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Contents April 2019
Schoolchildren bury time capsule for new Curo affordable homes
Construction output rises despite Brexit uncertainty, says FMB
Women In the Spotlight working in construction
Exclusive Interview with Deborah Rowe
Victoria Brambini takes top role at Perfect Circle
Women in Construction - Q & A with Emily Burridge
Rebecca De Cicco, Founder and Director of Digital Node, talks to Women in Construction UK Magazine
Legal Advice Column with Rebecca Palmer
Women into Construction Changing the face of Construction
Women in Construction UK speaks to Alisha Petts
Women build new perception of roles in the construction industry
Plans submitted for Feltham Magistratesâ€™ Court development
Government backs ACE Future of Consultancy campaign
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Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 03
Latest News Schoolchildren bury time capsule in Midsomer Norton to mark start of construction of new Curo affordable homes Pupils from Somervale School today buried a time capsule on the site of a new development delivered by Curo and contractor E G Carter. The time capsule was buried as part of a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of construction works at St Chads Green in Midsomer Norton, where 16 new affordable homes will be built by the end of the year. Children were invited to provide items for the time capsule, which will remain underground for at least 30 years. Among the things they buried were a signed uniform tie in their school colours, pictures, letters describing life in 2019, their predictions for the future and a copy of Midsomer Norton Life magazine. The new homes represent an investment by Curo of almost £2m and are being delivered in partnership with Homes England, who provided funding of £480,000 and Bath & North East Somerset, who have awarded a further £200,000 grant. The development includes a mix of 15 houses with two, three and four bedrooms and a one-bedroom apartment. Four of the new homes will be available to buy via Shared Ownership, while the other 12 will be let at affordable rents to local people currently on the local authority’s housing waiting list.
Curo Chief Executive, Victor da Cunha, says: “We’re very excited to start building works with contractor EG Carter today at our new affordable development, where more local families will soon benefit from a secure, long-term home. Regeneration projects like this give us the opportunity to create high-quality affordable homes in key areas of towns and cities and we look forward to welcoming the new residents at St Chads Green later this year.” The 16 new family homes are replacing a former sheltered accommodation scheme of 23 flats, increasing the number of people to be housed at St Chads Green by 33 and responding to the greatest pressures on the housing list – which show that the highest demand for affordable housing in the local area is for family homes. Bath & North East Somerset Council cabinet member for Economic and Community Regeneration, Councillor Paul
Myers said: “As mayor of Midsomer Norton I am especially pleased to see this development break ground. Midsomer Norton is a great place to live and it’s fantastic that Curo, with support from the local authority and central government, are delivering a 100% affordable housing scheme here. “This development will make a big difference to the local families who will move in at the end of the year, as they’ll be able to put down roots in a brand-new, modern and efficient home in an area they love.” Joanna Postlethwaite, Headteacher of Somervale School, said: “The children were delighted to get involved in the event today and worked hard to put together a selection of items for the time capsule that will provide an historic snapshot of our school and town. We’re very pleased that 16 new families will get the chance to move to this great area soon and look forward to welcoming their children to our school.”
Engineering sector’s astonishing gender pay gap Research conducted by one of the UK’s largest accountants has revealed that men in engineering earn up to 30% more than women in the same roles. Hemel Hempstead-based SJD accountants has analysed salaries of both male and females in the sector revealing some astonishing figures. According to the analysis females with job titles such as mechanical engineer or maintenance engineer earn almost a third
less than males with the same occupation. Derek Kelly, CEO of Optionis which owns SJD Accountancy said: “The gender pay gap has been a topic of increasing conversation, putting the difference in salary into real terms has been shocking. This information now highlights the genuine impact that this can have not only on employees but their families and longterm prospects.” The gender pay gap has been an
04 Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019
increasingly important and developing conversation for a number of years within the media and government. Increasing pressure has been put on businesses to disclose their gender pay gaps and redress the balance to aim for more equal pay. The survey by SJD Accountancy saw more than a 1,000 contractors questioned, and data gathered on their salaries to create a better picture of which sectors are closing the gap and which are still struggling to find parity.
Workplace wellbeing – is it working? Employee wellbeing is being compromised by a lack of understanding of how to implement effective programmes, reveals the latest research from the British Safety Council Only one in six (17 per cent) organisations evaluate the impact of their health and wellbeing initiatives (source: CIPD). In nearly two thirds of companies (63 per cent), other priorities take precedence over employees’ wellbeing (source: Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey). 28% of SME leaders think their companies are too small to take employee health and wellbeing seriously. A third (32%) of them thought health and wellbeing was the domain of large businesses (source: Bupa 2015 survey). The main reasons for this situation are the difficulties of defining wellbeing, selecting the best tools for assessing wellbeing programmes and measuring the
Too often, unlike the highly professional approach applied to risk assessment and risk control, wellbeing efforts have been marked by a combination of real enthusiasm and commitment married to a woeful ignorance of what will make a difference. This positivity could dissipate into incoherent programmes of free bananas and occasional ‘health weeks’, featuring Indian head massage and aromatherapy.
The Wellbeing at work report represents the British Safety Council’s contribution to establishing rigorous, evidence-based workplace interventions which enhance the wellbeing of everyone involved. It calls for commitment, clear thinking and effective action, not only to make our workplaces healthy and safe, but also to make a tangible impact on improving the lives of all workers cost-effectiveness of these interventions. Inadequate people skills of many line managers and low priority given by them to employee wellbeing are also important factors. Responding to these challenges, the British Safety Council has published a report Not just free fruit: wellbeing at work. The report defines wellbeing in the workplace and suggests a set of metrics for effectively measuring wellbeing programmes and policies. The report, which is a comprehensive review of the existing literature and market intelligence, is a call to action for employers in Britain to place the wellbeing needs of their workers at the top of the executive agenda. Lawrence Waterman, Chairman of the British Safety Council, said: “Discussions about health and wellbeing permeate our daily lives, whether it’s the accessibility of good clinical care, the stresses of modern living or the importance of physical activity and good nutrition. They are supported by common beliefs: work sometimes contributes to ill health; the workplace can provide an environment where good health can be promoted; and everyone should play a role in encouraging and protecting good health and wellbeing. “Too often, unlike the highly professional approach applied to risk assessment and risk control, wellbeing efforts have been marked by a combination of real enthusiasm and commitment married to a woeful ignorance of what will make a difference. This positivity could dissipate into incoherent programmes of free bananas and occasional ‘health weeks’, featuring Indian head massage and aromatherapy.
“The Wellbeing at work report represents the British Safety Council’s contribution to establishing rigorous, evidence-based workplace interventions which enhance the wellbeing of everyone involved. It calls for commitment, clear thinking and effective action, not only to make our workplaces healthy and safe, but also to make a tangible impact on improving the lives of all workers.” The report makes several recommendations to employers for creating and evaluating workplace wellbeing programmes, including the following proposals: 1. Employees must be given the opportunity to participate in the creation and development of initiatives designed to improve their own health and wellbeing. 2. Line managers must be appropriately trained in mental health awareness and the relevant support mechanisms, so that they have the confidence to communicate with employees in a caring and sensitive manner. 3. Organisations should evaluate the impact and efficacy of their health and wellbeing interventions on a regular basis, to ensure that they adapt and respond to the changing needs of their workers. 4.
Workers’ wellbeing is linked to job quality, which is expressed through a healthy working environment, fair wages, strong relationships with managers and colleagues, job design, a degree of responsibility and authority, workload, working hours, and career development prospects.
Construction output rises despite Brexit uncertainty, says FMB The Government must not be complacent about the damage a ‘no deal’ Brexit would cause amid positive signs of growth in the UK construction industry, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). Commenting on the construction output figures for November 2018, published by the Office for National Statistics, Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs at the FMB, said: “The UK construction sector grew by 2.1 per cent during September to November 2018 compared with the previous three months. This is despite unparalleled levels of political uncertainty around the very
real prospect of a ‘no deal’ scenario. However, we are urging the Government not to allow these results to create a false sense of security. “Since November, political uncertainty has cranked up and is increasing every day. A growing and prosperous construction sector will be a distant memory if the Government allows the UK to crash out of the EU without a deal in place.” McMonagle concluded: “The construction industry is also extremely concerned about the Government’s proposed post-Brexit
immigration system. In the Immigration White Paper, published at the end of last year, the Government revealed that they will make few allowances for low skilled workers to enter the UK post-Brexit. “Most tradespeople will be defined as low skilled and therefore will not be permitted to enter the UK, regardless of whether they are from the EU or further afield. It is crucial that the Government introduces a post-Brexit immigration system that continues to allow us to draw on essential migrant workers or else their house building and infrastructure targets will be totally unachievable.”
Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 05
Latest News Over 3,500 community led homes at risk if Government doesn’t act A government grant which has funded the design of thousands of high quality, affordable community led homes is set to close before the majority can be built. The £163m Community Housing Fund, created to support the growth of the community led housing sector, is due to close in December 2019 - just 17 months after opening. An FOI response from Homes England has revealed that 56 community led housing projects have plans to build 3,546 homes. These homes are likely to stall if the Government doesn’t extend the Community Housing Fund. The response also details a further 153 community groups are developing applications. Many, if not most, of these planned homes, will also be forms of affordable housing. On 16 January 2019 the Greater London Authority launched its own £38m Community Housing Fund - this fund will be open for bids until March 2023, giving community led housing groups ample time to complete their housing developments. The National Community Land Trust Network is calling on the Government to extend the Fund outside London in the Spending Review and has received crossparty support from Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and Green MPs, including Oliver Letwin. Tom Chance, Director of the National CLT Network, said: “Through the Community
Housing Fund the Government is helping communities to create plans for thousands of affordable homes. It would be a terrible waste to scupper them by closing the fund after only 17 months. The uncertainty around Brexit is having a knock-on effect on domestic issues. The Government says it is committed to fixing the broken housing market but this will only happen if the programmes put in place to provide solutions are given time to make their mark. To make sure these homes don’t remain on the drawing board and for community led housing to become a self-sustaining sector with a lasting legacy, the Government must extend the Fund past 2020 and ideally for the duration of the next spending review.”
Alan McInnes, Chairman of Herstmonceux CLT, said: “Herstmonceux CLT is building 19 homes for local need to retain young and older residents in our rural parish. It has taken time to get to this point and we are now in a race against time to resolve technical, environmental and planning matters with our site in order to commence construction before the Community Housing Fund closes. We are relying on this grant funding. Surely, as the desperate need for economic housing has been acknowledged by government and grant aid identified, there should be a means to extend the deadline. Otherwise, the effort and initial grants raised may be wasted.”
Making construction a period dignified environment Increased awareness about periods is the best way for industry to improve its working practices Unite the union has conducted a survey of 2,000 women working across the construction industry about their experiences with period dignity. 65% of those who responded said their employer had failed to make adjustments to accommodate their needs as female workers. A lack of sanitary bins and clean toilets were highlighted as major concerns. Unite are calling for four policies which they believe can make a significant improvement to the lives of female construction workers: 1. Designated female toilets, always accessible, regularly cleaned and lockable 2. Handwashing facilities with running water and soap provided
3. Sanitary bins provided which are clean and regularly emptied 4. Sanitary products provided in a dispenser in a discreet location and ideally free. The National Federation of Builders (NFB), the trade association for SME constructors and house builders, welcomes the campaign’s effort to increase awareness about period dignity and believes it is the best way to deliver improved working environments. Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “This survey highlights what more the industry can do to create excellent working environments and as a trade federation for construction SMEs, we welcome these findings. Increased awareness about periods is the best way for industry to improve its working practices.”
06 Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019
Monika Slowikowska, NFB member and director of Golden Houses Limited, said: “We cannot speak for other companies, but at Golden Houses we always try to provide the right facilities for women. If we’re going to encourage more women into the construction industry, their basic needs must be met. Talking more openly about those needs is an important first step to meeting them.”
We cannot speak for other companies, but at Golden Houses we always try to provide the right facilities for women. If we’re going to encourage more women into the construction industry, their basic needs must be met. Talking more openly about those needs is an important first step to meeting them.
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Women In the Spotlight working in construction Claire Fenwick - Spatial Dimensions Claire Fenwick talks to Women in Construction UK about her experience of setting up a business in the construction industry and whether being a woman in the industry brought her across any complications in the process or whether it helped her to excel. ‘Setting out on your own is a daunting prospect, irrespective of gender and even more so in such a male dominated industry. When I studied Land Surveying at The Survey School back in 2004, there
was one other female on the course and that was quite rare. We were treated equally and given lots of advice and encouragement on how to prosper as Geomatics Surveyors, but I was unsure if being female would be a hindrance or if I could make it work, by being different. Being one of the few women business owners in Geomatics surveying has sometimes been lonely and daunting. When I first started Spatial Dimensions, being female helped me stand out from the crowd. It’s easier for colleagues
to remember me, as there are so few of us out there! I attended female led networking events and looking back, I guess subliminally, I felt more comfortable, but I soon found my confidence. We still don’t live in a world where women are respected as equals in the workplace by some people and I have had to face issues with sexist comments or being taken seriously. Questions about my role in the company and asking what my husband does for a living, often come up! Juggling the most important role of bringing up two children, at the same time as running a business, has been the greatest challenge and has come with its sacrifices. My role has always involved irregular hours which makes managing childcare difficult. My husband has always been 100% supportive but also has a job that doesn’t have fixed hours of work. You somehow find a way round it and survive. Raising funds for high end technology and managing cash flow when payments are late, has been challenging but recruiting skilled staff has had the largest negative impact, slowing down our growth, as we have had to train new recruits internally. Ultimately my experience of the Construction industry has been overwhelmingly positive. I go out of my way to try and encourage females into this amazing trade. I love the variety of work available in construction and being part of an industry that shapes our future and the way we live. Spatial Dimensions work with many of the UK’s top architectural practices on some truly outstanding projects. Our track record in delivering quality measured surveying services, with the client’s best interest at heart, speaks much louder than my gender.‘
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Amy builds a solid career foundation The work of a North East student to bring young people into the construction industry has led to her being recognised nationally. Amy Holmes, 21, from Houghton-le-Spring, who is in the final year of her BA (Hons) Events Management degree at the University of Sunderland spent a year on placement at CENE (Constructing Excellence in the North East). Colleagues were so impressed with her enthusiasm and original ideas that she brought to her placement they highlighted this to the University who then nominated her for the 2019 National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards. Amy was a finalist in the category Best Student Contribution to a Small to Medium-Sized Employer for her work with CENE, which saw her implement new initiatives, and raise the profile of young people working in construction in the region.
works as videographer for Dance City, created a promotional video showcasing careers for young people in construction – you can view the video here. Amy added: “I now have real and practical experience of planning, organising and hosting events which is a key skill in my future career plans.” Catriona Lingwood, Chief Executive of Constructing Excellence North East, says: “Amy has supported the transformation in the way we work, bringing in new ideas on how to run an office more efficiently using a shared filing system. Amy is a joy to work with and we wish her the very best, and know she will do herself proud.”
