Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Friday, 12 December 2014

UK Construction Market Update - November

The ONS have released their Output in the Construction Industry figures for September and Q3 2014. These figures show that in September 2014, output was estimated to have increased by 1.8% compared with August 2014, following a fall of 3.0% in August. The ONS also report that this was the sixth consecutive period of annual quarter-on-quarter growth for the construction industry.

Glenigan have published the Construction KPI report for 2014, showing how the economic downturn has impacted upon the performance of the construction industry, and highlighting the challenges that the industry faces in the near future.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Movember 2014 Winner

After a hairy month of growing, shaping and a fair bit of itching, we find ourselves at the end of another brilliant Movember. Well done to all of you that worked hard to change the face of men's health and helped us smash our £1000 fundraising target!

As well as winning the hearts of many Mo fans for the month, one of our lucky Mo Bros has also won a £200 voucher to spend at the Aqua Shard - a huge congratulations to...

Monday, 17 November 2014

CSCS Green Card Update

Up until July 2014 CSCS had issued over 700,000 CSO (operative) green cards. These cards were issued on completion of a Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Health, Safety & Environment test together with an Employer recommendation. The CSO cards were commonly viewed as the easiest card to obtain (the test takes less than one hour to complete) and held by a large cross section of the industry’s workforce, from Labourer and Skilled Worker to Site Manager and Professionals. In terms of the industry’s desire for a qualified workforce they were clearly not fit for purpose.

On this basis, together with CITB, we developed a new Level 1 knowledge based qualification - Health and Safety in a Construction Environment specifically intended for labouring occupations. The card was also renamed from CSO to Labourer.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

UK Construction Market Update - October

The CPA (Construction Products Association) has released its latest forecast for the construction industry, they expect the construction industry to grow 23% by the end of 2018 and contribute £12 billion to the UK economy over the next two years; with construction output growing 4.8% in 2014 and 5.3% in 2015.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Movember 2014 Prizes

This year we've joined forces with Kiwis in London, The Church, Britbound and Stoke Travel to change the face of men's health! We've asked you to join us to help raise awareness and funds (whilst looking incredibly sexy) for the month of November and in return. we're giving you a chance to win some incredible prizes and celebrate this fantastic cause at a Mo'mentus party at the end of the month!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

UK Construction Market Update - September

With winter fast approaching the growth of the construction industry seems to be slowing dramatically. The ONS Output in the Construction Industry figures for 2014 show output was estimated to have fallen by 3.9% in August 2014 compared with July 2014. Figures show that all new work in construction decreased by 4.8% overall, only public new housing showed growth. Private housing contributed the largest overall fall.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Movember 2014

Who doesn't love a well grown moustache? Especially one that's making a difference in 21 countries around the globe.

Monday, 6 October 2014

London Voted the Most Appealing City to Work in

A new survey found London to be the most desirable city in the world to work in ahead of New York and Paris.

The survey, compiled by job board Total Jobs and the Boston Consulting Group, asked over 200,00 adults from 189 countries. One in six of those surveyed wanted to work in London.

Monday, 29 September 2014

National Minimum Wage to Increase 2014

As of October 1st 2014 the National Minimum Wage rates will rise for all workers and apprentices, including a 19p per hour increase for adult workers.

The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay rate per hour that workers in the UK are entitled to. This rate depends on the age of the worker and if they are an apprentice.

Friday, 19 September 2014

CSCS Changes FAQ - Part 2

Why has the Construction Site Operative (CSO) card been changed to the Labourer card?

The green Construction Site Operative (CSO) card was introduced for entry level workers and simply required applicants to pass the Health, Safety and Environment test and for their employer to sign their application form to say they were carrying out “labouring duties only”. In reality, however, many site workers who carry out skilled occupations had been applying for the green CSO card as the easiest route to gain access to construction sites. This made it difficult for contractors to use CSCS cards as a reliable method of checking that site workers have the appropriate skills to work on construction sites safely and effectively. So it was important for this situation to be addressed.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

UK Construction Market Update - August

With summer coming to an end the recovery of the construction industry is continuing. The Construction Products Association released their latest State of the Trade Survey for Q2. The survey reports a continuing rise in construction activity with 41% of contractors reporting a rise in private housing output for Q2 compared to a year ago, and 37% of contractors in the commercial sector also enjoying a rise in commercial output in Q2 compared to a year ago. However rising costs are also a concern for the future and could hinder continuing growth.

Friday, 15 August 2014

UK Construction Market Update - July

Good news again in July as the UK construction industry heads into a period of sustained growth; with expected growth to be greater than 4% for 2014 and 2015. RIBA Insight’s monthly briefing states that the UK Construction market is leading the way for construction growth across the whole of Europe. This expected growth is based on the ONS’ Output in the Construction Industry for June and Q2 2014, which reports that annual growth for construction output in Q2 2014 compared to Q2 2013 is estimated to be 4.8%. The Construction Products Association’s Summer Forecast also highlights that in the next 2 years construction is forecast to grow about 10.0% and contribute nearly £11 billion to the UK economy.

Monday, 11 August 2014

CSCS Changes FAQ - Part 1

One Contractor is stating that they will not allow CSO green card holders on site unless they have passed the Site Safety Plus Operative Test. Is this a CSCS requirement?

