Page 43

Leicestershire BUILDER Magazine • APRIL 2018 •


Drop in apprenticeship starts shows need to reform levy, says FMB APPRENTICESHIP starts have decreased by a more than third in November 2017 compared with November 2016, highlighting the need to reform the apprenticeship levy system, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). Commenting on the Department for Education’s apprenticeship and levy statistics for November 2017, published in February, Brian Berry Chief Executive of the FMB said: “The disappointing results show a 35% drop in apprenticeship starts in November 2017. These are not finalised figures, but even allowing for a certain degree of change, this looks like a clear downward turn in new apprenticeships. Unfortunately, this is not altogether surprising given the intrinsic flaws in how the apprenticeship levy works. The lack of flexibility in the value of vouchers which large employers are able to pass down the supply chain to smaller subcontractors who work for them is a key issue. At present only 10% of vouchers are able to be passed down, however larger construction firms do not tend to directly employ large numbers of on-site tradespeople. This means that there is a real danger that these vouchers are not being spent on training the key skills that the industry so desperately needs.” Berry concluded: “In the long term, the only way we will be able to address the chronic skills crisis that is impacting the whole sector is by recruiting and training more new entrants. It is imperative that we make moves to iron out the flaws in the apprentice levy, given that more than two-thirds of small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) in construction are facing difficulties hiring bricklayers. This has increased by nearly 10% in just three months which demonstrates the swift worsening of an already dismal situation. What’s more, with the UK set to leave the EU in just over a year’s time, and our access to EU workers in doubt, the next few years will bring extraordinary challenges to the construction industry. It’s only through close collaboration between the Government and the construction sector that we will be able to overcome issues such as the skills crisis.”


Breedon Group plc Annual Results 2017 BREEDON GROUP, the UK’s leading independent construction materials group, announces its audited annual results for the year ended 31 December 2017. 2017 2016 Change Revenue £652.4 million £454.7 million +43% Underlying EBIT† £80.4 million £59.6 million +35% Profit before taxation £71.2 million £46.8 million +52% Underlying basic EPS† 4.14 pence 3.49 pence +19% Net debt £109.8 million £159.3 million -31% † Underlying results are stated before acquisition-related expenses, redundancy and reorganisation costs, property items, amortisation of acquisition intangibles and related tax items. References to an underlying profit measure throughout this announcement are defined on this basis. • • •

16.0 million tonnes of aggregates sold (2016: 11.4 million tonnes) 1.9 million tonnes of asphalt sold (2016: 1.9 million tonnes) 3.3 million cubic metres of ready-mixed concrete sold (2016: 1.9 million cubic metres)

A year of solid progress, with improved performances from all three divisions Strong organic earnings growth, supplemented by contributions from acquisitions Significant investment in mineral assets, capacity and operational improvements Two bolt-on acquisitions completed Planned acquisition of Tarmac quarry and asphalt assets announced Following full integration of 2016 Hope acquisition, growth platform strengthened, with significant scale, national reach and vertical integration Further 25 per cent reduction in Employee Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) to 1.41

Highlights • • • • •

Peter Tom CBE, Executive Chairman, commented: “2017 was one of the most productive years in our history. We completed the integration of our largest-ever acquisition, concluded two bolt-on purchases and announced an important transaction with Tarmac that, subject to approval by the competition authorities, will see us streamline our ready-mixed concrete network in exchange for a substantial new reserve of minerals and a strategically valuable asphalt plant. This did not, however, distract us from our operational focus and we once again delivered a solid financial performance. “Our business is in great shape and we are well positioned to benefit from the medium-term growth in residential and infrastructure development, to which the majority of our material is supplied. “We look to 2018 and beyond with confidence and optimism.”

I’ve just sent ages waxing my car. I’m still not sure how it gets that hairy.

April 2018 leicestershire builder online  
April 2018 leicestershire builder online