Amy says: “I can really see the value of my placement. I now have real and practical experience of planning, organising and hosting events, which is key to my future career plans.” In the 15 months Amy was with CENE she organised seminars, site visits, networking events and supported with the award dinners. As well as streamlining the events process and using social media to promote regional events, Amy, alongside BA (Hons) Broadcast Media Production graduate Gary Aggett, who now
When I started I was fully aware that construction is a maledominated industry. I had no issue with that. But I soon came across some male contractors who patronised me and didn’t give me due respect. I appreciate this is probably because I’m female and I represent the sustainability division, which is a bit newer than a department like H&S. However, my approach to dealing with those situations is to be professional and direct, explaining the exact tasks and documents which are required, as well as making clear why they’re necessary. It’s important to stress that those situations are now very rare; most subcontractors have invested in improving their sustainability performance and creating good relationships with the principal contractor’s representatives (regardless of their gender).
Anna Kennedy, Regional Sustainability Manager at Sir Robert McAlpine
I am lucky enough to work for a family-run business where the culture is very supportive. I also receive great support from the team I work with when we have to overcome challenges. Now over seven years into my career in construction, I wouldn’t change it at all. The opportunities it gives and the variety of challenges in every job role are fantastic, and change with every new project.
My journey in construction began after I finished an Environmental Engineering degree. In my head I was probably looking for a compliance/strategy position. But when I finished university there wasn’t really much scope for work in my profession in my birth country (Poland). Therefore, I decided to broaden my horizons to find my ideal career. I started by moving to England. The person who then gave me the chance to join the construction industry happened to be female, and I will be forever grateful to her!
I’m a proud STEM ambassador and governor of Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College (of which Sir Robert McAlpine is a founding partner). I’m also actively involved in encouraging young people, especially women, to consider their future in construction. Sir Robert McAlpine recognises the importance of diversity and is keen to inspire more women in construction – they’re sponsoring The WLA Conference on 1st March and the Women in Construction Summit on 16th May – and I love working for them.
Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 09
Deborah Rowe | Committee member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction group (CIMCIG) Deborah Rowe committee member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction group (CIMCIG) has been in the Construction Industry for nearly 30 years, we find out about the change and challenges she has seen in this time. Tell us about your experience as a woman in the construction industry and the roles that you have taken on. I originally started as a technical editor at CIBSE, then became Lighting Division Secretary, and would often be the only woman in the room at a meeting or conference. I considered building services engineering, or facilities management, as the next step but, in the absence of a decent mentor, I got waylaid by marketing. One postgrad marketing diploma, and MCIM, later, I started my construction marketing career at a subsidiary of High Point Rendel. Over the years, I’ve worked in academic publishing, professional services and professional associations, almost always with a connection to construction, civil engineering and the built environment. I finally took everything I’d learned and applied it to working for myself as a marketing consultant and technical writer. My first client was ICE Conferences and I’ve been happily working for myself, as Sheba Marketing, for nearly 20 years(!). For my sins, and as a nod to giving something back, I’m on the organising committee for the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG) and I’ve been on the judging panel for the Construction Marketing Awards in recent years. What challenges you have faced in your career and how you overcame them? Probably the biggest challenge has been getting the industry to take marketing seriously as a strategic business tool, rather than just a tactical tool that ‘produces leaflets’. Construction marketing is not about quick fixes – it’s an important part of the bigger picture that achieves the strategic goals. As a Construction Marketing Awards judge, it’s been reassuring to see the strategic elements reflected in the high quality of the entries submitted and those going on to win.
Staying up-to-date in the fast-changing environment that is construction marketing, is very important to me, and I’ve always taken responsibility for my own professional development. Knowledge is power – I don’t expect to know everything, but I do expect to know where to look for answers. Deborah’s additional thoughts: The positives of working in the construction industry. Construction and the built environment is a great industry to be in. I’ve been in and out of it (but mostly in) for nearly 30 years and I can see that things have changed. There’s still a long way to go but there are many more women, and women of colour, visibly working on high-profile projects at every level. It really does make me proud when I see TV programmes that show the exciting side of the industry, like the one on the Shard, or see a full feature in Vogue on the women working on Crossrail. OK, it was a fashion piece but it was about real women in construction! That wouldn’t have happened even five years ago. The point is that these things give people an insight into what makes construction tick – warts and all – and they are surprised… and interested. Your views on what the industry needs to do to help attract and retain more women. From conversations I’ve had with other women in the industry, I’d say a better
These days, I tend to work directly with decision-makers in SMEs, who have a specific requirement and the wherewithal to make things happen. Generally, I’ve found that organisations are more likely to listen to a consultant, than an employee – which is ridiculous. I don’t know, perhaps it helps to focus the mind when someone is charging by the day…
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attitude to flexible working would help. The ability to work compressed hours, or working from home on occasion, would be a great help to many people – not just women. Maybe some help with professional development, for those who’ve taken time out of the industry, to keep them topped up… so that it’s not such a shock to the confidence when they come back. We can do a better job of making people more aware of what a great and varied industry this is to work in – not just in the trades but across the board. People tend to forget that there are marketers, financiers, project managers and administrators, in the industry as well – those roles can be as rewarding in construction and the built environment as they are in retail for example. We just need to shout more about the roles, the projects and the opportunities. There are some great initiatives out there, and CIMCIG is trying to find a way to make the information centrally available so that more people can get involved. It needs to come from within the industry. Finally, address the gender pay gap. Nobody wants to hear that their male colleague, with comparable or less experience, is earning more than they are. It’s a no-brainer – stop paying what you can get away with. Pay people what they are worth, encourage them to have a decent work-life balance, and encourage them to develop professionally and personally, and most of them will stick around.
Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 11
Is it time for the construction industry to adopt alcohol and drugs screening legislation? Suzannah Robin, alcohol and drug safety expert at AlcoDigital, has helped numerous companies to address their alcohol and drugs testing requirements. She explains why implementing testing policies and procedures will help to improve workplace safety. Alcohol and drugs misuse is becoming something of a thorny issue for the UK construction sector. For reasons that aren’t fully understood, the industry has been identified as ‘higher risk’ in terms of drug use, and more than a third of construction workers say they have witnessed a colleague under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to a survey carried out by risk assessors protecting.co.uk on employees from a range of sectors, nearly a third admitted to using drugs at work. A significant number claimed to be ‘under the influence’ every working day. In fact, many of those admitting to taking drugs were using cannabis or other illegal narcotics. Despite the availability and increasing use of screening tests, around 65% of workers say they have never been tested, while a quarter said they had been tired at work because of the effects of drugs or alcohol. Construction is the most dangerous industry to work within in the UK. There were 38 fatalities in the past year, according to provisional figures issued by the Health and Safety Executive. Falls from a height were the most common cause of death, followed by being struck by moving vehicles or objects.
In terms of non-fatal injuries, there are 58,000 incidents each year, and there are 82,000 work-related ill-health cases. Of these ill-health cases, 62% were caused by musculoskeletal disorders and 25% were caused by stress, depression and anxiety. This is significant as these conditions have been linked with the use of drugs and alcohol. While there is no data available to establish if any of these incidents were related to drugs or alcohol, it seems likely that they may have played a part in a proportion of cases.
AlcoSaber (£295 + VAT), that will provide quick, accurate and instantaneous results. Alcohol interlocks are also available, which prevent equipment or machinery from starting until a negative breath test has been given.
SCREENING AND THE LAW
For many years, urine tests have been used as a reliable and cost-effective form of drug testing, providing instant results. This is useful for random testing and can serve as a deterrent to employees. However, urine tests often fail to reveal if an individual has consumed drugs in the last two hours.
So what is the law for workplace testing in construction? Testing is legislated for in certain sectors, such as the aviation, rail and shipping industries. But while most larger companies now have a policy in place to deal with drug and alcohol misuse in the workplace, the construction industry is not legally required to enforce testing.
Blood testing is the most accurate method of establishing what drugs are in a person’s system – but the medical training and laboratory analysis required mean it’s impractical for regular testing policy. Hair testing can provide historical data of what drugs a person has used – but not from the most recent few weeks.
However, employers do have a duty of care to maintain a safe working environment under the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act. If methods for detecting misuse are not implemented and an accident occurs, employers could face hefty fines or even be prosecuted. In the high-risk construction industry, it’s therefore vital that a robust policy is introduced.
For this reason, oral fluid collection has been established as the most practical method for drug-testing. With a far simpler collection process and a window of detection that mimics that of blood testing, this is the method of choice for UK Police roadside testing.
EVIDENTIAL TESTS For high associated risk industries, it’s recommended that drugs and alcohol testing is carried out on a regular basis. For alcohol testing, a range of professional police-grade breathalysers are available for screening workers, such as AlcoDigital’s
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ACTION IS NEEDED Over the last decade, huge progress has been made in terms of tackling illegal drug use and alcohol abuse in the workplace. Now it’s time for the construction industry to address the issues head-on and direct their attention towards putting in place policies and practices to make drug and alcohol screening compulsory across the industry.
Women on the move
RESET EXPANDS TEAM WITH SENIOR APPOINTMENT Reset, the UK’s leading compliance and contractor management provider has strengthened its senior team with the appointment of Amanda Pilgrim as Head of Business Development.
Reset services, such as Reset Access Mobile, an extended version of the Reset Access self-service check-in for contractors that allows them to log on to site using their smartphone.
Joining the company with many years spent working with large membership organisations, such as National Federation of Builders (NFB), Amanda will use her experience to help continue to grow Reset and extend its reach to the market.
Amanda explains: “I joined Reset as, right from the start, I was impressed with the team and their commitment to growth. It is very refreshing to come across a compliance management system that is truly driven by making the workplace a safer environment, not just ticking the boxes. I am very excited to be a part of the Reset team and I look forward to developing and introducing benefits and
Amanda will also help to market and promote upcoming and newly launched
features that will bring even more value to our current and future Reset Members and clients.” Gary Duce, Managing Director of Reset, said: “With Amanda’s knowledge of the contracting sector alongside her experience of membership services, there is no doubt that she will play a key role in driving forward the business and helping take it to the next level. “She has already started to deliver some great ideas that will bring added value for our members and in addition, she will be providing account management to many of our client sites and supporting their needs.”
VICTORIA BRAMBINI TAKES TOP ROLE AT PERFECT CIRCLE PERFECT Circle, the consortium comprising Pick Everard, Gleeds and AECOM, has appointed Victoria Brambini as its managing director. Brambini, who has headed Scape Procure for the past two years, will take the helm of Perfect Circle from 1 January - leading the organisation to further success and developing its ambitious plans for growth. Perfect Circle was formed in 2016 to deliver the four-year £350 million National Built Environment Consultancy Services (BECS) framework for Scape Group, the public sector owned built environment specialist. To date, Perfect Circle has delivered more than 750 projects to over 220 clients. Brambini said: “I’m excited about joining Perfect Circle, and delighted to be leading the next stage of progressing the joint venture into an even higher performing and sustainable organisation. It’s a great opportunity for me to be able to add value to the business, drawing on my knowledge and experience of working in the public sector, to ensure our clients continue to receive outstanding levels of service through the Scape BECS framework.” Brambini, who joined Scape in 2014 as head of national frameworks and later taking up the role of MD of Scape Procure in 2016, had worked ‘client side’ prior to that as director for places at Rutland County Council. Richard Whitehead, chairman of Perfect Circle, said: “This is a significant appointment for Perfect Circle. Victoria joins us at a pivotal time in our evolution, as we make plans for further expansion and continued initiatives on achieving the best value for clients. There are tremendously exciting times ahead as we continue to build upon our excellent relationship with Scape and deliver a comprehensive suite of services. Perfect Circle has gone from strength to strength in its
success of delivering for Scape over the past two years. Victoria will assist to reinforce the Perfect Circle brand, ensure the delivery of the framework and explore new opportunities for being the trusted partner for clients.” Whitehead added: “Having worked in a local authority prior to Scape, Victoria has seen the direct benefit of framework delivery to clients – having been a client herself. Her five years of engagement in the delivery marketplace has given her a unique look at operational delivery, as well as the benefit and huge value the BECS framework has for clients.” Perfect Circle is a consortium of leading, innovative firms with expert industry knowledge and expertise working closely with a wealth of local supply chain providers. Together it delivers the very best high quality, value for money services for clients. Whitehead said: “A regional presence across the UK has enabled Perfect Circle to engage with the local supply chain more effectively, supporting local economies and targeting
more than 25% work to be undertaken by SMEs. In its first two years, the delivery teams have contributed to more than 12,000 hours in community engagement and charity work.” The services available under the BECS framework include, but are not limited to: project management, quantity surveying, building surveying, commercial surveying, architecture and design services, civil and structural engineering, highways consultancy and engineering services and strategic asset management. Perfect Circle understands public sector procurement and is able to work with any public body via the BECS framework. Through the consortium’s breadth and depth of expertise across many built environment disciplines and services, it offers the fastest route to market in public sector project procurement, delivering value for money to UK taxpayers. Through its global reach and networks, Perfect Circle also ensures UK public sector built environment projects delivered overseas are procured seamlessly.
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Women in Construction - Q & A with Emily Burridge Emily Burridge works as a Concrete Technician Production Manager, after completing a 3 year Foundation course, managing 4 employees and 24 concrete plants in the West Midlands. She is one of only four women to go through the Hanson LEAD Programme, which trains the apprentices up to become managers within their fields.