No - The current green Construction Site Operative (CSO) card remains valid until its expiry date. From 1st July 2014 the CSO card is no longer being issued and has been replaced by the new green Labourer card. To obtain this new Labourer card, applicants need to pass the new Level 1 Award Health and Safety in a Construction Environment or a recognised equivalent. The one day Site Safety Plus (SSP) Operatives training course has been recognised as an equivalent. There is no requirement to achieve both the new Health and Safety in a Construction Environment Award AND the one day SSP Operatives training course to obtain the new Labourer card. If you are aware of any contractor requiring both, please advise CSCS and we will investigate further.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Thinking of Upgrading your Accommodation?

Ok, so unless you've just won the lottery and for some bizarre reason, still want to flatshare - this probably isn't a suitable upgrade... but we can still dream right?

Introducing the priciest London flatshare we've found of all time.

Located in Hyde Park Gate, the three-bedroom apartment features chandeliers, a dining hall, a gym, a daily cleaning and linen service and a 12-seat dining hall. Plus, en-suite bathrooms, a roof terrace and balconies overlooking Hyde Park. Fancy as!

Sound good? It’s available to rent for a mere £21,000 a month. That’s a whopping £1,783 a week per tenant. That’s ten times the average London rent.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

UK Construction Market Update - June

Concerns are being raised over a slowing in recovery in June. Latest figures from the ONS for Output in Construction May 2014, show output has fallen by 1.1% in May 2014 compared to April 2014. However the latest Economic & Construction Market Review released by Barbour ABI shows that the total value of all new construction contracts awarded in May 2014 increased by 5.3% compared to April 2014, but this remains 3.7% lower than in May 2013.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Questions to NOT Ask in a Job Interview

After listing the Best Questions to Ask in a Job Interview, it's only fair we cover some questions you should definitely NOT ask in an interview.

Friday, 27 June 2014

World Cup 2014 - Final 16

Just a few stats on the 16 teams that have made it to the knock out stages of the World Cup 2014.

Monday, 23 June 2014

How to Survive A Festival

With 2 of our office team and plenty more of you heading off to Glastonbury this weekend, here's our definitive list of what to take to survive a festival.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

UK Construction Market Update - May

Market outlook remains positive in May, with the latest CPA Construction Trade Survey showing that construction activity rose again in Q1, the first time in six years that the industry has enjoyed four consecutive quarters of growth. Housing is a key driver of this but The National Housing Federation has reported that the London market is beginning to overheat and could stifle the rest of the industry’s economic recovery. The report outlines that house prices are now 16 times the average wage in the capital and are expected to rise 43% by 2020.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Kiwis "Get Connected" - June 3rd

Are you a Kiwi who has recently arrived to the UK? Join us for “Get Connected” in partnership with NZ Society UK and Kiwis In London, hosted at New Zealand House on Tuesday 3rd June. 

This is a unique opportunity to meet directly with recruitment companies, travel/tour companies and New Zealand community groups who want to help make your London experience the best it can be.

Friday, 16 May 2014

2014 World Cup Groups

These are the groups for the 2014 World Cup. The teams in red are those that we predict will make it into the knock out stages:

Thursday, 15 May 2014

UK Construction Market Update - April

The ONS has released its figures for Output in the Construction Industry March and Q1 2014. These figures show that construction output in Q1 2014 has increased by 0.6% when compared to construction output in Q4 2013. Output has risen by 5.4% when compared to Q1 2013, which is attributed to a total combined increase of 1.5bn in total new work and repair and maintenance. The Construction Products Association has also released their Spring Forecasts for the Construction Industry, highlighting that the industry is expected to grow 18% by 2017, adding an extra £20bn to the UK economy. The Construction Trade Survey shows four consecutive quarters of growth in activity for the first time in six years, although it also raises concerns about rising costs and skills shortages.

Monday, 21 April 2014

SuperBru Points Scoring System

Now that our NRL and Superugby pools are hotting up, we thought we should probably delve into the scoring system a little.

Win Point (WP)
The meat and bread of SuperBru. You'll score a Win Point if you correctly predict the outcome of a game (win/loss/draw), irrespective of margin.

The core Win Point value is usually 1 pt, but it does vary through the different stages of a tournament, increasing in value as picking the winner becomes harder.

Monday, 7 April 2014

UK Construction PMI - March 2014

The UK Construction PMI hit 62.5 in March, only marginally down from 62.6 in February and still far above the 50 mark that denotes growth.

Economists had predicted a rise to 63.0, however the drop was largely down to slower civil engineering activity after emergency fixes during February's floods boosted work.

The rise in residential construction was one of the sharpest experienced over the past ten years at 64.2.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Best Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

Back in November we posted that One Thing You Must do in a Job Interview is ask great questions, if given the opportunity at the end. If that's too vague for you, here are a few examples:

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

UK Construction PMI - February 2014

U.K. construction PMI falls to 62.6 last month, from 64.6 in January - which was its highest level since August 2007. Economists had forecast the index would fall to 63 in February.

Survey compilers, Markit, said disruptions relating to "adverse weather conditions" contributed to the slowdown.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Construct Timesheets

In order for us to pay you for the work you do for us each week we need you to complete a timesheet and have your hours signed by the foreman on the site you are working on.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Join our Super15 League

With the biggest professional rugby union competition in the Southern Hemisphere kicking off tomorrow, we thought we'd throw in a little more healthy competition? