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.

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. 

CSCS Cards: How to get a CSCS Gold Supervisors Card


Over 85% of UK construction sites require each worker to hold a relevant CSCS Card on site. For most people, the most important qualification you can have in the construction industry is a CSCS Card. But what are they for?

They do two, simple things:

They let you prove that you have the skills required to do your job properly.

They also give you the relevant Health, Safety and Environment knowledge you need to be safe at work.

I need a CSCS Gold Supervisor Card for me

If you need a Gold Supervisor card, the good news is the process is quite straightforward.

The first step towards a Gold Supervisor Card is getting a relevant qualification. 

This means you need a Construction Related Supervisory NVQ or SVQ level 3 or 4.

If you know you have this, that’s great you can go to the second step. If you do not, we can help you, please call 0800 130 3225.

The second step is to pass the Supervisors CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test.

The final step is to apply via the CSCS website, which will cost you £30. Once you have submitted the application and paid, CSCS will post your card the next working day.

Still not sure?

If you are an individual looking for help and advice on CSCS or CPCS cards please call 0800 130 3225.

I need a CSCS Gold Supervisory Card for employees

Gaining CSCS Gold Card for your employees is a very straightforward process.

The first step, you need to make sure they hold a Construction Related Supervisory NVQ or SVQ level 3 or 4.

If they do, that’s great you can go to the second step.

If not, we have construction related NVQ funding available for a number of trades in the construction industry. Speak to one of our NVQ advisors about this option on 01246 589 446.

The second step, check if your employees have passed the Supervisors CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test.

The final step is to fill in the CSCS Employer Application Form online. Each card will cost you £30. If you have a CITB account they will invoice you. If you do not CSCS will contact you to take payment over the telephone. 

Still unsure?

If you are a company looking to qualify your staff through the CSCS Card Scheme, please call Alex McClymont on 01246 589446 or e-mail alex.mcclymont@skillspeoplegroup.com

 

Speak to a helpful human at the end of a phone

CSCS cards can be quite confusing, we are here to help. It’s easier to explain what you need over the phone and let a friendly, experienced training advisor let you know the best steps to take.

If you are an individual looking for help and advice on CSCS or CPCS cards please call 0800 130 3225.

If you are a company looking to qualify your staff through the CSCS Card Scheme, please call Alex McClymont on 01246 589446 or e-mail alex.mcclymont@skillspeoplegroup.com

Raising money for Macmillan Cancer at the World’s Biggest #CoffeeMorning

Construction Skills People are delighted to have taken part in the World’s Biggest #CoffeeMorning to raise money for Macmillan Cancer

Macmillan Cancer’s #CoffeeMorning is an annual event which sees millions of pounds raised in support of its charity every year, with participants baking cakes and donating money. We had our very own #CoffeeMorning and members of our team baked some incredible cakes!

 

Qualifications Administrator, Lauren Round, who organised the event said:

“Macmillan Cancer is a personal charity to a lot of people so I wanted to help organise a coffee morning to give something back. Everyone in the office was very warm and receptive to the idea. Some excellent cakes have been brought it I half expected Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry to pop in!”

 

Group Commerical Director, Riyad Ibrahim, said:

Macmillan Cancer does a lot of great, important work providing care and support for those affected by cancer and I’m proud as a company we can do our part to help raise money. Plus, I do love a good Butterfly Bun.

 

Freshly baked by Emma Williams

CITB: The Health, Safety & Environment test is being changed, here’s why.

CITB’s Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) Test is essential in making sure the UK construction workforce has the right knowledge, skills and training. It helps raise the health, safety and environmental standards on-site. It supports the prevention of accidents and sets a consistent standard across the board. 

The CITB will be redeveloping the test and revision materials. They plan to phase this out over the next two years with support from representational industry groups.

In a recent press release, CITB have laid out their commitment to the industry with a key pledge to providing a HS&E test which continues to deliver against its purpose. Their “long-term continued development” will see an extensive test centre network, stable pricing, a helpful support/revision package and ongoing quality assurance to maintain test integrity. 

 

So, why is it being redeveloped?

To make sure it’s achieving its intended purpose – setting standards which help prevent accidents.

Keeping up with the times – changes in the industry, job roles and tasks will be reflected in this test to make it more relevant to the demands of the modern construction environment. 

A better understanding of how testing works will help develop better questions.

 

Which bits are changing?

New question types which contextualise and increase relevance  – January 2018

Updated support and revision materials – April 2018

New questions based on relevant construction activity, including alignment with HSE focus areas – June 2019

 

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.

