Administrative Apprentice to Accountant: Emily Woodhouse is the Sum of Success

Emily (left) pictured with workmate – and sister – Sophie, at the recent grand opening of our Head Office.

Construction Skills People are proud to announce another successful result of internal training with Emily Woodhouse, Assistant Accountant, gaining her CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting.

Emily started the qualification in September 2017 and completed it in January 2018, having already achieved her AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accountancy and Level 2 in Business Administration at the company.

Emily joined as a business administration apprentice and subsequently became one of just 30 apprentices from 13,000 nationwide nominations to be recognised as an Outstanding Apprentice at an awards ceremony held at the House of Lords.

In her day-to-day role, Emily is an assistant accountant supporting the Skills People Group and is now equipped with the knowledge which underpins her duties.

Emily Woodhouse, CIMA Cert BA:

“It has been interesting but also challenging at times. I had excellent support from my line managers who mentored me and shared their experience and knowledge. Further encouragement from directors really helped me too. I am very thankful and grateful for all of their support.

“If I could give advice to anyone looking to do something similar, it would be to do what you enjoy, follow your ambitions and join the club to prove not all accountants are boring!”

Richard Carrington, Managing Director:

“We are very proud of Emily and know she will continue to achieve within her career thanks to her hard-work and drive to succeed. Well done, Emily.”

Skills People Group offer employers a wide range of government-funded Apprenticeship Schemes which are recommended for logistics, retail, healthcare and service industries.
For more information, call us on 01246 589444.

Construction Skills People sponsored Under 11s team are in a league of their own

We spoke to Mark Roe who helps manage Dronfield AFC, an Under 11s Sunday League team sponsored by Construction Skills People about the team, current performance and what the future looks like.
 
Hi Mark, who makes up Dronfield AFC and how many players are in the squad?
 
Nearly all the boys are school friends in Dronfield. We have never held trials to recruit players. We have tried to keep the same squad from day one just adding to the group when the team has moved up from 5-a-side, to 7, and now 9-a-side games.
 
How would you describe the training style?
 
We try to teach football with the emphasis on fun, and it seems to be paying off.  All the boys get equal game time and we have rotated all positions since under 8’s.  This is the first season we have had the boys playing roughly the same position most weeks.
 
What league do the boys play in? 
 
We play in the Sheffield and District Junior Sunday League which is the biggest Junior league in Europe.  At the start of the season we expected to be mid-level of the 12 divisions (each has 10 teams), but due to how well we had played last year we were placed in division 3.
 
How are they performing at the minute?
 
So far we have played 9 league games –  won 7, 1 draw and 1 defeat, and had 4 cup weeks winning 3 and losing 1.  This has given us another promotion to the new league which starts in February.  The first part of the fixtures will determine where we finish the season, but the lowest we can finish is division 2 which is a tremendous achievement for us.
 
Personally, I think we will be massive underdogs for all games for the rest of the season and won’t be expected to win many.  However, it will all be a good learning curve and I think we may surprise a few teams.
 
Have the boys seen any interest from scouts?
 
We have had a few teams send scouts to see us this season which has been a first for us.  Following this we now have Freddie Harrison at Sheffield United development squad, Romano Goi at Sheffield Wednesday, plus Lucas Roe and Jake Cutts at Derby County.  Max Wright has trained at Derby and Chesterfield but wanted to just continue with Sunday league as he felt it was more enjoyable. 
 
Sheffield Wednesday have asked if they can monitor three of our players over the next few years, and Derby have asked if they can even attend our training sessions.  Harry Marsh was also picked out by Sheffield Wednesday as another player with great potential.
 
 
The second half of the season will be difficult for us without Matthew Stewart who was a key player for us.  He plays table tennis for Derbyshire and has been invited to train with Yorkshire at Cricket.  This was a chance he couldn’t turn down but unfortunately, it clashes with Sunday morning matches. We wish him well and hope to see him winning the Ashes for England one day!
 
What recent highlights can you tell us about?
 
Our recent highlight was playing in the Doncaster Rovers Friday Night Lights Tournament.  We played 6 games including 2 Coaching Academies, Frickley Athletic, and Chesterfield Academy.  We won 3, drew2 and lost 1.  We were arguably the best team in the competition and were unlucky not to beat Chesterfield though they scored a great equaliser 2 minutes from time. 
 

How to identify your training needs with a simple spreadsheet

This handy Traning Needs Analysis template for Excel helps you get a better insight into the training and skills levels with your organisation

A Training Needs Analysis has a variety of uses from supporting gap analysis between required and actual knowledge levels and also tracking competency levels. When used as a visual management tool, the matrix can identify, at a glance, individual skill levels and weaknesses within the department.