Has the construction industry always been of interest to you? When I was a child I always loved making things. As I got older and progressed through the educational system I went from wanting to be a vet (because of my love of dogs), to a lawyer (because I saw they made a lot of money), to a graphic designer (because I loved making things and thinking outside the box) during my A-levels but I never considered the construction industry until I saw the opportunity. However, now I’m part of it, I’ve realised that it fits in better than I would have ever expected. I get to create things and come up with new ideas to make changes, but there is also a great balance of office work and being out on site in the fresh air. Tell us a bit about the LEAD programme with Hanson. What most appealed to you about the course? The LEAD programme is a higher apprenticeship delivered in partnership with the University of Derby whereby the apprentices are learning via long distance and completing coursework to earn a foundation degree in mineral extractives
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technology alongside a placement either within a quarry, a cement plant, the concrete technical department, or asphalt production. The course appealed in that it still offers a university education yet you’re being paid a wage at the same time and gaining valuable experience within the industry. What does a day in the life of a Concrete Technician Production Manager consist of? Every day I go to work is different, I never know what to expect but that’s what I love more than anything. To have the freedom to plan my own day and go where I want to visit site or customers is empowering and something I value. My role is to maintain the quality control over 25 concrete plants in the West Midlands and also manage four members of staff who regularly sample and test concrete delivered to site. The role means that I have worked on important projects in the three years I have worked in the company, I can now drive past, or in some case over, these structures knowing that I helped to make it happen which is an incredible feeling.
Interview How do people react when you tell them your job role? The funniest reactions come from the hairdressers I’ve visited over the years, of course they always chat with you and ask what you do but when I tell them I work in concrete they just freeze and assume they didn’t hear me correctly, apparently I don’t look like the type to working in that field. My family and friends are very supportive though and are surprised at the opportunities open to me as I have progressed though the company.
There’s definitely a misconception around the construction industry when it comes to being a suitable place for women to work. Most people hear construction and think of it as a male dominated industry, but within Hanson the atmosphere is so supportive, and our sites are friendly to all genders.
How does it feel to be one of only four females to have gone through the Hanson LEAD Programme? Women aren’t common in the industry yet, but the company is becoming more diverse, as a result everyone you meet is accepting and helpful and they’re never surprised. In their eyes you’re just another keen youngster looking to establish a career in the industry. I hardly see the other female LEAD trainees in person, but all the apprentices stay in contact as we know how important it is to support and help one another through the scheme no matter the gender. What was your experience like? I loved being part of the LEAD programme and I had some experiences that I will never forget, not many people can say they helped to load explosives into a rock face or got to drive a train! The people I have met along the way both and university and the business have been brilliant and have shared a huge amount of knowledge with me. The best thing about the opportunity though was that it made me who I am today, I more confident and dare I say intelligent person who is not afraid to admit their mistakes and who will work tirelessly to fix it, also I can now do early mornings which is a big change from my college days. Women working within construction is becoming more common, but do you think there is still some kind of stigma or misconception preventing more women from joining the industry? There’s definitely a misconception around the construction industry when it comes to being a suitable place for women to work. Most people hear construction and think of it as a male dominated industry, but within Hanson the atmosphere is so supportive, and our sites are friendly to all genders. We also offer positions other than on the front lines of production for people who don’t want to work outside, we have our own HR, It and finance departments as well as a central call customer service centre in Syston.
What is the most awe-inspiring aspect of your job? The most awe-inspiring aspect of my job is the ability to work from anywhere and to have the flexibility to influence the entire construction industry with new initiatives which leads to huge architectural achievements for our customers. It’s an incredible feel to be able to walk past a structure and know that one of the reasons why it’s there today was because of the work you did. Also, as part of my earlier apprenticeship I had the chance to get involved in some unique opportunities like flying a drone which not everyone can say is part of their everyday job. If you could put your name on any construction project in the world, which would you pick and why?
I don’t think that the construction projects define you or your work, but I think some of the most important projects are those that are done for charity. Anywhere that the project will make a difference to those in need would be a main focus not just for me but our company as a whole. Do you have any advice for young people thinking about a career in construction? As a young person going into the construction industry I would recommend that you make the most of the wealth of experience in the industry and ask as many questions as you can to help expand your knowledge. Most importantly though, don’t let anything stop you from making changes and improvements that can help move the industry forward, just make sure you’ve thought it out first.
Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 15
70,000 products Brilliant support team Reliable delivery
Celebrating Young Talent in the Construction Industry Generation 4 Change (G4C), part of Constructing Excellence provides a platform to grow and learn through creating development and networking opportunities with a broad spectrum of construction industry professionals. Generation 4 Change is passionate about showcasing emerging talent and the 2019 Midlands G4C Awards celebrate the achievements of young industry professionals and provide an exclusive opportunity to celebrate outstanding examples of excellence and best practice within the construction sector. Enter Today G4C aims to be the organisation that is the driving force for industry change, through the development of the future industry leaders. To gain recognition and industry acclaim - enter the Midlands G4C Awards to kickstart your career in construction. These awards recognise young achievers under 36 years of age and are not restricted to those engaged with the Generation for Change movement within Constructing Excellence. There are six categories available to enter: Apprentice of the Year Judges are looking for trade or technical apprentices who are currently undertaking or have completed training since January 2018. Award submissions should demonstrate how the candidate has created a positive impact on the industry, organisation or college, through a commitment to personal development. Student of the Year For candiates who stand out from the crowd, the judges are looking for students who demonstrate high skill levels and motivation while aiming to become one of the future leaders of the industry. This award is open to any Higher Education or Further Education students within the construction and built environment sectors, at any level. Young Trainee of the Year Training can include short courses, industry recognised training and personal development. Judges are looking for candidates who are currently undertaking or have completed training since January 2018. Applicants should demonstrate achievements throughout their career and how they have developed communication, team and leadership skills. Young Professional of the Year Judges are looking for candidates who have completed professional studies or professional development within the construction and the built environment sector since January 2018. Applicants should demonstrate how they have excelled, by striving to make great contributions to the industry, while demonstrating exemplary performance in their field of expertise - standing out from their peers. Mentor of the Year Judges are looking for individuals of any age, who have a good knowledge of current topics in the industry and have shown a commitment to developing future leaders by investing time to nurture and mentor, while offering support and guidance. Commitment to Training & Development This award is open to organisations with any number of employees who have demonstrated and sustained a commitment to training and development. Judges will be looking for companies who invest time and resources into developing the next generation and set clear targets providing staff with regular appraisals and feedback.
New recruits help Cornish developer to record year A multi-award-winning property development company in Cornwall has recruited six new members of staff following a record year of growth. Established in 2008, Legacy Properties specialises in building high-end coastal properties and contemporary family homes in spectacular Cornish locations. The appointments support Legacy’s expansion across its portfolio; growing into the homes market in addition to building luxury developments. With a permanent base on the outskirts of Newquay, the new recruits bring the total number of staff to 17. Lisa Lloyd recently joined as sales and marketing manager. She said, “Joining such a forward thinking business in Cornwall has been a real joy. We’re currently working on a flagship development of ten luxury properties at Woodlands which overlooks the Gannel Estuary, the likes of which I don’t think have been seen before in Cornwall. “The Legacy team culture is wonderful. The workplace is friendly, charitable, supportive, and being based in a dog friendly office has immense benefits. It’s an exciting place to work which is adding something new to the property market in Cornwall.” Also joining the team are office manager, Charlotte Olford; civils manager, James Poulson; contracts manager, Ken Arnold; site manager, Pete Turner; and quantity surveyor, Dave Collins. Managing Director, Nick Long, says the latest appointments allow the company to continue its expansion across Cornwall. “The past 12 months have been highly successful, winning two accolades at the UK Property Awards and overseeing the completion of two high quality builds: Fistral House and Thirty Six on the Pentire peninsula in Newquay,” he said. “Legacy has also broken ground in a new market - we’re now in the early stages of building 59 houses at Legacy Homes’ first development: Halwyn Meadows in Crantock. “With many more exciting developments in the pipeline for 2019, we’re excited to grow the company mindfully, investing back into the local economy and drawing on the best craftspeople, tradespeople, suppliers and employees that Cornwall has to offer. These fantastic additions to our team will help us to achieve the high-end finish we strive for across all of our projects.”
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Digital transformation: Why collaboration, and new technology, will revolutionise the sales lead industry The construction industry, by its very nature of site-based working and fluidity, has historically lagged behind other industries when embracing new technology. The UK government has pledged £250 million of funding to construction to support uptake and integration of technology. And with over 600,000 workers needing to be reskilled by 2040 to ensure they are up to date with evolving technologies, it’s clear there is a huge way to go to embrace a true digital revolution within the industry. With a heavily mobile workforce, complex supply chain and site-based labour at its core, shifting the culture of the industry to embrace digital is a tall order, and one which Lincolnshire-based firm, The Marketplace, is tackling through it’s bespoke, on-line, sales lead generation service.
Gareth Alexander and Jason Kay
Jason Kay, Co-Founder of The Marketplace, believes new technology, quick and easy access and a more ‘personal’ approach, will revolutionise the way in which the construction industry searches for tendering opportunities and sales leads in the future, he says: “We know from our own trials with innovative systems and applications that technology can bring huge benefits to the way people search for tendering and contract opportunities. Accessing accurate and valid data, at the right time is a challenge every business faces, none more so than in the construction industry. We’ve had over 40 years in supply chain management and procurement and we’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to SME’s ability to access new business. The Marketplace is based on our philosophy of know, like and trust – a collaborative approach which puts the ‘human’ element back into sales lead generation. We believe our digital offering and our more personal approach fits today’s need for a closer connection with the supply chain and opportunities to tender for work. After all, people buy from people!” With constricting construction output, there has never been a better time to provide a unique service, especially for SMEs. Digital tools, such as The Marketplace system, offers quick and easy access to a timestrapped construction professional. Gareth Alexander, Co-Founder of The Marketplace believes a more bespoke digital lead generation service gets you quickly to the sales leads which are right for you. He says:
manner. We often find that SMEs are frustrated by the lack of opportunities afforded to them, especially when dealing with established consortiums and relationships within the industry. Our database and fee structure gives SMEs more flexibility with no minimum contract, and no out of date information all delivered digitally.”
“We provide access to sales leads that are unadvertised, and really want to level the playing field when it comes to giving SMEs the chance to tender for projects in a timely
Unlike other industries, there is a huge interdependency in construction; between architects, suppliers, contractors and workers, and it is the relationships between
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these groups, which ultimately decides who gets the job. Digital technology can make the transition between these relationships smooth and effortless. Clients also benefit from personal weekly reports on tender activity and hot leads that are accurate and relevant to their business. For the price of a daily coffee, it gives them real value for money. Website:
Feature For me, found the Women in BIM initiative was a necessity to address not only the low representation of Women in leadership and construction generally but to focus on the lower numbers of women in the BIM space which I found quite surprisingly to be a global problem.
Rebecca De Cicco, Founder and Director of Digital Node, talks to Women in Construction UK Magazine about her work through Women in BIM and the importance of female empowerment in the construction industry. I have been a passionate advocate for Women in Construction for as long as I can remember and although I have seen many positive changes in this space, there is still a long way to go when it comes to equal conditions for different genders and groups. This is why Women in BIM was so important to me. I was rapidly developing in my career and was passionate about building, construction and technology but also about ensuring there were more productive ways to produce information all consistently and all in line with a common process. To me, building information modelling (BIM) was an evolution of this and I found that working in the BIM space provided me to indulge mu love for construction, which is fuelled by Technology and driven by productivity. For me, found the Women in BIM initiative was a necessity to address not only the low representation of Women in leadership and construction generally
but to focus on the lower numbers of women in the BIM space which I found quite surprisingly to be a global problem. When the group was established, it was nothing more than a LinkedIn community, but six years later we have a strong global presence, female leaders all over the world promote our cause and supporting organizations sponsor us and allowing us to grow. As a female leader in the BIM space myself, I wanted to make sure we addressed three key areas â€“ firstly to support and encourage young women to enter the industry (especially BIM related careers to address the low representation of women but also the skills shortages in BIM), secondly to target the support mechanism, too many women are not supported in middle management in their roles, and finally to empower women in leadership for them to act as role models. This was all very important and although with the core team now operating out
of London, we very much work all the way across the globe, female leadership, young women and BIM related roles are becoming crucial in the way of extending and growing our industry. However there is still an issue with equal pay and equal conditions, flexible working and other areas of the construction industry which prove a barrier to women, particularly to those women who chose to grow a family. Sadly this is not adequately addressed and we are seeing more and more women leave industry. As an advocate for female leaders, diversity and equality the future for Women in BIM is promising. I hope to see more women join the group and support the cause as weâ€™re seeing some great momentum for women in industry at present and hopefully this will continue to develop and support diversity in an industry which so desperately requires it.
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150 JOBS CREATED FOR WELSH CONSTRUCTION FIRM R&M WILLIAMS, THANKS TO BRISTOL AIRPORT A partnership between R&M Williams and Bristol Airport has this year created 150 new job opportunities for the construction sector in Wales. Cardiff and Swansea-based R&M Williams has won three building contracts with the Airport, the latest awarded this month with news that a new £5million Airline Crew Building project will be built by the firm. The projects, worth a combined total of £18 million to R&M Williams, are part of ongoing development which will enable to the Airport to handle up to 10 million passengers by the early 2020s. In the past 12 months, the company has started work on a new fire station - due for completion in January - and is currently providing the framework for a state-of-theart administration building on site, which will
be in development until September 2019. The latest Airline Crew Building will provide a new security search area for staff entering the building, and will provide premium accommodation for airlines, ground handlers and partners who need to be close to the terminal and aircraft operating areas. Darryn Parry, Managing Director of R&M Williams, said: “We are thrilled that Bristol Airport has chosen to partner with us on a number of its expansion projects this year. With the announcement of each new building, R&M Williams has had the opportunity to create yet more jobs for local construction workers, as well as for Wales and South West Supply Chain Partners. We hope that this will pave the way for a great deal more collaborations in the future. The construction sector in Wales is second-to-none, and it’s great that the project team at Bristol Airport has recognised that a
strong relationship across the border carries with it some amazing opportunities for high quality and unique developments.” Andrew Goodenough, Development Director at Bristol Airport, said: “We are delighted to be working with R&M Williams on a third project this year. The building projects are the first that staff, airline partners and business partners will see and so it was vital that we work with a contractor that would prioritise quality and high standards, as much as energy efficiency – a key focus of our development plans. “We’re really pleased with the work that R&M Williams has carried out in 2018 and we are looking forward to working with them again. It’s a testament to the professionalism and skills available in the construction sector in the region enabling us to use local companies for all of our construction projects.”
LIGNIA WOOD COMPANY SIGNS DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT WITH TIMBER CONNECTION LIGNIA® Wood Company, the modified timber manufacturer, has signed a distribution agreement with one of the UK’s leading timber distributors - Timber Connection. The exclusive five-year agreement will see Timber Connection distributing LIGNIA’s products across the UK and the Republic of Ireland from its 150,000 ft² base in Kirkby, near Liverpool. LIGNIA is a natural, modified timber which matches, and in some cases exceeds hardwoods such as European oak and Ipe in performance. The company’s manufacturing process involves taking sustainably-sourced, FSC softwood and modifying it into high performance timber. It is also enhanced to include greater durability, with a 50-year warranty against rot and decay in above-ground applications, plus improved performance for shrinkage and swelling. LIGNIA is ‘wood made for life’. A small movement wood, it can be used both indoors and outdoors for a wide range of applications, including general joinery such as cladding, flooring and decking. It is also suitable for use in windows and doors. As a modified FSC timber that starts life as a softwood, it is well-placed to offer the construction and joinery sectors a proven ecologically-viable alternative to the use of hardwoods, thus helping to reduce deforestation in tropical rainforests Established in 1991, Timber Connection
is a leading supplier of commerciallyimported hardwoods and premium grade softwoods to the importer / merchant sector within the UK and Ireland. With an extensive product range and the expertise to match, the company is respected throughout the trade. LIGNIA’s Commercial Director Steve Rogers said: “We’re delighted to be working with Timber Connection in the UK and the Republic of Ireland for our LIGNIA products. They have both an excellent reputation and the ability to develop full national coverage into our chosen market sectors, so we’re now looking to leverage the competitive
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advantage they bring to ensure LIGNIA becomes the product of choice in these markets.” Timber Connection’s Managing Director Danny Catherall added: “Timber Connection is really looking forward to this exciting opportunity and believe we are the ideal partner to establish the LIGNIA brand in the UK and Ireland. Having had the chance to follow developments over the last 12 months from their company’s inspiring base in Barry we are hugely impressed and look forward to working with the LIGNIA team to ensure success for both of our businesses going forward”.
Legal Advice Column
Mock Trial helps construction team master health and safety challenges Woodhead Group has hosted a ‘mock trial’ of a serious on-site accident, to highlight the importance of robust health and safety policies. The trial took place in the Chambers at County Hall in West Bridgford, Nottingham, and has been carried out in partnership with Via, Safety Management Consultants AW Safety, construction company Tomlinsons and legal service specialists rRadar. More than 50 people took part in the training course, which was staged as a ‘mock trial’. Attendees acted as ‘the jury’, which was played out by a cast of eight made up of employees from AW Safety, Tomlinson and rRadar. Those taking part in the course came predominantly from Woodhead’s supply chain, health and safety reps from other businesses and the insurance sector. It aimed to raise awareness of the importance of following best practice and legal requirements. Kerri Grocock, Health, Safety and Environment Manager at Woodhead Group said: “This event has been a year in the planning, it involved a huge amount of preparation, and I’m so pleased it went well. I attended a mock trial ten years ago and thought it was something we would benefit from. Our actors were kitted out in traditional legal dress, with wigs and gowns, and the whole event will resemble a condensed, but real trial. It’s a fantastic way to show how an accident or health and safety breach can impact on a company, and how this would play out in court. We expected our attendees to observe what was happening, and come to their own conclusions, acting as our jury.” The scenario used in the trial involved a digger hitting a high voltage cable, causing someone nearby serious burns. Nobody died in the scenario, but the future of the fictional building company, which already had a poor health and safety record, and the company director himself, was in question. The digger driver, banksman, Health and Safety Executive, Company Director and Site Manager were all questioned and forced to defend themselves at trial. The event also included guest speaker, Jason Anker MBE, who spoke about the effects on the injured person, family, friends, colleagues following an accident. His speech was moving and thought provoking and tied in very well with the event. Following the success of this first event, Woodhead Group plans to hold future similar mock trials, in partnership with rRadar, AW Safety and the Council, as well as the Working Well Together Group, which is supported by the HSE.
Rebecca Palmer, head of construction law at Ipswich firm Prettys, provides legal advice on hot topics within the construction industry.
DOES YOUR CONTRACT NEED “BREXIT-PROOFING”? Whilst no one can be certain of the implications of Brexit for the future of our construction and engineering projects, Rebecca Palmer, a senior associate and head of construction at Ipswich-based law firm Prettys, gives her top tips on how we can try to prepare… Statutory requirements: Do check how each contract defines these. To what extent is the contractor required to foresee all Brexit-driven changes in law? Stay aware of the key date (the “Base Date” in JCT speak) from which any changes in law are to be established and the detail of the applicable notification regime. This will aid you in some swift manoeuvring should discrepancies between the contract documents and the statutory requirements arise. Time limits for claims: Re-familiarise yourself with the time limits within which contractors must notify of any events which entitle them to more time and/or money. Work out what must be notified, in what way and by when. Bear in mind that a generic entitlement to extra time in respect of force majeure (aka acts of God) is unlikely to help obtain an extension of time unless the wording has been formulated with a Brexit event specifically in mind.
to specify a trigger event (such as an entitlement to extra time and/ or money) that is produced upon an activation date which is the starting point for a right to make a claim (such as the date the UK leaves the EU - but remember that some consequences may take effect later.) To contain the impact, employers will favour the articulation of conditions precedent (to incentivise mitigation of the impact) and restrictions too (for example, by way of time limit and/or financial cap). Meanwhile, the Brexit clause needs to set out the consequences for the parties such as entitlements to terminate or the allocation/ apportionment of time and costs.
Fluctuations: Whilst far from being routinely applied, we are nevertheless seeing an increased number of occasions where fluctuation provisions are incorporated. This is indicative of attempts by the parties to help contractors manage Brexit-related risks such as price hikes and/or tariffs in respect of materials and goods imported from EU members.
Dispute resolution: Last - but by no means least - ponder the pros and cons of specifying arbitration, rather than litigation, as the final dispute resolution forum. And, if you opt for litigation, provision for “nonexclusive” (rather than “exclusive”) jurisdiction of the English courts will afford the parties the greatest flexibility.
“Brexit clause”: For those of a spirited disposition , a “Brexit clause” is an option (though not a straightforward one).
We hope you find these points helpful, and if there are other topics you would like to see featured don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing Rebecca Palmer on email@example.com.
As a minimum, the drafting needs
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Careers in Construction
Successful Programme Returns to Tackle Lack of Women in the Construction Sector An initiative that has already given a number of young women the skills to begin their careers in the Built Environment sector is gearing up to welcome its next cohort of ambitious students.
to secure a National 5 qualification in Construction Crafts. From there, participants can progress to pre-apprenticeships or move on to a professional career route of higher national certificate level.
Facilitated by New College Lanarkshire, the nine-week Females into Construction course is backed by several sector heavyweights and hub South West, the public-private partnership focused on building community infrastructure within Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway. It provides a collegiate, supportive environment where each participant can find out more about the array of career opportunities available within the sector.
The programme covers painting and decorating, masonry work, carpentry and joinery, and includes work placements, site visits and ambassador talks facilitated by contracting partners Kier, Graham, Morrisons and Morgan Sindall. It will operate out of New College Lanarkshire’s Motherwell Campus beginning in April.
The course, which has no formal entry requirements, is open to women over the age of 16 and offers the opportunity
Two participants from the course last year were Hollie McArthur and Helena Montague and both are doing construction-related courses at college. Hollie said: “I found the females into
construction course to be a great experience. It is a good way to get into the construction industry. I thought the course was a good taster and it has really helped me on the City and Guilds Pre- Apprentice course I’m working on now.” Helena said: “The females into construction course was good because of the mix of subjects and the variety of the work. “It has helped me progress and I am very hopeful to find work in the industry and progress my studies at a higher level.” Across the UK, women represent less than 15% of the construction workforce. In Scotland, they make up less than 2% of modern apprenticeships within the industry. Michael McBrearty, chief executive of hub South West, said “the construction industry needs to embrace the whole of the potential workforce as it is currently going through a period of significant modernisation. To succeed, the sector must attract the top talent, regardless of gender. “The Females into Construction course has a key part to play in this process. It’s a fantastic win-win situation that benefits both the industry and young women looking to start out on a challenging and rewarding career. The statistics might seem to indicate otherwise, but construction is no longer just a ‘job for the boys’. The fact that the Females into Construction initiative has attracted support from prestigious contracting partners such as Kier, Graham, Morrisons and Morgan Sindall is testament to that.”
Plant Manager Sharon calls for more women to consider careers in manufacturing The first female Plant Manager at one of Britain’s biggest building materials manufacturers is overseeing the production of an industry-leading range of construction products, whilst encouraging more women to consider careers in manufacturing. Sharon Harris, Plant Manager at Forterra’s Hams Hall facility in Coleshill. Sharon Harris, Plant Manager at Forterra’s aircrete block production facility Hams Hall in Coleshill, rose within the company to become the first ever female manager of a Forterra facility in July last year, after being promoted from her former role as the company’s Head of HR. Sharon oversees more than 100 employees in their production of over 8,000m3 of Thermalite aircrete blocks daily, and over 327,000m3 annually. Thermalite, a Forterra-exclusive
product, is one of the country’s most popular aircrete blocks and is playing a vital role in the building of new homes across the UK. Sharon said: “It’s great to be operating in a leadership role with Forterra. I would strongly encourage other women to consider embarking on a career in this industry - as my position demonstrates, there are no limits to what women can achieve in business. From my experience, everyone’s contributions are welcome in this sector regardless of gender, nationality, age or background.”
launched Bricklaying Forterra Females (BFF), the UK’s first all-female bricklaying competition, with the aim of raising the profile of women in the construction sector.
Construction manufacturing industries have long been stereotypically viewed as heavily male-dominated. Forterra is committed to encouraging more women to turn to the construction industry and learn more about its many career pathways and opportunities. On 4th March the company
Stephen Harrison, Chief Executive of Forterra, said: “Manufacturing is traditionally seen as male-dominated, but we anticipate that increasing numbers of women will join the sector. We hope Sharon’s experience inspires others to explore the opportunities this industry has to offer.”
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Careers in Construction WaterSafe calls for more female plumbers to take up their tools With less than 1% of UK plumbers being female, WaterSafe is calling for more women to take up the tools.
satisfaction, a decent wage and skills that are always in demand, the number of women in the trade remains very low.
Despite plumbing being a great career choice that combines instant job
So on World Plumbing Day WaterSafe, the national register for approved plumbers, is calling for more women to help protect public health by pursuing a fulfilling and important career as a qualified plumber. WaterSafe’s Get Girls Plumbing campaign encourages women not to be put off by the out-dated stereotype that plumbing is a job better suited to men. With a skills shortage across the UK leading to a higher demand for competent plumbers, there’s never been a better time to be a female in the industry. WaterSafe approved plumber Hannah Dorkenoo Leggat said: “I would encourage any women thinking of becoming a plumber to go for it as it is such a rewarding job. “You get to meet so many different people, some with amazing stories. The best decision I made was to become a plumber.” Being a female plumber can also have its advantages, as Hannah explains: “I have been to elderly customers’ houses late at night, and the first thing they have said to
me was: ‘I’m so glad you’re a woman’ … I am fairly short too so it means I can get into some tight spaces that a stocky bloke might not be able to!” With less than 1% of approved plumbers being women, WaterSafe is also encouraging female plumbers to get WaterSafe approved, which reassures customers that they are trained to work safely with their drinking water. Hannah added: “Being a member of WaterSafe is important – so many people now think they’re ‘plumbers’ because they can put together two pipes. “There’s more to the job than just that – people’s health can be potentially at risk if they use unqualified plumbers.” Julie Spinks, director of WaterSafe said: “World Plumbing Day is a great opportunity to focus on female plumbers and encourage young women to apply for plumbing apprenticeships. “These days there’s nothing a male plumber can do that a female can’t, and our research shows that many women and elderly customers in particular welcome the chance to employ a female plumber in their home.”
Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 23
Structural Testing, Inspection and Monitoring Swantest is a specialist testing, inspection and monitoring company providing a wide range of services across the demolition and construction industry. We specialise in on-site testing of existing structures, fixings and materials. With vast experience in the industry, our engineers are qualified to cater for an ever-growing need in the market to test, certify and monitor works before and during the demolition phase. We pride ourselves on being able to carry out any required testing or inspection works to our client’s specification or design bespoke test solutions for more complex projects. Swantest are UKAS accredited for a number of testing and inspection services. Please get in touch to find out more. Our main services include: • Anchor and fixing testing • Load capacity tests • Balcony and barrier testing • Plate bearing and CBR tests • Structural Surveys • Cladding Tests
• • • • • •
3D laser surveys Weld inspections Torque, preloading and hydraulic jacking Environmental monitoring Non-destructive testing Bespoke Testing
Swantest are an Associate Member of the Construction Fixings Association and all our engineers are CFA approved testers. We carry out all our anchor tests in accordance with BS 8539:2012 and in line with CFA guidance notes.
For more information call us on 0370 950 7707 Website: www.swantest.co.uk E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Anchor Bay Wharf, Manor Rd, Kent, DA8 2AW
Meet the women who are proving that construction is not just a man’s world A leading lawyer in the construction industry has called for more women to get involved in the sector. Rebecca Palmer, 42, who heads the construction department at Ipswich-based solicitors Prettys, has dealt with legal issues in the industry for more than 13 years. Rebecca is keen to spread her message that the world of construction doesn’t always have to be a traditionally maledominated one. “It is very difficult to demonstrate to girls that construction is a viable option for them when they are simply unaware of the variety of opportunities open to them in this field,” she said. “But when you scratch below the surface there are actually a whole host of engaging and rewarding careers for women in this industry.” As a lawyer regularly meeting industry bosses, Rebecca says she frequently finds herself to be the only woman in the room. “When we are talking about senior positions within construction, women are few and far between.” However, she does see more women involved in specific roles within surveying, architecture, project management and design. And she is passionate about construction being a rewarding area of the law. “I chose it because it’s different to all other areas of law; the output is so positive and tangible,” she said. “You are working together, in multi-disciplinary teams, towards the common goal of creating something physical with a broader purpose, typically contributing to the formation of a new workplace, school, home, museum, energy provider or others the list is endless! It is something palpable and for me it has real meaning. “I would encourage anybody, irrespective of gender, to consider construction as a career – with such a variety of roles there is something to suit every personality type and temperament, plus the benefit of a perceptible lasting legacy.” Statistics released this month reveal that women make up only 14% of the workforce in the construction industry, with two per cent working as onsite operatives.* Rebecca, a mother-of-two, urged schools to take a leading role in encouraging girls to take up careers in construction. And she called on the industry to continue to build on its progress in offering workers flexible working hours wherever possible. “A significant proportion of roles within construction offer particular challenges in accommodating the constraints of active family life, whether they be school timings or other key family commitments. “Whilst so many women within our families are the ‘project managers’ at home, the display by women of all these strengths and aptitudes is nowhere near as evident across construction even though there are so many skills transferable from the one context to the other.” Rebecca and her team are experts in all areas of construction law, embedded within a real estate offering at Prettys comprised
of specialisms covering the full life-cycle of a property, including planning, commercial property and property disputes. Rebecca has also worked alongside women who are flourishing in construction careers, including quantity surveyor Laura Collins, 30, who was recently named ‘Young Surveyor of the Year’ at the RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year Awards. With more than 13 years’ experience, Laura is currently working towards her Partner and Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS) status and is keen to encourage other women to follow in her footsteps. “There are so many jobs and roles out there for women, but the problem is that people are simply not aware of them,” said Laura. “At school level we need to promote the wide range of opportunities that are available in the industry. How many teenagers in school today will know what a quantity surveyor is? I certainly didn’t! Hopefully this will help to address the gender imbalance in the talent pool. “I also think the industry needs to promote a better balance between work and home life. I take my family life very seriously and as well as being a quantity surveyor I’m a mum, wife, daughter and sister and I take each job very seriously. We need to demonstrate that it’s an equal partnership and okay to have time at home and not be in the office. “I would also advise people to not be afraid of challenging the norm, don’t be scared to ask questions and never apologise for wanting to succeed.”
Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 25
Women into Construction
CHANGING THE FACE OF CONSTRUCTION
WHAT WE DO
Women Into Construction is an independent not-for-profit organisation that promotes gender equality in construction. We provide bespoke support to women wishing to work in the construction industry, and assist contractors to recruit highly motivated, trained women, helping to reduce skills Women into Construction promotes gender equality in the construction gaps and create a more genderAccess to free construction-related training WHAT WE DO equal workby force. industry providing bespoke support to women from advice through to work including Construction Site Safety Plus
placements and training. Women We work with contractors on large scale training and CSCS card. into Construction promotes gender Women into Construction is infrastructure projects totheattract and retain equality in construction industry by women. celebrating 10 years of success supporting women to enter the construction industry.
With funding from CITB and support across the industry, we have grown into a well respected and recognised company that is actively addressing the gender imbalance in the construction sector.
Michelle registered with WIC, having been made redundant from a housing association 2 years previously. She is a single parent and was receiving jobseekers allowance. Michelle was interested in health and safety and this led her to undertake further training including the National Examination Board in Occupational Health & Safety/ construction (NEBOSH) Diploma sponsored by WIC.
providing bespoke support to women from advice through to work placements and training. We work with contractors on large scale infrastructure projects to attract and retain women.
1 2 3 4 5
3) WORK PLACEMENT Industry work placements with expenses for travel, lunch, childcare and PPE paid. 4) MENTORING Ongoing mentoring and support through training, work placements, into employment and beyond.
1) ADVICE Personalised advice and guidance on Personalised advice and guidance on training and opportunities available in 5) JOBSavailable in training and opportunities construction and related industries. Brokerage into jobs in the construction construction and related industries. industry, and continued support once in employment. 2) TRAINING
Access to free construction-related training including Construction Site Safety Plus training and CSCS card.
WORK PLACEMENTS Industry work placements with expenses for travel, lunch, childcare and PPE paid.
Michelle registered with WIC, having been made redundant from a housing association 2 years previously. She is Ongoing mentoring andasupport single parent and was receiving jobthrough training, work placements, into seekers allowance.
employment and beyond.
Michelle was interested in health and safety and this led her to undertake further training including the National Examination Board in Occupational Health & Safety/construction (NEBOSH) Diploma sponsored by WIC.
On completion of her course, she gained a placement through Brokerage into jobs in the construction WIC, working directly with completion of herin course, she industry, and continued On support once gained a placement through WIC, Crossrail, which also involved employment working directly with Crossrail, which a two-week placement on site also involved a two-week placement with the BBMV Joint venture. on site with the BBMV Joint venture. This placement prepared Michelle for This placement prepared first of three interviews for the â€œWIC NEVER GAVE UPthe ON Michelle for the first of three role of Health and Safety Advisor with interviews for the role of Skanska. She was successful and has ME AND WAS WITH ME THE now completed her probationary period Health and Safety Advisor with and has a full-time permanent position Skanska. She was successful WHOLE STEP OF THE WAY, with Skanska. and has now completed her WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE probationary period and has a full-time permanent position HOW HAPPY I AMâ€? - MICHELLE - April 2019 26 Women in Construction UK Magazine with Skanska.
Women into Construction
WHAT WE ACHIEVED APRIL 2017 - SEPTEMBER 2018
ޞ 150 SECURED EMPLOYMENT
251 WOMEN RECEIVED CONSTRUCTION RELATED TRAINING
CITB Target: 140
CITB Target: 210
ࠫ 457 WOMEN PROVIDED WITH ADVICE AND SUPPORT
102 WOMEN ATTENDED WORK PLACEMENTS CITB Target: 90
CITB Target: 300
Valerie came to WIC Birmingham having worked as an
WOMEN SUPPORTED for nine Valerieadministrator came to WIC Birmingham havingyears in the NHS. She wanted to worked as an administrator nine years BY WIC KEY OUTCOMES make a career for change, and in 2015, went back to college in the NHS. She wanted to make a career toand study a HNC in to Construction and the Built Environment. change, in 2015, went back college SECURING EMPLOYMENT to study a HNC in Construction and the She found it difficult to find employment using her newly Built Environment. She found it difficult to Securing employment in the gained skills, and when she came to WIC in late 2017 she had find employment using her newly gained construction industry was the skills, and when she came to looking WIC in latefor work in the industry, but decided almost given up greatest impact for many women. 2017 she had almost given up looking for For degree educated women, there to attend a pathways workshop with Bouygues. This session work in the industry, but decided to attend was a focus on building confidence visibly liftedwith Valerie’s and willingness to move a pathways workshop Bouygues.confidence This as many had been turned down or session visibly lifted Valerie’s confidence forward with WIC and look for work placements. Following not considered for other construction and willingness to move forward with WIC roles in the past. They reported having the workshop WIC supported Valerie with a SSSTS course and look for work placements. Following more hope for the future with a sense the workshop WIC supported Valerie with and to maintain momentum. In January 2018 Valerie started to refresh her knowledge of empowerment and belief in their a SSSTS course to refresh her knowledge a 2-week placement with Galliford Try on a 922-bed student scheme own ability once they had secured a On completion of the placement, Valerie has accommodation and to maintain momentum. In January job. obtained a full-time paid position on the at Coventry University, consisting of three tower blocks and 21 town houses. Valerie’s 2018 Valerie started a 2-week placement project. Project Manager for the scheme, with Galliford Try on a comprised 922-bed student placement of time spent on site in the Commercial, Richard Peace, saysand “Valerie cameoffice along at with the Women spoke about the time accommodation scheme at Coventry perfect time and is doing a remarkable invested in their education, obtaining Document Control and Health the and Safety teams. University, consisting of three tower blocks job”. He has allocated mentors to Valerie, construction specific degrees, and and 21 town houses. Valerie’s placement On completion of the placement, has a full-time then paid on the from aValerie commercial but obtained also an engineering notposition being considered for roles. comprised of time spent on site and in the background, to support her learning, and Many found that despite their skills, project. ProjectDocument Manager for the scheme, Richard Peace, says “Valerie came along at the office with the Commercial, help her to progress her career. their lack of on site experience Controlperfect and Healthtime and Safety and teams. is doing a remarkable job”. He has allocated mentors to Valerie, from a impacted their ability to secure commercial but also an engineering background, to support her learning, and help her to progress her career.
Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 27
Women into Construction employment but there was also a sense that they had lost out on jobs as a result of their gender. The increase in confidence and greater sense of belief in their own ability was reported both by women that secured employment and those that were still looking, although the number reporting this outcome was lower for the latter group. The confidence came first from WIC believing in them and providing them with the opportunity to demonstrate their capability and secondly, through their employer where they felt valued as part of the team. For women who had not yet secured employment, they still felt they were in a better position than before and more employable with greater confidence that they will find permanent work in the future. WORK PLACEMENTS The placements played an important role for many in securing employment and solidifying their career choice. For those that were moving from another sector, it enabled them to try out different roles and understand the breadth of opportunities available. For other women, it was getting a â€˜foot in the doorâ€™ to get valuable site experience. Funding for childcare, lunches and travel was also cited as invaluable in making the work experience placements possible.
OUR MISSION IS TO FACILITATE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN WOMEN, THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY, TRAINING ORGANISATIONS AND REFERRERS TO CREATE A MORE DIVERSE WORKFORCE. Particularly for those organising childcare, it took away stress and worry. For some women, it made it possible for them to take on the unpaid placement, so they could gain experience without negatively impacting their finances. TRAINING The ability to access a range of training was vital to women in helping them secure a work placement and employment. It opened up more career opportunities and enabled them to get on site. Women had completed a range of courses, with many completing more than one course to either help them get experience on site or progress into a particular specialism. Women felt encouraged to undertake further training and consider management level courses to further their career. For some, it meant they had been offered new positions with their enhanced skills. ADVICE AND SUPPORT A clear impact for many of the women was the support from WIC and the network of women. The advice and support received from WIC resulted in two outcomes; Firstly, on a professional level, women could engage with other women working
28 Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019
in construction, be inspired and heighten their own ambitions. Secondly, on a more personal basis, the support from WIC resulted in women having someone to talk to at anytime including personal matters. The women spoke highly of the staff at WIC, going above and beyond, and knowing that they were supporting and encouraging them all the way. This was even felt for some women after they entered employment, when they experienced any challenges, they could refer back to WIC for support. In particular for some women, this provided a relief from anxiety and depression.
OTHER OUTCOMES LOCAL AUTHORITIES (LA) Local Authorities working with WIC spoke highly of the value added and the skills and expertise brought. This was in terms of supporting their own employability and skills teams and helping women get into construction. It was commented that as an outside organisation, WIC were better placed to engage with women and show different communities the opportunities in the sector. They were
Women into Construction
seen to be changing perceptions and demonstrating that women can thrive in these roles. All LAs consulted commented on the role of WIC in raising awareness and promoting construction as a career path to residents. For one LA, WIC had delivered a bespoke diversity and unconscious bias training course to 120 operatives, drawing on their expertise and experience. This provided the operatives with greater awareness on the language used and approach when engaging with residents in their homes. This was perceived to have altered how managers and operatives address female residents and raise awareness of the impact language can have. TRANSPORT FOR LONDON (TfL) TfL have a clear skills strategy which includes the ambition to proactively target women. Since working with WIC and Gingerbread (a charity supporting single parents), TfL have delivered a 10-day preemployment and 10-day work experience programme with 11 out of 15 women subsequently moving into permanent employment. It was commented that this has been a valid way of raising awareness of the opportunities for women and changing perceptions in the industry. The outcome for TfL was reported as increased profile and ability to secure future funding.
GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY (GLA) The GLA commented that WIC had been instrumental in helping to implement strategies for the Mayors Construction Academy (MCA) to attract and support women, and speak to the provider base about the opportunities for women. The most notable impact for the MCA was the increased chance of getting women to stay on the employment course and thus secure employment afterwards. DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS (DWP) For DWP, the engagement with WIC had helped to breakdown perceptions of roles in the industry and opportunities for women. This has changed the mindset of advisors, so they could consider more roles appropriate for women and refer to WIC. At a more strategic level, it was noted that there was a tangible decrease in Senior National Account Manager time as a result of WIC brokering relationships with employers. This reduced the need for DWP to meet with individual employers to set up a plan for recruitment as it was all managed through WIC.
agenda for CITB on encouraging women into the sector and it complimented their work. One outcome directly for CITB is the increased credibility when working with employers making it easier to engage with them. CITB also commented that WIC support their wider equality agenda. B&CE CHARITABLE TRUST B&CE Charitable Trust highlighted the excellent work WIC are doing and the positive impact for the women. For the Trust, it complemented their corporate social responsibility and demonstrates their willingness to consider diversity.
I FEEL MORE OF A PERSON. AFTER BEING OUT OF EMPLOYMENT FOR NEARLY 5 YEARS I LOST FAITH AND CONFIDENCE IN MYSELF. NOW I HAVE MORE CONFIDENCE AND PRIDE IN MYSELF. - WOMAN SUPPORTED BY WIC Contact Women into Construction
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TRAINING BOARD (CITB)
Cottons Centre, London Bridge, London SE1 2QG
WICâ€™s reputation in the sector was seen to give credibility to CITB when speaking with employers and boosted CITB externally. The work of WIC was part of a much wider
Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 29
NORTECH’S BOOSTER TAGS ARE A SEAMLESS SOLUTION FOR VEHICLE AND DRIVER ACCESS IDENTIFICATION People and vehicle access control specialist Nortech is now offering longrange vehicle and driver identification tags to grant seamless access to approaching vehicles. Designed to accompany the popular TRANSIT reader range from Nedap, the tags are ideal for use in staff car parks, for priority vehicle control, industrial site access control, fleet and parking management. Key features include simultaneous driver and vehicle identification, a reading distance of up to 10m, easy windshield mounting with suction pads and maximum perimeter security. The TRANSIT Prox Booster (120-125 KHz), SMARTCARD Booster (13.56MHz) and SMARTCARD Booster Ultimate (2.45GHz and 433MHz) enable long range driver based identification. Driver based ID systems, a building access card and in-vehicle booster ensure that a vehicle can never gain access to a secured area unless occupied by an authorised driver. The booster is used in combination with a personal access credential and is an easy to integrate solution for vehicle access, eliminating the need to issue new cards. The booster is placed on the windshield on the inside of a vehicle. When an authorised building access card is inserted into the booster, it is read and then boosted to the external Nedap TRANSIT reader. The TRANSIT reader then transmits the credential ID to any standard back end security panel. If the credential is authorised and access is granted the gate will open automatically. Removal of the driver ID then allows the access card to be used for building access. Users also have the facility to match up vehicles and drivers, as a separate ID (vehicle ID) can be programmed into the booster on certain models. This ensures the right driver is with the right vehicle. The TRANSIT Prox Booster 2G supports proximity access control cards operating on 120-125 kHz such as HID prox, EM and Nedap. The SMARTCARD Booster 2G supports ISO 14443 or 15693 compliant smartcards (eg. MIFARE, MIFARE DESFIRE, LEGIC, Calypso and HID iClass) operating on 13.56 MHz.
