

But Weston Homes claim they were not consulted and have been left baffled by the decision.

A Weston Homes spokesperson said: “It is really sad and shocking the way this partnership has ended, and it has really upset our Chairman and CEO Bob Weston that the club has chosen to end the deal and then abruptly announced their decision publicly without prior consultation with the housebuilder.

Weston Homes has been extremely loyal to Colchester United and supported the club in so many ways over the last decade, so this has been deeply distressing.

“It’s a sad ending to what has otherwise been a fantastic partnership.”

The club’s stadium is named after the house builder who were keen to continue sponsoring Colchester United.

The spokesperson said: “Up until these recent events historically we have had a fantastic partnership with Colchester United and the decade long sponsorship agreement got our brand name partnered with the Stadium and the football club and, as a result, has seen us associated with a range of extremely high profile sporting, music, charity and cultural events.”

Colchester United said: “We would like to express our thanks and gratitude for Weston Homes for their fantastic support over the past ten years.

“It has been a hugely successful partnership over the past decade and is one of the longest in the club’s history.

Weston Homes’ support has allowed Colchester United to establish the stadium as a key community hub and their backing both as title sponsor and at individual events has allowed us to create many special stories together since the venue opened in 2008.”

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Cladding firm hired for luxury new-build project

Specialist Cladding Systems (SCS), CA Group Limited’s specialist cladding division, has bolstered its portfolio by successfully securing the design, supply and installation of the façade for a high-end residential development in Salford, Manchester.


Working in partnership with main contractors, McGoff Construction, SCS has been awarded the contract to design and install a full cladding system for Downtown Manchester, a 368-apartment scheme along the River Irwell.

Located on the borders of Manchester and Salford, the Downtown development will be a collection of six statement blocks, differing in height and ranging from four storeys up to 14. The residential apartments will be complimented by communal facilities including an onsite gym and spa, 24-hour concierge service and media room.

Paul Guilfoyle, senior project manager at McGoff Construction, said: “Thanks to its hotel-style services, riverside location and proximity to both Manchester and Salford, Downtown is a prestigious development and a desirable residence.

“With its Manhattan-inspired design influence, it aims to create a new iconic property on Manchester’s skyline. The exterior of the six apartment blocks requires an exceptional finish, which is why we have chosen to work with SCS, who are experts in providing specialist cladding solutions.”

Work commences on the first phase of the project next month (April), and will continue over several phases spanning the next three years.

Mike Cinnamond, Divisional Manager for SCS, added: “We are delighted to have been chosen to work in partnership with main contractors McGoff Construction on such a pioneering project. Downtown’s service-led apartment living is sure to provide the aspirational residents of both Salford and Manchester with an apartment that will enhance their lifestyle and exceed expectations.

“New design opportunities, brought about by innovations in cladding, are enabling us to deliver contemporary solutions to the residential new-build market. The role of cladding in building design has evolved, while its main purpose of protecting the building from the elements remains, cladding is central in the overall aesthetic and design of the build, a key factor in the Downtown development.”

The specifications for the project comprise of the design, supply and installation of CA Building Products’ Prime RFX PPC aluminium rainscreen cladding system, together with the Corium brick slip rainscreen system from Taylor Maxwell and a multitude of ancillary products. CA Group is one of the UK’s leading metal roofing and cladding systems manufacturers and installers.

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 27 March 2018



A learning and development professional with specialist experience of the Apprenticeship Levy has joined Develop Training Ltd (DTL) at their Derby HQ.

For the past six years, Kate Whittaker has worked for private sector training providers in the field of apprenticeships, most latterly in a customer service role dealing with the implications of the Apprenticeship Levy. This followed 15 years with the Department for Work and Pensions where Kate was involved with the Welfare to Work programme.

Now, as a Business Development Manager at DTL, Kate is looking forward to working with clients such as BT, Affinity Water and Northern Gas Networks in an important account management role.

Kate said: “I was attracted to DTL by the company culture; everyone seems to feel valued. I am looking forward to working with a range of clients not only to ensure that their training needs are met but also to provide support and advice around the best use of the Apprenticeship Levy.”

Originally from Derby, Kate now lives near Belper with her fiancé and three-year-old daughter.

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Government gives go ahead for Geospatial Apprenticeships

The Secretary of State for Education, Damien Hinds, has given final approval for a Geospatial Technician Apprenticeship by approving the funding band, meaning that this is now ready for delivery.

The Institute for Apprenticeships has also recommended a final funding band to the Secretary of State for the Geospatial Mapping and Science Degree Apprenticeship and this will also be ready for delivery very shortly.

The Survey Association (TSA) funded the apprenticeship development work, assisted and guided by Apprenticeship Consultant, Christina Hirst.

TSA Vice President Nick Hampson commented: ‘’TSA has always been committed to encouraging more young people into the survey profession and we are delighted that our funding has helped to make Geospatial Apprenticeships a reality. TSA Member Companies made an important contribution to the Steering Group.’’

‘’Since 2001, over 400 students have graduated from the TSA Course in Surveying at the Survey School and the Geospatial Apprenticeships are the next logical step –  combining both funding and a recognised qualification.’’

Both apprenticeships were approved in September 2017 by the Institute for Apprenticeships and the employers who developed these have been awaiting these funding band approvals before delivery can start – now agreed at £9,000 for the Geospatial Technician Apprenticeship and £27,000 for the Geospatial Mapping and Science Degree Apprenticeship (the latter subject to final sign off from the DfE).

The approval of these apprenticeships means that geospatial employers can use their Apprenticeship Levy payments or Government’s apprenticeship funding to pay for the development of new talent for their businesses.

Antony Jenkins, Chair of the Institute for Apprenticeships said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to approve these standards. High quality apprenticeship standards like this help learners and employers reach their potential.

“More and more businesses of all sizes are realising the benefits that high quality apprenticeships can offer. The Institute is putting employers in control of developing the standards they need, giving learners a basis for lasting employment and overcoming national skills gaps.”

The geospatial apprenticeships have been developed by a group of 19 employers*, led by Skanska and supported by the two relevant professional bodies, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES). The apprenticeship development was also supported by Class of Your Own.

Mark Lawton of Skanska, Chair of the Trailblazer Group said: “It was truly inspiring to see professional bodies, trade bodies and different sectors of industry collaborate together under the project management of Christina Hirst. The future geospatial educational requirements for the apprenticeship have been tailored by the Trailblazer Group, and I feel this is a huge educational step for our geospatial future talent.”

The Geospatial Technician apprenticeship will provide the knowledge, skills and behaviours for successful apprentices to apply to become Associate members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors or of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors and successful apprentices from the Geospatial Mapping and Science Degree Apprenticeship can apply to become Members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors or the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors.

A number of Colleges and Universities are gearing up to provide these Apprenticeships and employers interested in supporting apprentices can find more information and the Trailblazer contact for these Apprenticeships by visiting

for the Geospatial Technician Apprenticeship and by visiting

for the Geospatial Mapping and Science Apprenticeship.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 19 March 2018

SD Sealants appoints new Area Manager to head up expansion

Leading sealant and cosmetic repair company gearing up for a Corker of a year with new recruit!

Following a record year, SD Sealants, the UK’s leading sealant and cosmetic repair company, is expanding its offering in Northern England with new Area Manager, Mat Corker at the helm.

The company, which provides sealant application and cosmetic repairs for house builders and commercial businesses, has seen rapid growth in the past year, having created upwards of 20 new jobs in the North East, following the launch of its new office in Leeds last November.

Heading up the expansion is Mat Corker, who has over 15 years of experience in the cosmetic repairs industry, and for the past six years has been running his own company, Cosmic Cosmetic Repairs, which takes on projects nationwide.

Nick Jones, Managing Director at SD Sealants, said on the appointment: “Mat has an incredible wealth of knowledge on the cosmetic repairs industry, and we’re very excited to have him coming on board to drive expansion this year. I’m confident that his experience will be invaluable as we look to grow our services in Yorkshire and beyond.

“We are going through a period of major growth at the moment, recruiting more staff and expanding across the UK so having someone with Mat’s experience is a fantastic boost for the team.”

The cosmetic repairs division is recruiting for a number of staff in the North of England, and will be carrying out repairs across a range of sectors including residential, hotel, catering and corporate buildings.

On his new role, Mat said: “I’m delighted to be joining the team at SD Sealants this year, particularly as they are going through such an exciting period of growth. I’m Yorkshire born and bred, and so I’m thrilled that I can help to create job opportunities and drive business development in the area.

“Although I’ve been running my own company for the past few years, bringing an already well-established and organised business into Leeds is a fantastic opportunity and I’m really looking forward to the new challenge.”

Launched in 1973, SD Sealants and Cosmetic Repairs originated as a family run business in Somerset that specialised in the supply and application of sealant.

Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of the UK’s largest sealant and cosmetic repair companies, with nine offices across England, Scotland and Wales.

For more information on recruitment opportunities in Leeds, visit SD Sealants vacancies page

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 12 March 2018

5 awesome tech tools for successful construction companies

5 awesome tech tools for successful construction companies

Technology has its pros and cons — it can lead to role reductions but increase efficiency.

And although construction is one sector that might always require the human touch, it includes areas ripe for improvement through digital innovations.

With that in mind, here are five awesome tech tools for successful construction companies.

  1. Virtual Reality (VR)

Architects, designers and engineers have relied on flat 3D construction models for years to work out how their projects will look in real life.

But looking at a scale model of a bridge, shopping centre or office block on a desk or computer doesn’t enable an accurate assessment — which leads to expensive snags once building work is well underway.

VR is being adopted by specialist firms like Victaulic to solve this age-old problem. It allows staff to walk inside a built environment to see and feel whether their designs for mechanical piping and fire-protection systems are up to the job.

  1. Wearable tech

Wearable tech like exoskeleton suits and Augmented Reality (AR) goggles looks set to carve a foothold in the construction industry very soon.

And it should make sites safer for all workers, as well as increasing efficiency.

Exoskeletons will improve the power and precision of the human body, while protecting it from injuries.

And AR headsets from firms like Meta allow teams in different locations to collaborate on construction layouts in real-time — and quickly create prototypes for clients so that they see how their new home or business premises will look prior to physical construction.

  1. Automated HR

Making sure staff get paid on time, with the appropriate deductions and benefits, is fundamental to good business relations.

And construction firms who operate across different tax jurisdictions often employ expensive HR teams to cope with this admin-heavy and time-consuming task.

But outsourced payroll services can be less expensive and more accurate, so less time is spent correcting inaccuracies, and data analytics produce detailed reports allowing management to monitor useful metrics.

  1. Project management software

Pulling together all the work streams on a large civil engineering or architecture project and delivering results on time and to budget is no easy task.

Project management software can help to make the process more efficient at every stage by identifying problems early, reducing risks and using rich data to automatically generate high quality handover manuals for subcontractors and clients.

  1. Field productivity software

Large construction projects with tight timescales require regular detailed monitoring to stay on track.

And that entails daily field report being completed, collated and sent to management.

Field productivity software from niche firms like PlanGrid allows workers to fill out forms and reports on mobile devices onsite and upload them instantly so they’re easily found, analysed and shared.

This means project leads can report to clients regularly without a wasteful paper trail.

Invest in any of these five awesome tech tools for successful construction companies and impress every stakeholder involved in your next project.

Has your construction form adopted new technology recently? Share your story in the comments section.

from The UK Construction Blog

Friday, 9 March 2018

JCB creates 600 jobs to meet boom in global demand

UK plant giant JCB is hiring 600 production line staff over the next three months due to “unprecedented” global demand for its machines.

In addition to these shop floor jobs, JCB said it also had vacancies for more than 100 permanent employees in engineering and other staff professions at its World Headquarters in Rocester and sites across the UK.

The firm, which already employs 6,000 people in the UK, said it now had a very healthy order book and is taking on over 200 operatives immediately with a further 400 staff required within 12 weeks.

Worldwide growth in construction has brought record demand for many of the product lines manufactured at its Derbyshire plant at Foston, as well as its Staffordshire factories at Rocester, Cheadle and Rugeley.

JCB chief operating officer, Mark Turner said: “This is great news for the local economy and great news for anyone seeking to work with a globally successful business.

“We know the cities of Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and surrounding towns have people with the skills we need, and in return they can expect excellent rewards.

“We urgently need fabrication welding skills along with paint sprayers, and general assemblers who will be given full training.

“The opportunities are initially for agency employees, however we see them as long-term opportunities – in fact, in the first three months of 2018 we have given permanent contracts to 200 agency staff. That means over the past four years we have handed permanent contracts to 850 agency employees.

“The future is very bright for JCB as global demand for our machines continues to grow, which means great prospects for people who want to work with us.”

The new roles pay a minimum of £10.40 per hour for Monday to Friday working hours, with a premium paid for shift-work opportunities.

from The UK Construction Blog