Save lives and get a CSCS Blue Card with an NVQ Level 2 in Passive Fire Protection

Are you looking to undertake an NVQ in order to gain a Blue CSCS Card? A Level 2 NVQ in Passive Fire Protection could be for you. Perhaps you have a White CRO Card, if so this is the quick way to get a Blue CSCS Card.

How much does it cost?

 

Depending on your location, this may be available to you without costing you a penny. To find out if you are eligible, please call us on 0800 130 3225.

 

What is a Level 2 NVQ in Passive Fire Protection?

 

The Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Passive Fire Protection qualification has been developed for delivery in a working environment; this means you need to be employed to study this qualification. It has been designed to develop and recognise your skills, knowledge and competence so that you can work in Passive Fire Protection within the construction industry or progress onto further learning.

 

You will learn key practical skills and knowledge in these areas:

 

– Erecting and Dismantling Access/Working Platforms in the Workplace
– Conforming to General Health, Safety and Welfare in the Workplace
– Conforming to Productive Working Practises in the Workplace
– Moving, Handling and Storing Resources in the Workplace

 

You will also learn key practical skills and knowledge in two of the following optional units:

 

– Installing Dry Cladding in the Workplace
– Applying Intumescent Coatings in the Workplace
– Installing Fire Resisting Ductwork Systems in the Workplace
– Installing Cavity Barriers in the Workplace
– Erecting Fire Resisting Walls and Linings in the Workplace
– Erecting Fire Resisting Ceiling Systems in the Workplace
– Applying Non-reactive Spray Coatings in the Workplace
– Installing Fire Resisting Timber Doorsets in the Workplace
– Installing Fire Stopping in the Workplace

 

This NVQ qualification requires you – the learner – to demonstrate on-the-job, that you are competent in your work against a performance checklist. The person assessing you will be experienced and qualified to help you through the learning programme.

 

How to apply?

 

If this NVQ seems like the right fit for you or your employee, please give us a call to discuss your requirement and we can check whether we have funding available to deliver this at no cost to you get in touch.

Please call Alex McClymont on 01246 589446 or email alex.mcclymont@skillspeoplegroup.com

Alternatively, fill in the contact form below and we will call you back.

 

CSCS Cards: How to get a CSCS Black Managers Card

Over 85% of UK construction sites require each worker to hold a relevant CSCS Card on site. For most people, the most important qualification you can have in the construction industry is a 
CSCS Card. But what are they for?

They do two, simple things:

They let you prove that you have the skills required to do your job properly.

They also give you the relevant Health and Safety knowledge you need to be safe at work.

 

I need a CSCS Black Managers Card for me

 

If you need a Black Managers card, the good news is the process is quite straightforward.

 

The first step towards a Black Managers Card is getting a relevant qualification. 

This means you need a construction management related NVQ or SVQ level 5, 6 or 7.

Or, have a pre-existing NVQ level 4 in construction management.

If you know you have this, that’s great you can go to the second step. If you do not, we can help you, please call 0800 130 3225.

 

The second step in most cases is to do a CITB Managers and Professionals Health, Safety and Environment Test.

 

The final step is to apply via the CSCS website, which will cost you £30. Once you have submitted the application and paid, CSCS will post your card the next working day.

Still not sure?

If you are an individual looking for help and advice on CSCS or CPCS cards please call 0800 130 3225.

 

I need a CSCS Black Managers Card for employees

 

Gaining CSCS Black Card for your employees is a very straightforward process.

 

The first step, you need to make sure they hold a construction management related NVQ or SVQ level 5, 6 or 7, if they do not already hold a NVQ level 4 in construction management. 

If they do, that’s great you can go to the second step.

If not, we have construction related NVQ funding available for a number of trades in the construction industry. Speak to one of our NVQ advisors about this option on 01246 589 446.

 

The second step, check if your employees have done CITB Managers and Professionals Health, Safety and Environment Test.

The final step is to fill in the CSCS Employer Application Form online. Each card will cost you £30. If you have a CITB account they will invoice you. If you do not CSCS will contact you to take payment over the telephone. 

 

Still unsure?

If you are a company looking to qualify your staff through the CSCS Card Scheme, please call Alex McClymont on 01246 589446 or e-mail alex.mcclymont@skillspeoplegroup.com

 

Speak to a human at the end of a phone

 

CSCS cards can be quite confusing, we are here to help. It’s easier to explain what you need over the phone and let a friendly, experienced training advisor let you know the best steps to take.

If you are an individual looking for help and advice on CSCS or CPCS cards please call 0800 130 3225.

If you are a company looking to qualify your staff through the CSCS Card Scheme, please call Alex McClymont on 01246 589446 or e-mail alex.mcclymont@skillspeoplegroup.com