The SMARTCARD Booster Ultimate is also available for almost all card technologies. It supports ISO 14443 or 15693 compliant smartcards (eg. MIFARE, MIFARE DESFIRE, LEGIC, Calypso and HID iClass) operating on 13.56 MHz. The advanced tag authentication of the SMARTCARD Booster Ultimate is only functional when the Security Key Pack has been installed in the TRANSIT Ultimate. The SMARTCARD Booster Ultimate operates with two frequencies, and uses the 2.45 GHz for robust vehicle identification and the 433 MHz frequency for advanced tag authentication using AES standards. A bi-directional communication feature in combination with the SMARTCARD Booster Ultimate has also made it possible to write information on the drivers’ access control card when the vehicle enters or leaves a perimeter. Credits, offline access rights or other information can be changed dynamically upon perimeter access Typical booster applications are high secured areas like airports, seaports, military bases, utility companies, corporate and educational campuses, police, fire and other installations where vehicles must be assigned to a specific driver.
30 Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019
Nortech has supplied products and solutions to the security industry for over 25 years as an independent British company. The company uses extensive experience and expertise to create new security products to fit their clients’ needs and designs everything with the customer in mind.
Further information is available from Nortech on 01633 485533 or by emailing email@example.com or by visiting the company’s website at www.nortechcontrol.com Nortech is supported by Vantage PR
Women in Construction UK speaks to Alisha Petts, a 22 year old Trainee Building Control Surveyor, about her experience to date in the Construction Industry My dream has always been to work in the construction industry as it is something that has appealed to me from a very young age. After dropping out of my first year at full time university, I was determined to make it into construction via another route. I instead applied for a trainee role where I attend university once a week and work the other four. Sitting in a classroom full time just wasn’t for me and the site work is what I was after. My role as a trainee building control surveyor varies and no two days are ever the same. I attend numerous site inspections a day to make sure the building work complies, which is a great way of getting hands on experience. I will also receive construction drawings from architects which I am to check for compliance, which helps with technical side of things. I love the plan checking aspect as it challenges your knowledge and pushes you into researching things that you perhaps didn’t already know. My job is a great combination as I am able to apply the knowledge I get in the office to the situations on site and vice versa. It’s also an exciting career to follow as you know that every day will be different and that you are constantly able to learn something new.
Women in Construction As a woman who works in construction, I have had a range of opinions and experiences relating to my gender. I have been working as a building control surveyor for roughly two years now and previous to this job role, I can honestly say that I was a little apprehensive for what was in store for me being a woman and working within what people still class as a “man’s world” – construction.
My Role My role at work revolves around ensuring that a builders work complies with the building regulations. This means I have to go on site, check their work and let them know if anything needs changing. Truthfully, when I first started this job, that seemed like a daunting idea. Telling builders whether their work is right or wrong – uh oh, I thought. Thankfully I was wrong. Now of course there have been a few minor comments made regarding the fact that “what? A woman building inspector?” has entered their site, but nonetheless, I was expecting this. I simply let them know that it’s 2018 and that they need to keep up with
the times. There have also been times where patronising comments have been made. For example, I attended a site visit for a rear extension and the builder pointed at the steel and said in a very degrading voice, ‘do you know what that is?’. I have also walked onto a site where the builder has asked me if I am there to clean! It’s times like this that I feel the old fashioned view of construction being a ‘man’s world’ still exists. Still, I try to just shrug off any comment that is made as this is a minority and doesn’t happen often. Also, more and more women are working jobs that would only ever have been deemed as ‘men’s work’ several decades ago so builders who do share this opinion had better get used to it – quickly Experiences on Site The amount of support I receive on site from builders is something I definitely was not expecting. As a trainee, going on site can be difficult. This can be made even more intimidating when you’re a 5ft 3 woman, about to face builders who have been working their trade for forty odd years. As my duty of a building inspector, I am to check their work for compliance and to advise where necessary. I thought this scenario up to be way worse than it actually is, as actually the support I receive is something I never expected. If, as a trainee, I am stuck with something (which can often happen), most builders have no problem with me asking a question. No sexist remarks made and no patronising comments, they’re
simply just happy to help. This type of attitude resembles a huge change for women in construction and is the attitude we need for even more women to work within this field. Apart from the odd chat up line you’re faced with, most builders in today’s modern society are respectful and don’t think twice about the fact that it’s a woman advising them on what to do next.
Times are Changing Going back to even just 20 or 30 years ago, I can imagine working within construction as a woman was tough. I am lucky enough to start my career at a time where the industry is more accepting and I believe that this is an exciting time for any female who works or wants to work amongst this industry. Due to the fact more and more women are undertaking roles in the realm of construction, means that change will keep happening, and that the old fashioned idea of men dominating this world will slowly but surely change. Women aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and we shouldn’t be held back from our goals and ambitions solely because of our gender. This is a generation where women are no longer seen as a part of the background, but are instead putting themselves forward to play important roles in construction. I personally feel that although we still have a way to go for equality in construction, we are on the right path to securing the change needed and to stand as a more diverse and accepting industry.
Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 31
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited a group of trailblazing female Modern Apprentices at Forth Valley College in Falkirk today to launch Scottish Apprenticeship Week Ms Sturgeon met with the 19-strong cohort of first year Modern Apprentices, covering areas such as welding and fabrication, instrumentation, power distribution and mechanical engineering. Forth Valley College (FVC) now boasts a total of 30 female Engineering MAs currently learning their trade at the Falkirk Campus and moves are also underway for FVC to develop a nationwide contact network for women apprentices in the engineering sector. Among the apprentices on hand to show the First Minister around Forth Valley College’s state-of-the-art Falkirk Campus were four ECITB-sponsored engineering apprentices. The young women are part of a prestigious ECITB-backed Oil and Gas Technical Apprentice Programme (OGTAP). The ECITB, as statutory skills body for the engineering construction industry, sponsors the training of OGTAP apprentices on behalf of various partner companies. Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of
Scotland, said: “Creating this network of apprentices who can share their experiences with others will help inspire the next generation. We know that work-based learning delivers for individuals, employers and the Scottish economy. Through the network, apprentices are going to have the chance to inspire young people to follow their example and become the apprentices of tomorrow. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to launch the network at Forth Valley College, and to see first-hand the excellent work being done to encourage more young women to consider careers in fields such as engineering.” Dr Ken Thomson, Principal of Forth Valley College, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the First Minister to our Falkirk Campus on Monday to help us celebrate the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2019. We are fully behind the First Minister’s launch of the Scotland’s Apprentice Network and feel this is a very positive initiative in terms of promoting apprenticeships to young people across Scotland. Our event also kicked off discussions around our own network for
female engineers, something we are hoping to develop in partnership with industry in order to champion the achievements of female engineers and highlight opportunities available. We currently have our largest ever intake of women in this sector and during the visit we were able to introduce the First Minister to our 19 first year female MAs, in addition to some former students. We are very proud of our high number of female engineers and we know that encouraging women into STEM subjects is also something very close to the First Minister’s heart. I am sure her visit will have inspired these students even more and also encourage more young women into engineering and other STEM subjects.” Director of National Training Programmes at Skills Development Scotland, Katie Hutton, said: “We know that the best people to showcase the benefits of apprenticeships are successful apprentices. Through the network, apprentices will have a unique opportunity to talk directly to school pupils who are making their career choices and encourage others to follow in their footsteps.” Chris Claydon, Chief Executive of the ECITB, said: “Attracting more young women into engineering is crucial if we are to address the growing skills shortages facing the industry in Scotland and across the UK. “Modern apprenticeships are a fantastic route into engineering and we’re delighted to be supporting these four young apprentices on the OGTAP programme at Forth Valley College. They are turning traditional stereotypes on their head by showing that engineering is an attractive and rewarding career path for talented and ambitious young women.”
32 Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019
More of us would rather our children did an apprenticeship than a degree, says FMB More parents in the UK want to see their child undertake an apprenticeship than a university degree, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders. To mark National Apprenticeship Week in England and Wales, which runs from 4th to 8th March 2019, the FMB undertook a survey of 2,000 adults and the findings were as follows: •
25% of us would rather our children undertook an apprenticeship;
24% of us would rather our children studied for a university degree; and
50% of us have no preference.
We also asked the same people how they felt about building firms that trained apprentices and found that: •
60% would have a more positive image of a construction firm knowing that it trains apprentices;
41% would be more likely to hire a building firm that trains apprentices as opposed to one that does not.
has the answers
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “We’re finally seeing the shift in attitudes with more people understanding the value of undertaking a vocational apprenticeship rather than a university degree. For too long, apprenticeships were looked down on and seen as the alternative route if children weren’t bright enough to follow the more academic route. “With university fees in England going through the roof, and with apprenticeships offering an ‘earn-while-you-learn route to a meaningful job, it’s no wonder that the penny has finally dropped. This research signals that the majority of children won’t be suffering undue pressure from their parents or teachers to attend university unless it really is right for them. Not everyone is academic and even for our very brightest students, on-thejob-learning can be an appealing way to prepare for the world of work. Apprenticeships are a brilliant career path and there are plenty of exciting opportunities in sectors like construction – we’re crying out for more young people to join our ranks.” Berry concluded: “Now that we know that the general public is changing its attitude towards apprenticeships, the construction industry must step up and make more apprenticeship places available to young people. Not only will firms be helping train the next generation, apprenticeships are also good for the bottom line. “Our research shows that people like companies that train apprentices to the extent that more than 40 percent of clients would hire the building firm that trains apprentices as opposed to the one that doesn’t. It therefore makes sense, on every level, for building companies to step up their apprenticeship training and not only that, make sure your clients know about it. Shout about it on your website and social media platforms or better still, introduce your apprentices to your clients. Because what’s clear is, apprenticeships are good for business.”
isurv construction A comprehensive resource for administering all construction projects. Including: • Forms & guidance • Guidance notes • Best practise
Find out more
Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 33
Focus on Waste
Recycling Buildings: 10 Building Materials That Can Be Reu Construction and demolition waste are one of the heaviest and most voluminous waste streams generated in the EU accounting for approximately 25%-30% of all waste generated. Demolition recycling is an important step in a building’s life cycle, as material reclamation and good recycling practices can divert over 90% of the building’s material from the landfill. RubberBond have been investigating what materials can be recycled and what they can be turned into. CONCRETE, BRICKS & BLOCKS Research indicates that the average wastage level of concrete is about 4%, while brick and block is around 6%.
Method Concrete and brick can be recycled by crushing them into rubble. Repurpose Once sorted, screened and contaminants are removed, reclaimed concrete or brick can be used in concrete aggregate, fill, road base, or riprap. GYPSUM Stat The landfilling of gypsum and other wastes with a high sulphate content together with biodegradable waste has been banned in England and Wales since July 2005. This is to prevent the build-up of hydrogen
sulphide gas which is both toxic and odorous. Method Gypsum is relatively easy to recycle. Contaminants need to be removed, such as screws and nails, and separate the paper. Repurpose It can be ground into a powder or turned into pellets. The resulting material is sold to manufacturers that use gypsum for different applications. WOOD Stat Wood waste from all sorts of building sites – including new builds and refurbishments
Campaign to tackle plastics and packaging in construction launched The Considerate Constructors Scheme has launched its industry-wide campaign ‘Spotlight on...plastics and packaging’ to raise awareness and showcase best practice in how the construction industry can reduce, reuse and recycle plastics and packaging. The launch of the campaign - which features on the industry’s Best Practice Hub - comes in response to startling findings from a Scheme survey of over 900 people working within the UK and Irish construction industries. The survey discovered that although over 95% of respondents said the industry needs to be doing something to reduce its consumption of plastics and packaging, over half of respondents (51%) have little understanding of the rules and regulations surrounding plastics and packaging, and only 44% know how to recycle different plastic and packaging materials. The survey also revealed that: • 98% said the over-consumption of plastics and packaging is a global issue. • 92% believe plastics and packaging are extremely dangerous to the environment. • 81% said the construction industry is not doing enough to reduce its consumption
of plastics and packaging. • 31% said they frequently use plastics and packaging that cannot be reused or recycled. With the construction industry being the second largest consumer of plastics in the UK, it is imperative that the construction industry reconsiders the way it consumes and disposes of plastics and packaging to protect the environment and all life. The Scheme is calling on all construction sites, companies, suppliers and clients of construction projects to drastically reduce their consumption of plastics and packaging. Not only does this offer significant improvements for the environment and society as a whole, it also makes commercial business sense, with many organisations reporting significant cost savings achieved. ‘Spotlight on…plastics and packaging’ provides a suite of resources to help the industry to address this issue. It includes a range practical case studies and guidance from contractors, clients and service suppliers including: AMA Waste Management; Aztec; Balfour Beatty; Crossrail; Environment Agency; Griffiths; Knight Build; Protec; Right Waste Right Place; Mace; Morgan Sindall; Multiplex;
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Skanska; Sir Robert McAlpine; Wates and Ward. Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive, Edward Hardy said: “As construction is the second largest consumer of plastic in the UK, our industry has one of the greatest responsibilities to society, and to the environment, to ensure that we are working tirelessly to improve our standards in minimising waste from plastics. “The Scheme’s ‘Spotlight on…plastics and packaging’ campaign provides resources, practical support and guidance helping everyone to take effective measures to tackle this issue. While considerable progress is being made – with over 76% of Scheme-registered construction sites setting targets to reduce, reuse and recycle waste – it is clear that a concerted effort to raise further awareness, and to provide the necessary support, is needed to achieve this drastic reduction in waste from plastics and packaging.” ‘Spotlight on…plastics and packaging’ follows a number of hugely successful industry campaigns which the Scheme hosts on the Best Practice Hub. In 2018, the Scheme launched the ‘Spotlight on… air pollution’ and ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ with follow-on e-learning courses in each topic. These campaigns have received over 48,000 views to date, with over 50,000 courses being taken.
Focus on Waste
used After Demolition – amounts to around 0.85mt per year. Method Wood can be reused, repurposed, recycled, or burned as bioenergy. Repurpose Wood can be used in pathways, coverings, mulches, compost, animal bedding, or particleboard. GLASS Stat The UK manufactures 750,000 tonnes of flat glass each year, three-quarters of which goes into glazing products for buildings. Currently, the recycled content of flat glass produced in the UK is between 20%–30%. Method There are various methods of recycling glass in order to make it fit for repurposing such as crushing, screening to remove contamination, air classification, optical sorting, size classification and washing and drying. Repurpose Glass can be used for pretty much anything including decorative materials, fluxing agent in the manufacture of bricks and ceramics, insulation, containers and even sports turf applications. METALS Stat Britain exports 15 million tonnes of industrial waste each year, half of which is valuable scrap metal Method Metals are collected, sorted and then shredded. The scrap is then melted and purified and finally allowed to cool to solidify. Repurpose Metals—including steel, copper, and brass—are valuable commodities to recycle. Like glass, they can be repurposed into a vast array of items such as appliances, furnishings, fixtures and lighting. AGGREGATES Stat Approximately 275 million tonnes of aggregates are used each year in the UK as raw construction materials, but a lot of it goes to landfill. More than half (54%) of waste recorded as ‘Recycling and other recovery’ is ‘Mineral wastes’, while a further 12% is soils. Method Concrete aggregate collected from
demolition sites is put through a crushing machine. Crushing facilities accept only uncontaminated concrete, which must be free of trash, wood, paper and other such materials. Repurpose Aggregate can be reused as a base material under foundations, roads and railroads. PLASTERBOARD
Stat Almost 600,000 tonnes of flooring is disposed of each year, of which less than 2% is recycled. A small quantity is incinerated but the vast majority, over 90%, goes to landfill. Method Fibresolve – subjecting wood fibre to a vacuum and pressurised steam with mechanical agitation at a high temperature.
Stat Up to 1.3 million tonnes of plasterboard waste is generated within the new-build construction and refurbishment sectors each year.
Microrelease – using microwaves to reclaim wood fibres from the resin.
Repurpose There tends to be a lot of wastage when it comes to floor and wall coverings due to over ordering, pairing this with the fact that a lot of it can also be recycled afterwards, materials such as ceramic and terrazzo tiles, wallpaper, carpet, carpet tiles, vinyl and linoleum and laminate flooring can be repurposed into many things including road cone manufacturing and animal bedding material.
Repurpose Standard plasterboard, which hasn’t been contaminated by paint or similar, can be added to an aerobic composting system and is likely to have a neutral or beneficial effect when added to the soil, especially clay soil. PLASTICS Stat According to National Geographic and the National Geographic Society, 91% of plastic isn’t recycled. Method All plasterboard recycling goes through a thorough process which takes away all of the added material which is left on the plasterboard when it’s removed from the wall or ceiling. Repurpose In construction, plastics are generally used for pipework, interior fittings, window frames, scaffolding boards and kerbstones. These can be repurposed into packaging, textile fibre and clothing, street furniture to name only a few. FLOOR & WALL COVERINGS
Thermohydraulic processes – separating the adhesive from the wood fibres.
INSULATION Stat In just 23 housing projects in the UK, the average amount of insulation wasted was 1.0m3 per 100m2 floor area. Method Insulation can be recycled by returning materials through take-back schemes offered by manufacturers, but reclamation and reprocessing can only happen after removing impurities such as nails and screws. Repurpose Similarly, materials involved in insulation such as glass and stone wool, polystyrene, sheep’s wool, spray foam, polyurethane and fibreboard can be transformed into concrete blocks, fibreglass board and fibreglass ceiling tiles.
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MENTAL HEALTH FOCUS Breaking mental health stigma must start at the top of the organisation, says the British Safety Council Over the last two years, mental health has become a key boardroom issue in Britain, but the gap between the perception of how much has been achieved and the reality is still wide. The rhetoric about mental health used by senior business leaders is not always being translated into tangible actions. At present, 58 per cent of them think that their organisations support their staff, while only 42 per cent of employees with no managerial responsibility say that staff with mental health issues were being supported (Mental Health at Work 2018 report). “The stigma surrounding mental health problems still exists, although to a lesser extent than before,” said Dame Carol Black, expert government advisor on health and work and a passionate campaigner for better mental health, in her interview with the British Safety Council. “Many people believe that their professional development and career progression will be compromised if they admit to suffering or having experienced mental health issues. One of the ways to stop this is for the chief executive and senior managers in a company to talk about it, rather than brush it under the carpet. Real progress can be made if somebody high up in the organisation, who has experienced mental health problems, is willing to discuss it.” The human and financial costs of mental ill-health are huge: • Every week, more than 100 people take their own lives in the UK (source: Mind). • 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems lose their jobs each year (source: Thriving at Work report) • The cost of poor mental health to the UK economy has been estimated at between £74 - £99 billion per year, according to the report Thriving at Work. Published in October 2017, “These figures reflect the enormity and complexity of the task ahead of us,” said James Rudoni, Managing Director of Mates in Mind. “We need the commitment at the top of organisations to drive a radical change in workplace culture across the UK. At Mates in Mind, we believe that only when companies and regulators go beyond tackling a crisis of mental ill-health and start preventing it in the first place, will a long-lasting transformation of workplace mental health begin. “Working in collaboration with industry partners, Mates in Mind, of which the British Safety Council is a proud supporter and one of the founding partners, has developed a comprehensive mental health programme, based on the principle that there is no health without mental health. Mates in Mind is now working with more than 200 organisations across the construction and construction-related industries, creating better awareness and challenging the stigma associated with poor mental health. This message is now reaching more than 187,000 workers.” Working in partnership with Mates in Mind, the British Safety Council has developed much needed tools to help people start and manage difficult conversations about mental health. Its mental health training courses, include: Start the Conversation – a 45-minute session that aims to get employees thinking about mental health and talking about it.
Mates in Mind striving alongside B&CE to transform apprentices’ mental health Having been awarded the B&CE’s Mowlem Award grant in 2018, Mates in Mind have launched their Apprentices’ Mental Health Survey to support improvements in the mental health of apprentices across the construction and related industries Joscelyne Shaw, Director of Strategy at Mates Mind, said: “Mates in Mind are striving to improve apprentices’ mental health because we understand that the challenges of poor mental health are affecting young people across our industries. “As reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), half of all mental illnesses begin by the age of 14, and threequarters by mid-20s. Moreover, poor mental health can have an impact on future generations, contributing further to cycles of inequality and ill health that may run through some families. Using the funding provided by the B&CE, Mates in Mind have launched their Apprentices’ Mental Health Survey. The results of the survey will provide us with insights and an evidence base about apprentices’ mental health from which we will develop a programme tailored to their needs and responding to their concerns. To support our current apprentices’ initiative Mates in Mind are also promoting a poster created by Colin Orr, the British Safety Council’s 2018 poster competition winner, whose ‘Image of wellbeing’ illustrates how depression among young people can manifest itself. “With our work across the construction industry now reaching over 188,000 workers through our 210 Supporter organisations, we are striving to provide apprentices and young people with the best starting point at the beginning of their careers,” says Joscelyne Shaw. Mates in Mind would like to appeal to all UK employers, colleges and apprentices’ schemes to encourage their apprentices to take part in our survey. We will be using it to support our work to transform the industry’s approach to mental health.
Manage the Conversation – a three-hour workshop for line managers to give them the skills and confidence to have conversations about mental health. Mental Health First Aid – a two-day course that teaches people how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue. The British Safety Council also offers a range of wellbeing courses to help organisations with the development of a positive mental health culture, such as Resilience, Stress Awareness and Managing Stress training.
36 Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019
Feature Caddick Construction lays foundations for building a healthy and happy workforce - thanks to hero partnership Caddick Construction has agreed a partnership with health and wellness provider hero which will see all of its 140 employees benefit from a tailored health and wellbeing programme. The bespoke wellbeing package covers both mental and physical health and includes one-to-one health checks and screenings, wellbeing training for all direct line managers, mental health first aid training and ongoing workshops throughout 2019. Managing Director Andrew Murray from Caddick Construction said: “Our employees are our greatest asset and we want to ensure they feel valued and supported. We are thrilled to be leading the way when it comes to mental resilience and wellbeing in the workplace issues which should not and cannot be ignored. As employers we take our responsibility to our
team members seriously and want to support them in as many ways possible to ensure they are both healthy and happy inside and outside of work.” He added: “The hero team impressed us with the depth and level of support they provide behind the scenes. I’m confident this project will deliver tangible results for our staff that will enhance and improve the health and wellbeing our employees, whether office based or on site.” Joe Gaunt, CEO of hero said: “It’s always rewarding to see businesses waking up to the fact they play a large and important part in the health and wellbeing of their team. It’s great to see Caddick Construction leading the way and championing wellness at work in such a bold and committed manner. The ‘Mindset’ programme of events have been purposely designed to offer comprehensive screenings
and health checks that cover everything from blood pressure to cholesterol and blood tests too.” “We have been working with Caddick to understand the current ‘state of the workforce’ enabling us to create a bespoke programme, which will deliver results and have immediate and long-term effects. The hero Discovery Report demonstrated clear indicators of specific support around what the Caddick team wanted to see. And, as a result, we were able to design a bespoke and tailored programme perfect for Caddick employees.” 2019 marks hero’s second year and since its launch in May 2018 it has acquired two businesses and established exciting and innovative partnerships with organisations such as Moda, Les Mills, MyZone and Jamie Peacock.
When is the best time to exercise? As well as being good for our physical health, exercise has a huge potential to enhance our mental health and wellbeing. Regular physical activity naturally boosts mood as the brain releases endorphins which are ‘feel good hormones’, which subsequently can make us work better. With long working hours, leading to stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation and pressure coping with deadlines, it is no surprise 41% of people working in the Architecture industry are wanting businesses to do more to support their physical and mental wellbeing. Furthermore, 35% of employees in the sector said they would take up exercise initiatives if their employer provided them. Whilst the best time for a workout often depends on commitments and personal preference, it’s important to ensure exercise regimes complement our work life balance.
Don’t exercise before bed
Head of Coaching at Westfield Health, Mark Pinches, provides tips for employees on the most effective times to exercise.
“Try to avoid doing any physical activity at least two hours before going to bed as exercise will increase heart rate and core body temperature, making it harder to fall asleep. For those who struggle to find another time, keep exercise light such as yoga or Pilates and leave high intensity workouts for the weekend.”
At least 150 minutes a week
Stick to a routine
“Doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week is enough to see a positive impact on performance and energy levels whilst at work. Exercising builds focus, releases stress and improves mood, so it’s important to try to fit in at least 20 minutes into our routine each day. “For those short of time, commuting on foot or taking walking meetings can be a great way to achieve this without letting work compromise. Employers can encourage exercise in the workplace by implementing schemes and activities such as sports days or step challenges.”
“There is no ‘set’ time to exercise as it is often dependant on the individual and what works for their lifestyle, however it’s important to try to stick to the same time every day. Try to find a realistic time to exercise instead of struggling to achieve something that isn’t sustainable. A great way to do this is to stay consistent with the time of workouts and treat them as ‘unbreakable appointments’ to minimise cancelling.”
A little exercise everyday
“Even if you take regular exercise, sitting down for hours on end can have damaging and long-lasting health effects. The human body is at its best when it is moving so it’s important to take regular breaks when at work to stimulate blood flow and stretch muscles. Not only will these breaks help improve our physical wellbeing, it can help to increase productivity and reduce absenteeism at work.”
“Whether it’s going to a gym class or a having a kick around at lunch, getting into the routine of doing some kind of exercise every day is a good way to keep active. Even if you don’t feel like it, exercising despite being tired will help build resilience and self-discipline, traits that are bound to be of use in the workplace.”
Stretch your legs
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38 Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019
Women build new perception of roles in the construction industry While the latest official figures on apprenticeships (for 2016-2017) show that only 620 females entered the sector that year compared with more than 20,000 men, unofficial figures and anecdotal evidence paint a very different – and much more positive – picture. According to construction careers website Go Construct, some 37 per cent of new entrants into the construction sector coming from higher education are women; it also estimates that 14 per cent of the total workforce in this sector are now female. These statistics reflect the experience of ASW Property Services, a property services specialist covering Wales, the Midlands and the South West of England, in recent years. ASW is keen to champion women leading on roles that were once traditionally filled by males. In recent years, multiple members of female staff at ASW have developed into such roles, such as site manager, skilled plasterer and plumber. Kelly Martin was employed by ASW as on-site administrator in September 2014, through Beyond Bricks and Mortar, an important initiative to secure community benefits from all suitable council activities in the City and County of Swansea for the lasting benefits of the community. On her first day in the site office, Kelly dealt so effectively with a tenant’s queries of a difficult nature, that she was promoted to tenant liaison officer (TLO), covering several sites across Swansea and Bridgend. In November 2015, she trained as a site supervisor, completing her Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme course, carrying out this role as well as her TLO role. On completion of her Site Management Safety Training Scheme course in September 2018, she was promoted to site manager in November 2018. Since, she has been running sites including work on chimneys, balconies and door voice entry – to name but a few. Talking about her development and progression since working with ASW, Kelly Martin comments: “I have really delved into the roles I have been given while working with ASW. I had no relative experience in these job roles before working here, so I appreciate how
the company champions women working in such a traditionally heavily male dominated industry. “Completing all of the training courses while maintaining my role has given me the expertise and experience I need to continue developing and progressing on this career path. It proves you do not have to be a male to succeed in the construction industry and I am living proof of that.”
