North West Regional Construction Awards 2018 winners announced

The construction industry in the North West celebrated the achievements of the region’s best projects, organisations and individuals last week at a glittering event attended by 415 guests in Manchester.

Marking the 12th annual North West Construction awards, a ceremony and dinner was hosted by the University of Salford, The Centre for Construction Innovation and Constructing Excellence at the Principal Hotel on July 6th.

A total of 18 awards were given out over the duration of the evening for outstanding examples in categories such as health, safety & wellbeing, and offsite construction.

Head judge Professor Peter McDermott from the University of Salford said: “The judges were faced with a difficult task this year, given the incredibly high standard of submissions. It is a privilege to witness how the sector in the North West is responding to both the challenges of the market place and a changing policy environment.

Winners from certain categories will now be put forward for the Constructing Excellence National Final, which will take place later in the year.

The awards are hosted by the School of the Built Environment at the University of Salford, Constructing Excellence North West and the Centre for Construction Innovation.

Some of winners included:

Health, Safety & Wellbeing Award

Winner: Safety First and Foremost, NG Bailey

People Development Award

Winner: Manchester & Cheshire Construction Co

SME of the Year

Winner: Lowbury Construction

Highly commended: MBC Building Contractors NW

200 mile bike ride delivers funding boost for Nottingham Breast Institute

Last weekend saw a group of amateur cyclists take on a 19 hour, 200 mile bike ride from Edinburgh to Newcastle to raise valuable funds for the Nottingham Breast Institute.

Taking part in the gruelling challenge was our own Construction Skills People’s (CSP’s) Group Operations Director, Amanda Warham, who joined more than 40 other cyclists – raising a combined £50,000 which will go towards purchasing a new mammography machine.

It was the group’s second mission, following a ‘Coast to Coast’ encounter in 2012 which saw them raise just over £100,000 for the cause.

Amanda Warham said: “We are not professional cyclists, so 200 miles from Edinburgh to Newcastle in three days was a huge challenge – especially trying to fit the training in around jobs, children and other commitments.

“It’s a great cause though, and thanks to family and friends whose support meant we are able to complete the ride.”

The £1,100 total raised by Amanda is being matched by Construction Skills People (CSP) – taking her total to £2200.

The Nottingham Breast Institute provides all outpatient services for those requiring diagnosis or receiving treatment in the Nottingham area. Approximately 35,000 patients will visit the Breast Institute every year.

Construction Skills People CEO, Adrian Woodhouse, said: “This is a commendable goal for a very worthwhile cause, and so we’re incredibly proud of Amanda taking on this daunting challenge. We’re delighted to be able to further bolster the funds raised by this determined team.”

Donations to the casue can be made via the fundraising page:

APPG to make recommendations on how to reduce injuries caused by falls from height

The All Party Parliamentary Group for ‘Working at Height’ has launched an investigation into the root causes of incidents in a bid to drive down the number of serious injuries and fatalities that occur annually.

As part of a consultation that closed in March of this year, industry members were asked a series of questions including what more could be done to share good practice, whether there are any measures that are considered necessary but not required by law, and whether they had any comments with regards existing regulations.

Over 60 responses were received from relevant organisations, including leading international infrastructure group Balfour Beatty.

The committee, which is Chaired by Scottish National Party member Alison Thewliss, are now awaiting a report outlining the findings, following which it will ‘seek to propose effective, sensible measures’ to reduce the toll and ‘send people safely home from work’.

According to the APPG’s website, falls from height and falling objects from height account for the highest number of preventable fatalities and injuries across all sectors in UK industry.

The group, which was established in late 2017 and has members spanning all of the key parties – including Labour’s Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough MP Gill Furniss, and Conservative MP for Torbay, Kevin Foster – held its first oral session in March of this year.

During the meeting the committee heard from motivational speaker and falls survivor Jason Anker who was paralysed from the waist down due to an avoidable incident on a construction site in 1993 when he was just 24 years old.

Stuart Anderson of Construction Skills People said: “We welcome any and all efforts to drive down the number of serious injuries and fatalities caused by falls from height.

“The devastating, and often avoidable consequences of such incidents cannot be ignored, and we look forward to reading the findings of this initial investigation and to hearing what measures for prevention the APPG members are going to put forward.”

Construction Skills People partners with Help for Heroes to provide vocational training


The international charity Help for Heroes has joined forces with Wiltshire Wild Life trust to provided qualifications to veterans who have been injured in conflict.

The vocational training, which is run by national training provider Construction Skills People, takes place at Tedworth House in Tidworth, Wiltshire, a recovery centre available to all wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel, Veterans and their loved ones.

As part of a recent qualification in excavation the Veterans were given practical, hands-on training creating a new wildlife pond, and a new woodland camp construction in the Tedworth House grounds.

Such training is extremely valuable in supporting and increasingly the employability of the veterans. Unemployment is a significant issue for ex-military personnel; indeed, a 2014 study found that veterans are nearly twice as likely to be unemployed than civilians, with 8% of ex-military personnel found unemployed.

Construction Skills People are the country’s largest provider of commercial and Government funded training to the UK’s construction sector. The qualifications they offer the veterans gives them the skills to continue into employment, and readjust to life outside the army.

Construction Skills People are dedicated to delivering training solutions, with training centres available nationwide. However, it is their ability to deliver courses onsite, where it is convenient, which allowed them to take on the opportunity to partner with Help for Heroes, and offer training courses at Tedworth House Recover Centre.

For further information regarding the training courses Construction Skills People offer, and which of these courses may be relevant to you, visit:

CSP urges construction companies to review staff skill requirements after operator injured

Construction Skills People, a leading provider of vocational qualifications and commercial training courses specifically for the construction sector, has urged businesses operating within the industry to regularly review the skill requirements of their staff to ensure they are health and safety compliant.

The call to action comes just weeks after a Sussex-based building contractor was fined more than £26k and ordered to pay costs of £3,659 after pleading guilty to safety breaches that led to the serious injury of one of its operators.  

In a hearing last month, Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard how a dumper tipped over the edge of an embankment and landed upside down, trapping the operator and causing fractures to his right thigh, hip socket and vertebrae.

According to media reports, an HSE investigation into the incident found that the company had failed to provide the operator with appropriate training, and that the site manager had not been provided with suitable training for managing a site, or to ensure that those operating under him were doing so safely.

Stuart Anderson of Construction Skills People, said: “It is always concerning to hear that a member of the construction community has been injured, especially when an investigation reveals that the correct training had not been carried out that could potentially have prevented the incident from occurring in the first place.

“Not only does relevant training make staff more confident and capable, as well as contractors better placed to win business, but it also increases the safety and well-being of their staff which of course is a core priority for all.”

Construction Skills People offers training nationwide at its multiple training centres and on site. For further information regarding what training courses may be relevant to you, visit:

Government allocates £400 million to replace dangerous Grenfell-style cladding from tower blocks


The Prime Minister has just pledged £400 million to remove Grenfell-style cladding from high-rises across the UK. The question of who would pay to strip the potentially dangerous cladding from these tower blocks has been debated for months.

Since the fire on June 14th of last year, over 1,250 public sector high-rise buildings have been surveyed by fire services to determine whether their cladding puts them at the same risk as the Grenfell tower. 158 of these tower block have been found to have cladding that requires replacement, and work has begun on 104 of them.

Further work is needed on privately owned tower-blocks, adding to the scale of the problem. However, such buildings will not receive funding from the government, and so it is unclear when work in this sector will commence.

The recladding of 158 tower blocks is set to be a huge project for the construction sector to take on. It will require a vast amount of workers, all of whom will be required to demonstrate that they are competent and fully trained to carry out the cladding installation work.

Companies wishing to tender for this work will be better placed to win business by being able to prove their staff have relevant Level 2 NVQ qualification in Cladding Occupations and the Blue CSCS Skilled Worker Card in Cladding Occupations.

Further information regarding such qualifications can be found here:

Ashgate Hospicecare receives £600 funding boost thanks to support from four-legged friends

Ashgate Hospicecare has received a £600 funding boost thanks to the efforts of Chesterfield-based training advisor Emma Stanyard and her four-legged friends Finley and Ralph.

The trio braved the unpredictable elements to take part in the charity’s Woofs and Wellies sponsored walk around the scenic Linacre Reservoirs, raising an impressive £300.50 which was then matched by her employer and local construction training provider, Construction Skills People (CSP). 

CSP announced Ashgate Hospicecare as its charity of the year back in January when it committed to double any funds raised by employees for the cause which provides specialist palliative and end-of-life care to patients across north Derbyshire and the High Peak and Dales.

The latest fundraising efforts will go towards helping to deliver services free of charge to patients with any life limiting illness, and extended support to patients’ families.

Construction Skills People Client Services Director, Stuart Anderson, said: “This is a fantastic amount raised for a very worthwhile cause, and so we’re really proud of Emma for donning her wellies and braving the elements to take on the challenge.

