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This week, Robert Jenrick MP - the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government - announced planning reforms in a bid to get the UK building trade back on its feet.

Dubbed 'Rob the Builder', Jenrick promised to rip up red tape in order to help smaller construction firms and kickstart the British economy.

The government is planning to construct 300,000 new properties each year, and Jenrick wants a "substantial" portion of those buildings to be constructed by small and medium-sized businesses.

He said:

"We'll cut red tape, but not standards - placing a higher regard on quality, design and the environment than ever before.

"Planning decisions will be simple and transparent, with local democracy at the heart of the process. Today's reforms are going to give our brickies, builders and labourers the boost they need to get back to the business of building homes.

"Thousands of self-employed workers will be able to don their hard hats and help the country recover from the impact of coronavirus."

Many construction workers and other tradespeople have been outspoken in their appreciation of the news, welcoming moves to speed up the planning process.

One company spokesperson said: "Many building workers are paid weekly, so it's a quickfire way to put cash back into the economy."

With the UK building trade at the forefront of government plans for the nation's economic recovery, there has never been a better time to learn a trade and join the construction industry. Call Access Training on 0800 345 7492 to speak with a course advisor today.

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Construction worker carrying plans

Demand for construction and groundworkers has surpassed the pre-lockdown peak, suggesting that the rest of the UK construction industry is about to experience a significant upturn.

Analysis of payroll data by Hudson Contract, the industry's biggest payer of subcontractors, shows that the number of groundworks operatives paid in the week beginning 29th June reached 6,467. This exceeds the previous high of 6,261 - recorded in the week of 16th March, just before lockdown - and shows how far the construction industry has recovered since the low point of 1,735 in the week of 20th April.

Groundworkers typically prepare construction sites for the foundations of new homes. Ian Anfield, Hudson's managing director, said:

"Every trade follows the groundworkers, so they are the best indicator of what is happening.

"We are quite surprised at these findings because a number of our large clients have not yet returned to full capacity with their labour needs.

"But many smaller construction firms are very busy as a result of pent-up demand to complete smaller housing developments."

Overall, labour demand dropped to 30% of capacity during April but has now recovered to 74%, according to Hudson.

This development comes hot on the heels of positive news and government announcements from the last two months. Construction output rose by 8.2% in May after the record cliff-edge fall suffered in April at the height of the industry's lockdown. And with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announcing huge plans to provide career opportunities, it looks like the UK construction industry is going from strength to strength even in this difficult time.

Experts are now urging people to think about learning a trade and pursuing career in construction to help fill the demand that will arise in the coming months and 2021 as the UK gets back on its feet.

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The UK's economic recovery has 'Build, Build, Build' as its new mantra - so the future looks bright for skilled tradespeople in the construction industry.

Construction cranes

"We will build, build, build. Build back better, build back greener, build back faster, and do that at the pace that this moment requires," said Boris Johnson as he focused on trade skills to get the country back up and running.

This is a positive message for anyone considering a long-term career in the trades. The Prime Minister has promised a massive building programme to put jobs and infrastructure at the centre of his economic growth strategy.

New skilled trade job opportunities were promised, and the Prime Minister also highlighted the need to prioritise education. He said he wanted to end the current injustice, which he called "such a waste of human talent", and announced that his new plan would create "thousands of high-paid, high-skilled jobs", acknowledging that many jobs lost since January would not come back.

That's where Access Training Academies can help you. We can give you the trade skills you'll need to be part of this new initiative.

The government's £5 billion investment program is based around infrastructure projects that are designed to stimulate the UK economy and get people working in skilled trade jobs. This new initiative will only serve to encourage ​those considering a career change to become part of one of the only sectors that's likely to move forward quickly as the country comes out of lockdown.

The new construction-focused spending package includes:

  • £1.5 billion this year in hospital spending
  • Over £1 billion for a school rebuilding programme
  • £560 million for repairs and upgrades to schools and further education colleges
  • Millions of pounds to upgrade courts and prisons
  • £900 million for local projects
  • £96 million for town centres and funding to accelerate infrastructure projects in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

All of these projects will require electricians, plumbers, gas engineers and carpenters. So now is a fantastic time to learn a trade and join the construction industry - especially if the coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted your current line of work.

Boris Johnson's announcement was based on funding that offers many people great new opportunities. "That is how it is meant to sound and to be, because that is what the times demand," he added.

The future for skilled tradespeople has never been brighter. Call Access Training on 0800 345 7492 to discuss your new career options.

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A self-employed builder that won the EuroMillions jackpot has returned to work this December, despite being set for life by the monumental win.