Equality should be a priority in every business, and we strive to make sure the construction industry is no different. I am very passionate about helping female staff develop and progress into roles they have a drive for – and our female staff are absolutely fantastic. It is great to see the construction industry make way for gender equality – we still have a long way to go, but it’s heading in the right direction. Lisa Kostromin, plasterer at ASW, completed a Level 1 Diploma in Plastering with NPTC College in 2016. Her second year involved working on site, where Cyfle Building Skills Shared Apprenticeship Scheme matched Lisa with ASW in 2017. Since, Lisa has completed her Level 2 NVQ qualification and took part in a Skills Build Event, where she competed with colleges in the region. Lisa went on to be a finalist in the Welsh regionals and was the only female plasterer in the competition. Lisa’s efforts won her the position of runner up for the South Wales region, competing against Level 3 contestants. As a result, NPTC nominated Lisa for Student of the Year UK 2018, where Lisa secured second place. Lisa is now a multiskilled plasterer on ASW’s contracts that involve kitchens and bathrooms. Driven by her successes, Lisa also learnt other trades while working on site with ASW and is determined to continue developing her skillset – with an aim to do supervisory in the future. Lisa Kostromin comments: “I have always wanted to try my hand at plastering and I am so glad I did. I have reaped so many rewards from the qualifications and
training I have received, and this will allow me to continue on my journey with ASW. “Being successful in the awards I have been nominated in has given me the confidence to know that I can do whatever I put my mind to. I can’t wait to develop further skills and progress in my career with ASW.” Jennifer Champion, who is multi-trade qualified, including working on plumbing projects (City and Guilds level 2 qualified), joined ASW in January 2018. ASW supported Jennifer while she undertook a multi- trade apprenticeship course and has since worked on various projects – including kitchens and bathrooms. Jennifer is currently seeking further courses to embark on while working at ASW to qualify her to progress to quantity surveyor or site manager in the future, as part of her development path. Jennifer Champion comments: “I really enjoy working on projects that are traditionally undertook by male staff – for example, plumbing. I am now working to attain my level 3 qualification, while undertaking my daily roles at ASW. I’m excited as to where the future could lead for me – I have high aspirations of developing my career path to quantity surveyor or site manager and I know I am on the right path to get me there.” Managing director of ASW, Anthony Thomas, said: “Equality should be a priority in every business, and we strive to make sure the construction industry is no different. I am very passionate about helping female staff develop and progress into roles they have a drive for – and our female staff are absolutely fantastic. “It is great to see the construction industry make way for gender equality – we still have a long way to go, but it’s heading in the right direction.” ASW is an equal opportunity employer, and is committed to a policy of fairness, inclusion and respect (FIR) for everyone. ASW has FIR ambassadors within the company to help promote equality and diversity and combat discrimination. The company was also one of the first in Wales to train FIR ambassadors with FIR4Us (Supply Chain Sustainability School) in September 2018.
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Plans submitted for Feltham Magistrates’ Court development MCR Property Group has submitted a planning application to transform Feltham Magistrates’ Court into 27 new homes. Built in 1902 to serve as Feltham Town Hall, then used as a court from 2013, plans submitted by MCR Property Group aim to convert the locally listed, Victorian-era structure into a mixed-tenure residential development.
Mick George Ltd Land Northstowe Education Campus Package Having gained approval in Q4 2018, development is now underway on the creation of Cambridgeshire’s largest education campus. Local construction specialist, Mick George Ltd will imminently begin Earthworks on behalf of Acrabuild (Anglia) UK, on phase one of the Northstowe Education Campus build, located on the former RAF Oakington base to the northwest edge of Cambridge. The first phase of the campus, which will cost around £45m, includes a secondary school, a multipurpose school hall / theatre space and drama studios, a sports hall large enough for four tennis courts, a gym, two dance studios, an all-weather floodlit football pitch and a 110-place Special Education Needs (SEN) school. Once complete, also present will be a 400-place sixth form college co-located with the secondary school, a primary school and a nursery, an eight-court indoor sports hall, gymnasium, café, fitness studios and outdoor community sports facilities. The secondary school, planned to open in September 2019, will be run by Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT) and will provide places for up to 600 pupils aged 11-16. It will then be extended in two subsequent phases to 1,200 and finally 1,800 pupils. The timing of these phases will be dependent upon the pace of housing development and demand for places from families moving into the catchment area. This sustainable new development will host up to 10,000 new homes and an anticipated population of around 24,400 people.
The scheme, designed by rg+p, will comprise one studio apartment, five one-bedroom, 16 two-bedroom and three three-bedroom flats, alongside a four-bedroom apartment and a four bedroom townhouse. MCR Property Group will retain the building’s existing façade and side elevations – key elements of its locally listed status. The other existing areas of the building will be demolished to make way for a three-storey new-build structure to accommodate the 26 new flats. The three storey townhouse will sit adjacent to the building. A number of units will benefit from private balconies and gardens, with plans to incorporate a privates residents’ roof space. On-site parking will be available, with eight spaces proposed. The site is situated on Hanworth Road in the heart of Feltham, accessible by two roads. It sits approximately 300 metres from a mainline rail station served by regular services into London Waterloo, while Heathrow Airport and the M25 motorway are also in close proximity. Nick Lake, asset manager of MCR Property Group, said: “Our plans for Feltham Magistrates’ Court presents a chance to transform this disused, historical building, helping to meet the demand for new-build homes in the town, while retaining the most idiosyncratic aspects of this striking building. “Feltham is a commuter hotspot that is well served by excellent travel links into the city and to Heathrow Airport, a major contributor to the town’s economy. This mixture of high-specification homes is designed to enhance the local community, providing a range of properties for firsttime buyers, professionals or families.” Grant Giblett, associate director at rg+p, added: “Derelict since 2016, the site of the former Feltham Magistrates Court sits within the town centre conservation area. Responding sensitively to the character of the area, our proposal emphasises the existing building’s fenestration rhythm and detail whilst also embracing the local material palette and brick bond.”
The school will be the seventh secondary school to join CMAT and will work closely with CMAT’s other schools across Cambridgeshire and surrounding areas, including Swavesey Village College, which has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted since 2011. Michael George, Managing Director at Mick George Ltd commented: ‘’Working on education facilities comes with its challenges. The fact that our services have been utilised so frequently on some of the most high-profile builds in that sector throughout our operating regions is a testament to the high level of quality and detail we assign to all of our contracts. This is yet another exciting scheme that we’re pleased to be involved with.’’
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Project News Plans submitted for Notaro Park – new business park and contemporary motorway services at Junction 24 of the M5 Planning applications for a new employment park and motorway service station at Junction 24 of the M5 have been submitted to Sedgemoor District Council. The applications relate to an area of approximately 85 acres of land to the East of the motorway junction, which is allocated for development in the emerging Sedgemoor Local Plan. The proposals include over 850,000 sq ft of employment space which may provide for up to 1,200 jobs in a number of new buildings. Reflecting the variety of demand for commercial and employment space, the buildings would range from 10,000 sq ft to over 250,000 sq ft and include warehouse, light industrial and general industry space. This would be alongside a modern, contemporary, new service area, generating approximately 70 new jobs including a brand new amenity building with a unique roof terrace area accessed by an external walkway. The rooftop terrace will be in addition to the more traditional ground floor seating, and a businessfocused lounge on the first floor. Submitted by property consultants JLL on behalf of the land owner S Notaro Land Ltd and the new motorway services operator, Euro Garages, the plans have been prepared by a consultant team including Peter Brett Associates (part of Stantec), LHC Design and ADS Architects. The application for the overall employment park and motorway services is in outline only. A detailed reserved matters application has also been submitted at the same time for the proposed motorway service station immediately adjacent to junction 24. Fuel pumps for cars and HGVs will be separate on different sides of the service
station building, with clearly defined parking areas for cars, caravans, coaches and HGVs. Eight electric vehicle charging points will be provided as part of the proposals, to help to encourage the shift to more environmentally friendly transport. The service station building itself will be a modern contemporary design, with an open central space lit by large glazed walls at either end. The building will be clad using a terracotta façade system which is environmentally friendly, as well as giving the building a unique appearance in service station design.
determined that the whole park is a legacy that the family can be rightly proud of.”
The whole employment park is to be set within a wider landscape framework, which will protect the homes in Huntworth whilst celebrating the new economic opportunities of the park, through quality landscaping and the feature service area building.
The Motorway Service Area will form the first phase of development and provide the principal site infrastructure to enable Notaro Park to develop soon after. Phil Bartleet of Euro Garages commented: “We are very excited by the opportunity that this new service area presents. As a company we are expanding into this market and the Junction 24 location will be a real flagship for us, helping us to bring something new to the market for the users of the M5 in the South West”.
Joe Notaro of S Notaro Land Ltd said: “Notaro Park is a really important development for us as a family business. It is literally on our doorstep and we are
The employment park will be marketed by property consultants JLL. Giles Weir, JLL Director added “Notaro Park will meet the very great need we are seeing at the moment for good quality space in an excellent location right on the important M5 corridor. The industrial and logistics sector remains a strong performer in the market so sites such as this on busy motorway junctions are vital for growth and meeting occupiers’ requirements”.
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Government backs ACE Future of Consultancy campaign The UK Research & Innovation Council (UKRI) has formally recognised the ACE Future of Consultancy campaign, with a pledge to collaborate with and sponsor it as part of the Construction Sector Deal’s Transforming Construction programme. The two-year multi-phased campaign will help the entire consultancy and engineering sector not only adapt to, but welcome, a new era of design and delivery in the built environment. UKRI has agreed to contribute to the project and will provide additional support throughout the campaign by sharing its expertise and knowledge. The first phase will scope new areas of opportunity, identify and explore new business models for consultancy, and analyse the sector’s changing needs in terms of skills. The second will implement the findings from phase one and focus on developing sustainable businesses delivering different services using different business models, and piloting tomorrow’s training, apprenticeship schemes, and contracts. Working in partnership with members, industry stakeholders and clients from the private and public sectors, the Future of Consultancy will build on existing initiatives and research to deliver tangible outputs in assessing the addressable markets for new technology and future consultancy services. It also aims to deliver training and contracts to help ACE members and the wider industry seize the opportunities offered by technological advances in digital technology, offsite construction, big data and AI. To
enable this change, the programme will provide industry-wide consensus on consultancy business models, as well as skills profiles and training requirements for the sector. ACE’s sister organisation, the Environmental Industries Commission, which represents environmental consultancies and other sustainability businesses, will also contribute to the campaign, receiving UKRI support for research into the innovation required by the environmental sector to deliver the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. Hannah Vickers, Chief Executive of ACE said: “We are delighted that UKRI has recognised the benefits that our Future of Consultancy campaign will have helping consultancy firms invest wisely and aligning the clients’ efforts with the Transforming Construction Programme to focus on the areas of greatest opportunity. “We’ve taken stock of the various initiatives happening around us, including the Industrial Strategy, changes to the regulation of the industry as a result of the Hackitt Review and Project 13, and want to work with consultancy firms to develop an industrywide vision to review and prioritise potential future opportunities in the UK and Export markets lie, and then to implement a programme to develop the capability to deliver the change.” Craig Huntbatch, Business Line Director at Royal HaskoningDHV, and Vice Chairman of ACE who is Board Lead for the campaign, said: “Our ambitions are to go further than this, with our own strategy to make it relevant and joined up with other parts
44 Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019
of the industry. We have already started making progress by holding a manufacturing workshop, jointly with CECA, to help us understand the challenges and opportunities that contractors see for clients through offsite manufacturing. This is about industry taking stock of the changing environment around us and implementing a plan to lead our business into a sustainable future together.” Sam Stacey, ISCG Challenge Director of UKRI added: “The Future of Consultancy campaign being led by ACE clearly contributes to the Government’s ambitions to improve the productivity and performance of the sector through the Transforming Construction Programme. In addition, it is vital to the sustainability of the businesses in the consultancy sector. UKRI believes it will deliver real change in the industry, and we are pleased to support it.” ACE has a variety of research projects in the pipeline which will draw together the best of existing research into a workable and deliverable programme for consultancy businesses. The long-running Consultancy & Engineering Awards also offers the opportunity to collate best practice case studies to inform the research and showcase what the future of the industry looks like. The organisation has planned a number of other regional, national and online opportunities to meet and contribute to the debate including the Digital Leadership Conference and the inaugural Future of Consultancy Conference, both being held in June. These conferences will give delegates the opportunity to debate and discuss, and for ACE to reveal the outputs of research to date.
Suppliers Appointed to Fusion21’s £800 Million Construction Works & Improvements Framework National procurement organisation Fusion21 has announced the suppliers successfully appointed to its national Construction Works & Improvements Framework - worth up to £800 Million, over a four year period. A total of 45 highly skilled firms – including 50% SMEs – have secured a place on the framework which has been developed to deliver capital works programmes with lots specific to housing, education, healthcare and the wider public sector. Going live to the market on Monday 1st April, the framework offers a range of internal and external refurbishment and improvement works through to the building of additional structures -and will support housing providers, local authorities, educational institutions and healthcare organisations to deliver regeneration programmes, modernisation and upgrade works, plus construction of all building types. Peter Francis, Director of Operations at Fusion21 said: “Having responded to member and market demand we have created a commercially efficient framework solution that will support the delivery of refurbishment and regeneration
programmes across the public sector. Our members will benefit from working with supply partners that have been appointed based on sector experience, competence and capability, whilst also having the option to select suppliers by region and value band to meet local delivery requirements. In addition, this framework provides value for money, streamlined price models, flexible call-off process and social value outcomes.”
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Fusion21 provides procurement services to the public sector - fully compliant with EU, UK and Scottish legislation - and is committed to making a difference in communities across the UK. To date the firm has saved its members more than £197 million through the procurement process, created more than 5,500 jobs and generated £78 million of social value.
Women in Construction UK Magazine - April 2019 21/05/2018 45 11:20
Women in Construction UK is the only Construction Magazine in the UK for women. Every bi-monthly issue of Women in Construction UK provides...
Published on Apr 2, 2019
Women in Construction UK is the only Construction Magazine in the UK for women. Every bi-monthly issue of Women in Construction UK provides...