“This latest fundraising initiative takes our total raised for the year to £850 and are looking forward to further bolstering that figure in the coming months.”

Established in 2008, CSP is the leading provider of vocational construction qualifications and training courses across the UK.

To date it has raised a total of £850 for Ashgate by taking part in sponsored walks and bake sales. The next challenge scheduled will see employees participate in the charity’s Sparkle Night Walk which is taking place in July.

Jack Wood, Events Manager at Ashgate Hospicecare, said: “As the demand for our services grow so does the need for funding, and so we are thrilled to have been chosen as Construction Skills People’s charity of the year. As a charity the fundraising and support that businesses provide through events such as this is absolutely vital to ensure that we can continue to support the people in our care.

“The partnership will have a huge impact for Ashgate Hospicecare, enabling us to support more families who have a relative with a life threatening or terminal illness.”

Funding boost provides access to training for Gloucestershire-based construction workers

An NVQ Level 2 in Passive Fire Protection is a route to getting a Blue CSCS CardLeading construction training provider Construction Skills People has received funding that will enable access to vital industry qualifications for more than 200 Gloucestershire-based construction workers and civil engineers.

The fully funded training is available to companies looking to put their staff through a construction related Level 2 NVQ Qualification, leading to CSCS or CPCS cards for successful participants.

According to the company the emphasis of the training programme will focus on promoting environmentally friendly and sustainable contruction processes and techniques.

Widely regarded as the leading skills certification schemes within the UK construction industry, the CSCS & CPCS card schemes provide assurances that card holders have the required levels of competency to carry out their work on site.

Construction Skills People, which has access to both UK and European Government funding allowing it to deliver more construction related NVQs than any other training provider in the UK, is now calling on local construction contractors to reach out to register their interest.

Andy Sheppard, Funding and Levy Manager at Construction Skills People, said: “Environmental considerations need to be taken very seriously on a construction site in order to minimise the impact on the local environment and to reduce waste and costs.

“The funded training is available immediately but is limited to 200 applicants, so we are inviting local companies to register their interest soonest.”

If you are a Gloucestershire company looking to qualify your staff through the CSCS/CPCS Card Scheme, please contact Kadie or Rebecca at Construction Skills People on 01246 589444 Ext 715 or 607.


Construction Skills People Supports International Workers’ Memorial Day

With the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics for 2016/17 showing that 137 workers were killed at work, and that 1.3 million working people are currently suffering from a work-related illness, International Workers’ Memorial Day 2018 has once again put workplace safety under the spotlight.

The annual event brings people from all over the world together to remember those who have been killed and injured at work, and carries the slogan “remember the dead – fight for the living” – acting as a reminder to all about the importance of continuous improvement in health and safety standards in the workplace.

According to estimates produced by the HSE, in addition to the 137 workplace deaths there were also 609,000 injuries that occurred at work; including people falling from a height and being hit by a moving object.

This year’s day of remembrance will focus on the difference that unions make in preventing deaths in the workplace and will also be celebrating 40 years of union health and safety representatives, according to the Trades Union Congress.

Construction Skills People are a CITB Approved Training Organisation (ATO)

Construction Skills People are pleased to announce our status as a CITB Approved Training Organisation (ATO). An ATO is an organisation which provides construction training courses and qualifications to a defined and industry-agreed training standard.

This development has resulted from CITB’s commitment to helping support training within the construction industry, and by recognising reputable training providers in this way hopes to cement high standards of training. 

What are the new services?

Construction Training Directory

A searchable online directory of construction training courses, tests and qualifications delivered by Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) to defined training standards that have been developed with input from industry.

Employers can choose a provider based on location, price and timing, making it easy to select a course that best meets their needs.

Construction Training Register

An online register that holds individuals’ transferable, construction training courses and qualifications achievements. Over time, it will build a comprehensive picture of skills training across Great Britain.

Employers will be able to check the skills and competence of their workforce and new recruits, helping to confirm they have the right skills and improve productivity.

Approved Training Organisations (ATOs)

An organisation delivering construction training courses and qualifications to a defined training standard, who have successfully completed the CITB approval process.

These could include commercial training providers, in-house training departments, and educational establishments.

Automated grant payments

On successful completion of a course, an Approved Training Organisation (ATO) will confirm the learner’s achievement, upload the details onto the Construction Training Register, thereby triggering the automated grant process.

This will speed up the payment process and remove the need for employers to complete paperwork.