CCATF Annual Apprenticeship Conference

The second CCATF Annual Apprenticeship Conference promises to build on last year’s extremely successful, London event.

Using a similar format as last year, the event will provide a platform for the examination of the ever changing apprenticeship agenda within the UK construction sector.

A keynote address from Mr Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Manchester, will be underpinned by confirmed formal contributions, to date, from:

  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • Seddon Construction Ltd (Main event sponsor)
  • The Institute for Apprenticeship and Technical Education
  • City & Guilds

During the event there will also be two ‘panel sessions’ where delegates will be able to discuss and debate with selected panellists apprenticeship issues raised on the day.

It is anticipated that some of the topics covered in these sessions will include:

  • Regional Apprenticeship Initiatives
  • How supply chain collaboration can help increase more apprenticeship starts
  • Apprenticeship Levy/Levy transfers
  • Employer support for End Point Assessment
  • T Levels

Attendance is free for all industry/sector specific organisations interested in the apprenticeship agenda and wider skills debate.

To book, for free, please follow the link.

NFB Welcomes new national Chair – Nick Sangwin

Construction industry professionals and guests gathered at The Deep in Hull for an evening of dinner, entertainment, and networking. Guests were entertained by Jim Whitley.

Nick Sangwin became national chair of the National Federation of Builders (NFB) on Thursday 13 June 2019 at the NFB’s annual general meeting (AGM), which was followed by a celebratory gala dinner. Nick is also one of our Board members!

The NFB’s AGM, which took place earlier in the afternoon, saw the outgoing NFB Chair Neil Walters, commercial director of Orbit Homes, hand the ceremonial chains of office over to Nick and mark the beginning of his twelve-month term. Nick Sangwin delivered an outstanding speech at the event. He said:

“The industry is changing, as it always is. This time, there is a very real sense that the balance of power is shifting away from the 1%. One of the most gratifying aspects of that change is that the NFB is there, pushing. Whether it is on prompt payment, contract risk, access to contracts, we are there. This change, however, is coming. Most of the industry is behind the change. The Government wants the change to happen. The only ones who are stalling are those who benefit from things staying the same. The patience for poor payers is running thin. The patience for poor payers with weak balance sheets that use their supply chain as a cheap source of finance is wearing thinner. People are more openly talking about which companies are on shaky financial ground and are not worth the risk. This is the type of cultural change that will be lasting because legislation can only go so far.

“During my time in post, I will build on the good work the outgoing national chair, Neil Walters, has done on highlighting prompt payment with a refreshing robustness and honesty that took many by surprise. Payment delays have an effect on cash flow, investment in training, recruitment and businesses as well as mental health. It also makes the industry less attractive to the young and to potential career switchers who, secure in a job, will have to try hard to justify moving to an industry with a reputation for poor payment. Secondly, we are about to launch the NFB Major Contractors Group. Given the number of large contractors in the NFB’s membership, this is causing many to look at the NFB differently. It will give us an opportunity to show that there is a better way of paying, of building supply chains and of giving back to our communities.” 

The National Federation of Builders would like to thank the sponsors of the AGM and gala dinner: B&CECITBCrosby AssociatesMKM Builders Merchants, Northern Region Association, Tradepoint and Yorkshire Builders Federation.

Aerial Photo Time…

DfE Framework contractor Henry Boot Construction have shared this fantastic aerial photograph of the PSBP2 project at Longcroft School on the outskirts of Beverley .

Clear, simple and delivering value – CITB’s new Business Plan

Blogpost by Mark Noonan, Industry Relations Director, CITB.

CITB’s mission is to attract and support the development of people to construct a better Britain.

Perhaps in the past you haven’t heard us talk about it enough.

With our new 2019-2021 Business Plan we are putting it front and centre, to make sure everything we do contributes towards achieving that mission.

With this in mind, we have grouped our activity into two key areas: to Attract people into construction and Support the development of people in the sector.

It’s as simple as that.

It allows us to commit to activity, knowing it is integral to what we are here to do, and in turn provides a real return on the investment that employers make when they pay the construction levy.

That’s why we are committing to Our Big Six (PDF, 6MB). These are six exciting, transformative projects which will help to address key skills challenging facing the sector right now.

Our Big Six:

  1. We all know with an ageing workforce and potentially having fewer EU workers, we face a massive challenge to attract new talent into the sector. In response we will launch of a new nationwide campaign to attract and inspire more recruits later this year.
  2. There is a clear need for more work-ready recruits. For this reason we are building on the Construction Skills Fund to create 20 more on-site learning hubs in Scotland, Wales and rural England.
  3. Apprenticeships remain a key route into the industry. We are committed to delivering a two-thirds increase in apprentices by 2025, and twice as many apprentices from diverse backgrounds.
  4. A well-known barrier to joining construction is that many who take college courses are not site ready at the end of the them. By working with education partners, we will double the number of those joining the industry direct from college courses, from 9,000 now, to 18,000 in 2025.
  5. A criticism that has sometimes been levelled at CITB is that we don’t do enough for the SMEs that dominate our sector. I know we must do more, which is why the expansion of the successful Skills and Training Fund is so critical. This fund was accessed by 1,400 small and micro employers in 2018 – we want that number to grow to 1,900 this year, and will bring a new fund to medium-sized employers.
  6. If we want more people into the industry, we must have the capacity to do that. We will train 220 new assessors to help deliver an additional 22,000 vocational qualifications each year.

I hope you will agree that our Big Six will have a real and meaningful difference to the construction sector.

We believe they help demonstrate that each pound received through the construction levy is being worked hard, and delivering that critical ROI.

All of these projects come from the insight we gather, which is why a meaningful dialogue with employers and education providers is vital.

I’d like to see this Business Plan (PDF, 6MB) as a way of showing CITB’s value but also to start important conversations about how we can continue to deliver on our all-important mission.

Mark Noonan
Industry Relations Director, CITB

EN:Procure is now seeking contractors for £240m next generation Installers Framework

EN:Procure, the procurement arm of regional social housing consortium Efficiency North, is calling for experienced and qualified contractors of all sizes to provide a range of installation and repair works for planned and responsive maintenance for member landlords across Yorkshire and Humber.

The new framework will build on the success of EN:Procure’s existing framework, which has delivered more than £120m of works.

The new framework has an anticipated maximum value of £240m and will offer a leading-edge supply chain with integrated provision for housing providers’ planned and cyclical maintenance projects for Efficiency North’s social housing landlord members, who own and manage more than 80% of the social housing stock within the region. It will also be instrumental in the success of EN’s strategy to support social mobility in the communities of member landlords by boosting local training and employment opportunities.

The framework, which has been flexibly structured to increase the number of opportunities available regardless of contractors’ size or location, is divided into the following 17 Lots:

  • Lot 1 Kitchen and Bathroom Installation Works less than £2m
  • Lot 2 Kitchen & Bathroom Installation Works more than £1m
  • Lot 3 Renewable Heating and Ventilation Installation
  • Lot 4 Window and Door Installation less than £2m
  • Lot 5 Window and Door Installation more than £1m
  • Lot 6 Brickwork, Masonry and Associated Ancillary Works
  • Lot 7 General Building Works and Repairs less than £2m
  • Lot 8 General Building Works and Repairs more than £1m
  • Lot 9 Paint and Pre-paint Repair Works
  • Lot 10 Environmental and Estate Improvement Works
  • Lot 11 Voids Clean and Clear, Monitor and Secure
  • Lot 12 Voids Refurbishment Works
  • Lot 13 External Works to High Rise
  • Lot 14 External Wall Insulation
  • Lot 15 Whole House Internal and External Installation Works less than £2m
  • Lot 16 Whole House Internal and External Installation Works more than £1m
  • Lot 17 Electrical Inspection, Testing and Remedial Repairs

Interested contractors can apply via this link.

The deadline for submitting tenders is 17.00 24 June 2019.

The EN:Procure team are holding a Meet the Buyer session for interested contractors on Thursday 13th June 2019 at Efficiency North’s offices, 1st Floor, Sovereign Court, 300 Barrow Road, Meadowhall, Sheffield, S9 1JQ. Details of how to register for the event are contained with the tender documentation available via the link.

Emma Mottram, EN:Procure Head of Operations, commented;

“The new installers framework is the next generation of EN:Procure’s intelligent procurement solutions and presents a huge opportunity for local contractors.  We’ve divided it up into lots that we hope will encourage businesses of all sizes who can offer a fantastic standard of work. The Meet the Buyer session will give businesses practical, easy to understand advice, what to expect, what we’re looking for and key timings for the process. We’re keen to help a broad range of contractors get a place to create a framework of the highest quality and flexibility for our landlord membership.” 

Register now for Efficiency North’s 4th annual conference & exhibition

Join social housing, construction and training professionals at Efficiency North’s 4th Annual Conference & Exhibition – Yorkshire and Humber’s own annual housing conference on 11th July 2019.

This year’s event will be bigger, better and more interactive, dedicated to building the future of our region’s communities together.

Hosted by BBC TV Look North anchor and Yorkshire broadcasting legend Harry Gration MBE, this event will showcase:

  • Efficiency: social housing procurement innovation
  • Futures: the next generation of housing and construction leaders
  • Build: new ways to deliver affordable new housing
  • Communities: working together more closely to deliver real opportunities for social mobility in local communities

On the Main Stage

Following a welcome at 10.00 from Efficiency North Chair Jackie Axelby MBE, engage in debates with 2 panels of sector leaders in Housing, Construction and Employment & Skills, lunchtime entertainment and the presentation of our 2019 Social Value Awards.

In the Brain Gym

Explore innovative thinking in a series of informative workshops will run from 10.30 to 14.30 to explore innovative thinking in procurement, new build housing, employment and training, social value and social mobility.

In the Marketplace Exhibition

Meet our frameworks contractors and suppliers, local and national organisations we work with and groups we support in our social housing landlords’ communities.

In the Recharge Room

Enjoy a quiet space to take a break, recharge yourself with refreshments and your mobile devices with power to their batteries, or meet up with colleagues or catch up on your messages.

This is a fantastic opportunity to network with decision-makers in social housing and construction and shape the future by sharing knowledge and ideas on the sectors’ hottest issues.

For more information and to register, please visit Efficiency North’s website.

Efficiency North’s growth leads to future career opportunities

EN’s 2020 Vision set out an ambitious 3-year plan to grow the company by doubling frameworks turnover, expanding operations from procurement into employment, training and housing development and establishing a holding company structure. As we move into the final year of the plan our vision is now in our sights and our collective efforts are converging on the achievement of our goals.

To ensure that we can continue to provide the high levels of service that our members and customers expect whilst we expand our services and offer further, we are investing in our capability and infrastructure, and will be opening up 7 exciting new career opportunities in Sheffield and Newport.

Are you interested in joining the Efficiency North team at this remarkable time in the organisation’s history?

Applications are now being taken for their exciting new opportunities! Visit their website for full details.

Supporting young people with the YBF Bursary

Did you know the Yorkshire Builders Federation has a long history of supporting construction companies in the region. As part of its strategy to support skills growth, it recognises the need to provide additional funding to break down barriers that could prevent local people entering or sustaining employment in the industry.

For example, Liam Copsey is an apprentice with EN:Able Futures. he was needing some financial support to help him with living costs.

Liam is extremely appreciative of the financial support we are giving him.  Living on his own he already struggles with payment of bills and rent so this is a massive weight off his shoulders and helps towards not getting in to more debt. He’s working hard to pay off his debts and keep his life on track!

Could you benefit from the YBF Bursary? Our application form is available to download here and provides the opportunity to apply for our bursary. Alternativelycontact us for more information.

“How an apprenticeship enabled me to pursue a career in civil engineering”

Ruth Watson has talked to the Institution of Civil Engineers on what it’s like to be an apprentice, and encourages students to consider this alternative route that can provide hands-on work experience, as well as a degree. 

Ruth begins,

“My journey towards an apprenticeship wasn’t straightforward.

“At school, I loved problem solving, and so a career as an engineer suited me. I was interested to hear about the different types of engineering available and initially was undecided about the field of engineering that suited me.

“We were encouraged to apply to university if we were able, and I applied to study chemical engineering at Manchester University and was given a provisional offer.

“However, during my A Level examinations, and unforeseen set of events meant that I didn’t meet the entry criteria.”

‘I realised that university wasn’t for me’

“It wasn’t until my gap year, travelling and volunteering round the world, that I reflected on the type of career I’d like and the way I learn. I realised that university wasn’t for me.

“I therefore began to look at apprenticeships. I started to investigate the different types of engineering apprenticeships and was drawn to civil engineering as it played to my strengths. I like the way civil engineering uses a broad range of skills, from planning and design to surveying, construction management and analysis. Having the opportunity to work in the office and on site stood out for me.

Apprenticeships open up a whole new world of options

“I was shocked at the variety of different levels of apprenticeships there are. Finding out that on a degree apprenticeship I could still acquire a degree, which would be fully sponsored by my employer, while learning on the job, was very exciting.

“It also left me confused about why there’s a certain stigma about apprenticeships and why they aren’t publicised more.

“Why wasn’t I told of apprenticeships at my school? I didn’t hear of apprenticeships at all at school and applying for one was unheard of. Apprenticeships were looked down upon, as no information was provided about them, so people stereotypically associated them with those who didn’t do very well academically.

“After doing my own research, I applied for a civil engineering apprenticeship and managed to succeed in getting a job as a civil engineer apprentice at Mott MacDonald. I began my apprenticeship in September 2017 and so I’m a year and a half into my apprenticeship.

How you can get a degree as an apprentice

“Overall, it takes five years to achieve a civil engineering degree part-time.

“As an apprentice, you can also achieve EngTech, which is a professional qualification that shows you’re competent and enables you to prepare for incorporated or chartership in civil engineering.

“My apprenticeship involves day release study at Leeds College of Building, where I earn my civil engineering qualification. The other four days are spent at work, either in the office or on site. I currently work in the water sector in the dams and reservoirs team in Leeds doing some captivating work, mainly working on reservoir safety.

“My job role is very varied which makes it hard to outline what I do day-to-day.

“Being a civil engineer apprentice isn’t simply a designer role, there are aspects of project management, planning, calculations and detailed design.

“Being an apprentice exposes you to different aspects of the industry, learning skills that you can’t learn in a lecture theatre.”

Studying and working – a perfect partnership

“Studying and working, I find, go hand in hand. What I learn at college I can directly apply to work the following day. I find that I consolidate my knowledge learnt at college by applying it to practical situations.

“So being an apprentice comes with great opportunities for learning and applying civil engineering knowledge as soon as you learn it, which is great for someone like me, a hands-on learner.

“Seeing my calculations and designs being created into construction drawings that then go on to being built is a great personal achievement. The past year and a half have gone extremely quickly, and I’ve had some great opportunities to grow not only in my knowledge of engineering, but in my experience of working in an office, working with all types of professionals and even presenting meetings and visiting works on site.”

A supportive environment

“As an apprentice I’ve found that there’s a large amount of support available through your employer and your college or university, as they’re taking the time to invest in you, and therefore want you to succeed.

“Typically, every apprentice has a mentor who will monitor your progress and help you to develop in the industry, ensuring that you’re doing the correct type of work that will enable you to progress.

“The civil engineering industry is so broad with all the different sectors. It’s exciting to think that in the past 18 months I have only just scraped the surface. There’s so much more to learn even just in the water sector that I’m working in, let alone all the other sectors.

“I’d encourage students to consider an apprenticeship when looking into higher education. University is a great option for some, however, some thrive learning on the job.

“A degree apprenticeship is another route to achieving your degree while continually gaining experience, skills and respect in the workplace, with the benefit of being paid and not building up student debt!”

Find out more about apprenticeships in civil engineering here.

[Source: Institution of Civil Engineers]

Author: Ruth Watson,
Civil Engineer Apprentice at Mott MacDonald