Steve Thomson of Selsey, West Sussex won a colossal £105m in the EuroMillions on November 19th, instantly transforming his life overnight.

However, the 42-year-old construction worker has kept his promise to fulfil his job commitments and can be currently found lugging boxes and driving his old van as usual.

 

 euromillions winner

 

The Value of Service

The EuroMillions win gives Steve a net worth higher than both Daniel Radcliffe (£90m) and Harry Styles (£64m), making him the ninth biggest winner in the history of the National Lottery.

Regardless of his bank account value, the value of quality service clearly means just as much to Thomson, who continues to honour his word and his commitments this winter.

While he could very easily be catching rays on a tropical beach, the humble labourer continues to help out his business partner with jobs lined up over the Christmas period.

 

A Total Legend

Described by locals as a “total legend”, Thomson aims to be “sensibly generous” with his winnings, adding that he wants to do whatever he can to help his local community along the way.

Speaking after the win, the loyal builder had this to say:

“Once I’m over the shock I’ll need to keep doing something - I’m not the type just to sit still. My business partner knows if he needs a hand I’ll be there.”

 

Constructing A Future

The incredible story shows that once a builder, always a builder, and that money doesn’t always have to change the person.

In the case of Mr Thomson, his love and passion for his business and the building trade stays strong, even though he no longer needs to lift a finger, proving once again how fun and infectious a self-employed business and the “be your own boss” mindset can be.

If you would like to begin your career in the world of construction, with the aim of one day being your own boss, here at Access Training UK, we can help you achieve just that with our wide variety of construction courses.

 

Construction Courses at Access Training UK

Whether you’re a total newbie hoping to take a completely new career path or an experienced veteran looking to revitalise your skills, Access Training UK has the ability to make your dreams a reality.

Our courses range from DIY carpentry and plastering courses for entry-level candidates, all the way up to NVQ Level 2 carpentry and plastering courses for those looking to add a few extra strings to their constructive bows.

 

For more information on any of the construction courses available at Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call 0800 345 7492 now or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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Three of the UK’s preeminent building contractors have taken steps to potentially introduce flexible working hours, in a move that could revolutionise the industry.

Bam Nuttall, Skanska and Willmott Dixon are said to be investigating the viability of flexitime on construction sites, enlisting the aid of flexible working specialist, Timewise, in their trial as they aim to overcome the industry's challenging working patterns.

 

flexitime construction, construction courses

 

A Flexible Approach

Tasked with helping the contractors research, plan and pilot the new flexible approach, Timewise, will study the working practices currently in place and then develop a flexible programme to be piloted across a set number of sites.

The results of the trial will then be evaluated and made public, with the potential to influence the wider construction industry nationwide as a result.

 

A Wise Move

Principal consultant at Timewise, Pernille Solvik, had this to say on the matter:

“The culture of long hours is having a negative impact on both men and women in the industry, affecting their mental health and their ability to balance work with caring and family life.

“There is an urgent need to design more flexible roles and career pathways within construction, to deliver better work-life balance and build a more diverse, healthier workforce.

“Our hope is that it will be the beginning; the beginning of a change within construction towards a better work-life balance for all.”

 

A Healthy Solution

The move comes just weeks after the new ISO 45001 business standard began making headlines for its potential to improve health and well-being in the construction industry.

With such radical steps being taking by trendsetters such as Bam, Skanska and Willmott Dixon, it looks as though the construction industry could be on its way to a healthier solution for all.

 

Construction Courses at Access Training UK

With a healthier outlook on the horizon for life as a site worker, a career in the construction industry poses an attractive proposition.

If you’re considering a career change and a construction career sounds like it could be up your street, why not sign up for a construction course with Access Training UK?

We currently offer a wide array of construction courses for both those looking to enter the trade and those looking to enhance their existing skills.

From DIY carpentry courses for complete novices to NVQ Level 2 Certification for experienced site plasterers, we have the course to help you get where you want to be professionally.

 

To find out more about these construction courses or any other courses available at Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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A new 2019 business standard is set to improve the health and well-being of construction workers across the United Kingdom.

The new ISO 45001 accreditation has been introduced to provide a framework for success in any organization from any sector, including construction.

 

iso 45001, construction worker safety

 

Health in the Workplace

The new international standard in Occupational Health and Safety Management aims to improve the mental and physical health in the workplace and presents a big step forward for construction companies in the UK.

Work-related stress and illness affects all industries, including construction, while the physical nature of site work also presents a myriad of additional dangers for those that work within the construction trade.