We have compiled a simple template for construction employers to create their own training matrix. The document itself will need to be tailored slightly to suit your company.

Download our template HERE.

 

Creating a Training Needs Analysis

 

Here’s our guide to producing a training needs analysis template using Excel.

This Training Matrix covers three key areas within training:-

 

Health & Safety Training

Management Training

General Training

 

User’s Guide

 

To identify the training needs of your employees:

 

Mark the box with a red bold ‘X

When training has been completed we would recommend you change this to a green tick ‘

Insert the date training was completed (to identify refresher training)

 

Construction Skills People are dedicated to delivering training solutions to meet your every need. We have training centres available nationwide and where it’s convenient we can also deliver courses on-site. For more information about any of our courses or to discuss your specific training needs, please call us on 0800 130 3225.

What type of extinguisher would you use on an electrical fire? 40% of people don’t know!

Fire Extinguishers

 

Do you know what type of fire extinguisher would be best suited to an electrical fire? Nearly 40% of construction workers have no idea!

 

A survey of construction workers recently commissioned by Bull Products has revealed that the wrong type of fire extinguishers is being used, revealing that 10% of workers would use a foam extinguisher to stop an electrical fire.

The foam extinguishers should be used on paper, wood, cloth, or plastic fires, as well as flammable liquids like paraffin, petrol and oil. 27% revealed they would use an ABC powder extinguisher, used for Class A, B, C fires: solids, flammable liquids and flammable gases, respectively.

Both these extinguishers are dangerous in small, confined spaces as they pose a risk of powder inhalation. Both Power and Foam extinguishers might cause further damage where the appropriate extinguisher would not. 

 

Bradley Markham, director at Bull Products, which specialises in developing life safety equipment for the industry said:

Each year, there are 40,000 fires in the workplace, which can put the lives of workers at risk but using the wrong type of fire extinguisher can also have major consequences. Not only can it maximise the spread of a fire, it can cause major damage to a site and equipment, thus costing companies millions of pounds to repair the damage.

On an electrical fire, a C02 fire extinguisher is the safest option as it leaves no residue and is an ideal solution for extinguishing fires involving electrical appliances as it does not cause damage to the site.

Using the correct fire safety equipment is of utmost importance, and it’s crucial that health and safety managers train workers so that everyone on site is aware and understand what type of fire extinguishers to use and in what situation.

 

8% of managers, supervisors and health and safety managers/officers do not know which fire extinguisher should be used, a further 7% did not understand the universal colour-coding system!

 

We offer Fire Safety Courses, required by the Fire Safety Order 2005 which states that by law construction sites must have a person responsible for general fire safety practices. This could be a Fire Safety course, or a Fire warden / marshal course with extinguishers. Call us on 0800 160 1722 for more information on workplace safety courses.

 

Raising money for Save The Children on National Christmas Jumper Day

National Christmas Jumper Day
If you have spent more than 15 minutes in our offices over the last few weeks, you will realise we are big fans of Christmas. Any excuse to listen to The Pogue’s Fairytale of New York, bring in homemade mince pies or embarrass each other with Secret Santa, we are there. 

When the idea of taking part in National Christmas Jumper Day for charity was floated in the office the excitement grew to record levels. All but a handful of Grinch-like team members with garlic in their soul, who claimed they wouldn’t touch the idea with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole.

We raised over £200 which was donated to Save The Children, a great charity which helps protect children and their rights, globally. A unanimous choice by all team members, recognising the incredible work they do helping exploited and poverty-stricken children. 

 

Director Stuart Anderson said:

“I’m very proud of all the team members who took part in this charitable and fun day but I think I have seen enough Christmas jumpers for at least another 365 days!”

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from your friends at Construction Skills People.

Construction Skills People are the country’s largest provider of commercial and Government funded training to the UK’s construction sector.

During the past 12 months we have managed the delivery of qualifications or commercial training courses to over 20,000 individuals demonstrating we have the infrastructure and expertise required to deliver your training requirements.

Industry body warns skills shortage impacting construction industry

A shortage of surveyors, bricklayers and other construction workers is holding back building work at a critical time when the country needs more houses and infrastructure, with the government greenlighting increased housebuilding across the UK.

The Royal Institue of Chartered Surveyors has reported that two-thirds of surveyors said a lack of skilled workers is a principal factor affecting building activity in the UK. Over 62% of those surveys reported problems with recruitment in the third quarter of the year.

This marks one of the highest scores ever recorded and the highest reported in the last two years. Over the previous five years of the survey, on average only 40% reported a lack of skilled workers. The increase from 40-62% is serious indication the skills shortage is worsening.

Jeffrey Matsu, RICS’s senior economist said:

“While activity in the sector has moderated, growth and growth expectations remain in positive territory, uncertainties due to Brexit continue to weigh on companies’ investment and hiring decisions, and banks appear to be adopting a more cautious stance to providing finance. Meanwhile, challenges related to an inadequate supply of skilled labour are as pronounced as ever.”

Employers are looking at taking on construction apprentices to bolster their workforce and develop a pipeline of highly-skilled workers. We have compiled a guide for employers and apprenticeships. If you would like to speak to someone about apprenticeships, please call Jess Crerar on 07956 792 054 or 01246 589 444

What is the future of the CITB? Here’s what you need to know.

Recently the Construction Industry Training Board faced it’s triennial consensus vote: an industry poll deciding whether or not it should be allowed to continue to collect the levy which is redistributed to aid training across the sector. 

The outcome was in favour of allowing the CITB to continue, but many voices in the industry have called for reform. In addition to this, a governmental review of the CITB has outlined the major reforms it is required to implement quickly to be fit for purpose moving forward. 

Chief Executive of CITB, Sarah Beale, has been vocal about their commitment to change with the CITB publishing their Future CITB: Vision 2020, detailing the reform plans. She says:

“Construction needs to modernise and CITB is no exception. We accept the challenges laid down by industry and government and we will deliver a future-fit training body by adapting and updating our business model.”

 

So, what’s going to change with the CITB?

 

CSCS  / CPCS Cards: The Construction Skills Certification Scheme and the Construction Plant Competency Scheme will no longer be administered by the CITB, instead, these operations will be privatised. 

Goodbye National Construction College: CITB are ceasing to operate the National Construction College, it is not yet known whether this means it either faces sale or closure.

Skills shortage: The government is insisting that the CITB, should keep a better eye on the “on current and future skills supply and demand” and then “find ways to shape and influence demand for and supply of training.”

Hold colleges to account: Not only this, but it should “help the industry to be an ‘intelligent customer’ for the publicly funded skills sector, challenging and holding colleges and others to account if they are not providing the training that the industry needs.” 

Work placements: More will be done to help identify the barriers and find ways to overcome them, including for small employers, and to consider good practice in making sure that students get the most out of their placements.

Attracting people to construction: The CITB will co-ordinate industry action to attract people into construction, taking account of the Government’s forthcoming careers strategy. As well as progression, they will look at retention to make sure people stay in the industry once introduced. 

Meet the challenges of the modern workplace: More will be done to identify the new to train people for modern construction methods and materials to ensure the industry-wide workforce is able to stay-up-to-date with advances in technologies. 

We spoke to one our apprentices about her time with the company

At Construction Skills People we passionately believe in helping people gain skills which will help them to further their career goals and aspirations. Since starting we have made use of apprenticeship programmes to help introduce new members into our workforce allowing them to earn while they learn.  

We asked Nicola a few questions about her apprenticeship with us at Construction Skills People, what her role within the company is now and if she would recommend an apprenticeship to others to enter the competitive modern-day workplace. 

Hello Nicola, what is your role at Construction Skills People?

My current role at CSP is a Key Accounts Administrator, I help and support the Key Account Managers of the business with whatever queries they might have. 

When did you start your apprenticeships with us?

I have completed 2 apprenticeships whilst at CSP.

When I started at CSP I was signed up for my L2 NVQ in Business Administration in November 2013 which I completed in November 2014.

I then went on to do my L3 NVQ in Business Administration which I started in December 2015 and completed this year, 2017, in June.

What motivated your decision to start an apprenticeship?

My motivation to start an apprenticeship was the fact it was a kick start to my career as I was able to work and earn a wage whilst learning the skills and gaining the qualifications that employers want.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to friends or young people who are looking to enter the working world? 

Yes definitely, already recommended several times to friends and family. My sister has actually been signed up for an apprenticeship which I recommended to her. 

What have been your highlights of the apprenticeship?

 The highlights of my apprenticeship have been learning new skills, learning to work as a team, as an individual and many more. But, most importantly having started my apprenticeship/s from leaving school working at CSP has shaped me into the person I am today.

 

We work closely with employers to make sure that the content of our courses reflects the requirements of today’s workplaces and as such any candidate embarking on one of our programmes can be sure that their learning experience will be relevant and enhance their opportunities to work and progress in the sector of their choice.

Please Contact Jess Crerar for information on 07956 792054 or 01246 589444

We are the winners of the British Gypsum Trophy 2017 for our drylining training

The Plaisterers’ Training Awards recognise the highest standards of achievement in training and education within the UK plastering trade with an annual ceremony. This year we were delighted to be recognised for our drylining training with the British Gypsum Trophy. 

Company Director Stuart Anderson said:

“Receiving this award is great recognition for CSP’s army of assessors who are out on construction sites up and down the country, supporting the upskilling of not only the Interior Systems but also the Construction sector as a whole. From Piling to Passive Fire Protection or Bricklaying to Bituminous Paving Machines, we have the delivery team & expertise to keep employers CSCS & CPCS compliant.”

We have funding for Level 2 NVQS in dry lining and many other trades which enable construction workers to apply for a Blue CSCS Card. You can find all the Level 2 NVQs for Blue Cards here, if you would like to speak to someone regarding training please call Alex on 0800 130 3225.

 

Case Study: Renovations at the Natural History Museum with Blakedown Developments

We caught up with Blakedown who are currently upgrading infrastructure at the Natural History Museum, to speak to them about their current project and how funding accessed from the Skills Support for the Workforce programme has helped develop their workforce.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3BZw7wxrBA

It’s a Thursday morning in September and we arrive on site at the Natural History Museum. Blakedown Developments are currently working on repaving and landscaping to provide a better view for the public with an estimated completion for 2018.

The building is 136 years old, a striking example of Romanesque architecture and possibly one of Britain’s most iconic landmarks. It’s a very intricate and highly-skilled job working with stone at this very famous British institution. 

With over 45 years experience Blakedown Environment & Leisure is a multi-awarding-winning landscaping and civil engineering company which operates throughout the UK. Theirs is a team of highly skilled in-house experts reflecting Blakedown’s commitment to training their workforce.

Construction Skills People helped Blakedown train their workers, taking advantage of the Skills Support for the Workforce programme with Serco. We identified the need for their existing workers to be trained on additional categories of plant equipment such as Forward-tipping dumpers and Excavators. 

Janine Richards, Blakedown Group HSQE Manager

 

Upon arrival, we are greeted by Janine Richards, Group HSQE Manager for Blakedown. Janine shows us around the site, talking us through the job and generally marvelling at this incredible building.

We talk about the varied nature of training required for a project of this level and her experience of with Construction Skills People in partnership with Serco.

 

How did you find out about the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) programme?

Riyad, our contract at Construction Skills People informed us they had partnered with Serco, which allowed them to access from funding from the European Social Fund to upskills our workforce and we moved from there.

How have you used the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) programme to benefit your company?

There was a need within the business to upskill existing staff with additional categories of construction plant equipment such as Excavators and Forward-tipping dumpers. By making use of SSW with Construction Skills People as a training provider we were able to fulfil our training needs at no cost to our company.

Did you find there was a lot of paperwork or administrative effort to access the funding?

Not really – as part of the programme Riyad carried out a training needs analysis which identified exactly what our requirements were and produced a roadmap to get us to where we needed to be. Riayd also helped up complete the documentation required. 

As a HSQE Manager having used the Skills Support for the Workforce programme, would you recommend other companies use the funding which is available?

Absolutely, it’s a no-brainer. As a Health and Safety manager, it’s important our lads are fully trained and competent for the work they are doing. It’s great that we can get this training to make sure they are able to do the jobs we need them to do.  All the training takes place on site which is great and it’s fully-funded, what’s not to like? I would definitely recommend it to anybody.

Dave O’Brien, Site Supervisor

Dave is one of the site workers who has risen through the ranks to a Supervisor, in the past working in the machines but now taking on more responsibility managing and instruction workers and overseeing projects through to completion.

He tells us that’s a big job and being the first thing the public will see as they approach the building it’s essential everything is perfect. We ask Joe what his experience with Construction Skills People and the training he’s received and how it’s helped him develop and progress within the company.

 

What training did you receive from Construction Skills People?

I was trained on how to drive an operate a 360 Excavator working for Blakedown.

How has it helped you in your job?

All this training has bumped me up really to be a Supervisor. I’m not in the machines now because of the training I received to get to where I am today. Other people have to be on the machines, I have to set out drawings and jobs. 

The training itself, what was your experience?

Yes, the training was very good. The trainers that I’ve had were very good. They explained everything, maybe I’m a good learner but I don’t know!

 

The Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a new government training programme tailored to the needs of businesses. Serco is delivering this programme with Construction Skills People in areas across the UK. The training is designed to meet skills gaps within local businesses, with a focus on the LEPs’ priority sectors to help boost the local economy in each area.

If you want to find out whether your company can also benefit from funding to help develop your workforce, please call Riyad Ibrahim on 01246 589444.