 

ISO 45001

The new ISO 45001 standard lays a clear-cut blueprint for construction companies to follow and allows organisations to easily formulate a successful health and safety management system.

With a strong onus on risk-based thinking and proactive leadership, the new business standard promotes risk assessment, hazard identification and emergency preparation, allowing companies to fully comprehend potential dangers and how to handle them.

Through this health-conscious business model, construction companies can help ensure a safer environment for their workers, boosting worker morale and making the construction industry all the more appealing to those looking to enter manual labour and/or learn a physical trade.

 

Constructing Courses at Access Training UK

With safer work conditions and a greater emphasis on worker health and morale, the change poses good news for construction workers and anyone considering the construction trade as a career.

At Access Training UK, we offer a wide variety of construction courses for those looking to enter the trade. These range from DIY carpentry and plastering courses for complete novices, all the way up to NVQ Level 2 carpentry and plastering courses for experienced pros (and everything in between).

Whether you’re a newcomer looking to shift gears with a new career path or a seasoned veteran looking to add to your repertoire of skills, we can help you achieve your dreams at Access Training UK.

 

For more information on Access Training construction courses at Access Training UK, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch online by clicking the link below.

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After two years of research, the Chartered Institute of Building has released its newly published Code of Quality Management in response to a number of high-profile construction incidents.

Aimed at improving the overall quality of construction across the UK, the Guide to Best Practice Construction Quality Management provides industry professionals with a single resource to help them achieve a higher, safer standard of work.

 

construction courses, construction news

 

Construction Quality

A renewed focus was placed on the construction industry in February 2017 following the closing of 17 schools in Edinburgh. Just months later, the tragic events of the Grenfell Tower fire raised the profile of this issue even further.

These events ultimately led to the creation of the Construction Quality Commission, made up of former CIOB presidents. Over the course of two years, the CQC created the Code of Quality Management, which was made public this week.

 

High Standards

Following the Grenfell Tower incident, the resulting Hackitt report highlighted that “the system does not facilitate good practise” and that “there is insufficient focus on delivering the best quality building possible”.

The CIOB aims to act as a moral compass for the construction industry, promoting pride in work and quality output, and hopes that the new code will help industry professionals to maintain high standards across the board.

The result should be an increase in quality and an overall safer output of work from construction jobs going forward.

 

High Standards

The new code of conduct for industry professionals should help raise the bar for those in the construction industry and really contribute to building work across the UK.

At Access Training UK, we’re also committed to providing would-be construction workers with the tools and knowledge to help them strive within the industry.

If you’re interested in entering the construction industry and learning a valuable trade the right way, why not do so with Access Training UK?

 

Constructing Professionals

Here at Access Training UK., we offer a variety of construction courses, ranging from carpentry courses and NVQs to kitchen fitting and plastering.

With a whole host of construction courses for all skill levels, we can help you go from complete novice with no prior experience to fully-trained, skilled professional in no time at all.

Meanwhile, we can also help existing pros hone their skills further and build on their current knowledge to become a more well-rounded professional.

Whether you’re a newbie with a dream or an old dog looking to learn some new tricks, we can help you achieve your construction goals at Access Training UK.

 

For more information on construction courses with Access Training UK, why not drop us a line and talk with one of our advisors? Call now on 0800 345 7492 or drop us an email using the button below.

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While many people are panic-buying coffee, baked beans and various other post-Brexit goods, a (semi) silver lining is starting to emerge.

As it stands, the average salary for a construction worker is sitting at roughly £45,900, for a site manager, £50,500, and for a senior site manager £62,900! Amazingly, some construction workers are commanding wages not dissimilar to our MPs. Back in 2017, the average salary for a construction worker was considerably less, at only £42,300. 

That's incredible news for the lucky individuals working in these construction roles, but the reason their wages are so high leaves much to be desired for the British economy.

Why Have Construction Wages Gone Up?

The uncertainty around Brexit is (unsurprisingly) causing workers from overseas to lose confidence in Britain and the job prospects it can offer. As expected, they're beginning to seek work elsewhere in the world.  On top of that, many foreign nationals who have been living and working here for years are getting cold feet and seriously considering packing up and leaving (if they haven't done so already).

Whether this will have a positive impact on the construction workforce long-term is yet to be seen, but the initial impact has been somewhat fruitful for those that remain. 

The Construction Worker Commodity

Nearly 1/3 of construction workers in London are originally from Europe. As Brexit takes its toll, our pool of EU construction workers is starting to evaporate, leaving the remaining workers to fulfil demand. As with any commodity, be it gold or grain, it becomes more valuable as it goes down in number - construction workers are no exception!

So, as the number of construction workers in the UK goes down, the demand for skilled workers goes up and suddenly, being good at your job makes you considerably more valuable than you may have been a few years ago! 

The downside of all this? Brexit is putting extra strain on manufacturers who are unable to progress with business as usual until Brexit has blown over. 

Time to Train

If you've been thinking about learning a trade or working in the construction industry, it seems as though there's never been a better time to start! Not only can you benefit from steadily increasing salary prospects, but you can also help keep Britain's construction industry afloat in this time of turmoil! 

Here at Access Training Academies, we offer avenues into a huge range of construction industries, including but not limited to:

And more! If none of these courses takes your fancy, there's plenty more for you to choose from. If you're interested in starting a new career in a professional trade, then give us a call on 0800 345 7492 now!

 

Construction industry

Following Chancellor Philip Hammond's new budget, the construction industry is speculating on how its announcements could affect jobs and opportunities here in Britain. The budget gives insight into the government's vision of Britain for the coming years, as well as their predictions for the economy.

Following a few tough years for the construction industry, we waited with baited breath to hear the plans, and it looks like it may be good news. Here is a closer look at how the some of the announcements from the budget will help the construction industry:

Help for first-time buyers

The abolition of stamp duty is great news for first-time buyers buying a property that is worth less than £500,000. This means that first-time buyers will save an average of £1,660 when purchasing homes between £300,000 and £500,000.

This is sure to encourage more people to buy property, as 80% of people buying their first home will now not have to pay the highly-criticised stamp duty that buyers were previously subjected to.

The need for new homes

The government is aiming to build 300,000 new homes a year - numbers that have not been seen since 1970. With the decision to buy new land for the purpose of creating more homes, there will be far more opportunity for those trying to purchase a property.

The government will also create 5 new 'garden towns'.

How will this affect the construction industry?

Where there are new homes, there are new jobs for construction workers. With Britain looking to expand its homebuilding industry, there has never been a better time to learn a trade. The ongoing UK skills shortage has given carpenters, plasterers, tilers and various other tradespeople the opportunity to find plenty of work for decent pay.

The 2017 Autumn Budget is encouraging when considering the job opportunities for those in the construction industry. Hopefully, it will also encourage more people to learn a trade skill which will, in turn, help the skills shortage.

If you would like to take advantage of the skills shortage and join this growing industry, you should look at the trade training courses we offer here at Access Training. We help get you qualified and working in the shortest possible timeframe. Go to our homepage to see what we offer, or contact us today to discuss your options.

Today - the 8th of March, 2016 - is International Women's Day. This annual event began more than 100 years ago, and every March it serves as a great opportunity to celebrate the amazing achievements of women all over the world.

However, IWD is also an opportunity to highlight the many areas where gender equality still hasn't been achieved, and regrettably, our own field is a prime example. Female workers are still astoundingly rare in the construction and trade industries; according to this article from last year, women account for just 11% of the UK construction industry's total workforce, and only 1% of those women actually work on construction sites. Women are similarly under-represented in trades such as plumbing and electrical work, and while the ratios are beginning to shift,  it's clear that there's still a long way to go.

So how can we encourage more people to learn a trade and join these male-dominated industries? First of all, people need to change their attitudes towards tradeswomen, and that applies both to the general public and to representatives of the trades in question. A couple of years ago, the Telegraph ran an article suggesting that roughly one-third of the UK population would be "suspicious" of a female electrician, and countless tradeswomen have shared their stories of the sexist remarks that come their way . Here's one example from Hattie Hassan, founder of Stopcocks Women Plumbers (originally reported on Sky News in 2014):

"Someone sent me an email saying, 'Look, love...plain and simple, women can't be plumbers. You'll break a fingernail and have to go out shopping to console yourself. Or you'll go running screaming when you see a spider.'"

Clearly, these sort of attitudes aren't helping anybody - it's easy to see why a budding female plumber or gas engineer might be put off. For this reason, we also need to do work harder to encourage women to join these trades in the first place, and that responsibility, at least to some extent, falls to training providers like us. The promotional materials distributed by construction/trade training centres are often targeted specifically at male learners, but this approach benefits nobody - after all, it's in the training provider's interest to attract as many new students as possible, regardless of gender.

Here at Access Training, we try to make people of all genders/races/backgrounds feel welcome at our training centres. We realise that we could still be doing more - for example, most of the photos currently on our website are of men, not women. But the sad fact of the matter is that, right now, most of the people who enquire about our courses are male, and while we are keen to do whatever we can to get more women working in the trade and construction industries, it seems that this goal will be extremely difficult to achieve until people - namely the people who are "suspicious" of female electricians, the people who tell women they "can't be plumbers", and anyone else who continues to perpetuate the false notion that women aren't cut out for these jobs - adopt a more positive, welcoming attitude towards people who, at the end of the day, are just as capable of mastering these skills as any man.

Trade training courses from Access Training:

Since the 2015 General Election, Britain has seen many changes in the way that the UK is run, and this year is no different. Yes, we are talking about the hot topic of the moment – the EU Referendum.

The EU referendum has turned in a rather controversial issue, with people from every industry having their say on whether Britain should stay or leave. This is because an EU exit will have profound effects on how Britain will conduct future business – especially in the construction industry. Reassuringly, a survey conducted by Smith and Williamson found that only 15% of construction company executives favoured leaving the European Union.

One of the major issues that leaving the EU would present to the construction industry concerns access to labour. Presently, the UK is experiencing a huge skills shortage across the construction industry, which means that we are relying heavily on foreign workers to come over and help fill the gap.

One of the fundamental values of the EU is free movement, which makes immigration around EU counties relatively easy and stress-free. If Britain exits the EU then emigration into the UK will become more difficult, discouraging skilled workers from entering the country and focusing on countries still within the EU.  On a positive note, there will be more jobs within the construction industry, but fewer people to fill them.

The EU is a trading union, which has helped break down barriers that make it difficult for companies to do business and invest in each other’s businesses. With the threat of a Brexit looming, multimillion-pound manufacturing giants have already expressed concerns about investing in an independent UK. One of the biggest advantages to being in the EU is that we are granted free trade between member nations. This makes it easier and cheaper for British companies to export their goods and - more importantly for the construction industry - building materials.

Even though the vast majority of construction companies are currently in favour of staying in the EU, it is important to look at the counter arguments of the 15% minority. For instance, the chairman of JCB plans to vote in favour of a Brexit because it “could cut the costs of bureaucracy so much that any additional costs of leaving the EU would be easily covered”. He also disagrees with the claims that it will make trade more difficult with other EU countries because “it is in everyone’s interests to trade openly and freely.”

It is hard to predict what knock-on effect a Brexit will have on the UK’s construction industry because no country has ever left the EU before. Over the coming months we are going to hear a lot of arguments to stay or leave, and possibly a lot of contradictory information about what will happen if we do decide to exit. At the end of the day, it is up to us as individuals to come to an educated decision as to whether we think it will be beneficial for the UK to stay or leave.

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Construction industry wage
 
The average construction industry wage for workers rose by 6% in 2015, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. This rise is significantly higher than the average increase for UK workers in general (2%), and it proves that construction is one of the most lucrative career choices for British workers at present.

Why have construction industry wages risen so much?

Construction industry wages have risen because the demand for skilled construction workers is particularly high at the moment. This is due to the desperate skills shortage that Britain is currently experiencing; simply put, there aren't enough competent professionals in the country to cover all the work that's currently available to them.
 
(Furthermore, with an EU referendum on the horizon, many are concerned that the shortage could soon get even worse - if Britain were to leave the European Union, it would be harder for new workers to enter the country from elsewhere in Europe.)
 
This shortage has allowed the UK's construction workers to take on more jobs and charge higher prices, further increasing the construction industry wages. A recent survey showed that the majority of construction firms (61%) reported "a sharp rise in wage costs" for 2015. 

Which skills are most in-demand?

Competent bricklayers are reportedly hardest to come by at the moment, but the skills shortage is an industry-wide problem, and more or less all construction industry workers are earning higher wages because of it. Winter is a particularly busy time for plumbers; you may remember that we wrote a blog post about this matter last month.
 

Should I be worried about this?

It depends on who you are. You've probably heard about the housing crisis that's currently affecting parts of London and Southern England, and the construction skills shortage certainly isn't helping on that front; many of the government's housebuilding plans will be thrown into turmoil if Britain fails to find more builders soon. 
 
It may also be a problem if you yourself need any work done - as previously mentioned, the skills shortage has enabled contractors to charge significantly higher rates for each job, so be prepared to get your wallet out!
 
However, the skills shortage could be very good news indeed if you're planning to join the construction industry. With demand outstripping supply by such a wide margin, this is a golden opportunity for those looking to retrain and start a new career - that gap in the market needs to be filled, and there's money to made if you can do so.
 
If you'd like to gain the qualifications necessary to become a professional construction worker, we at Access Training can help. Contact us for details, or select one of the following course options to learn more: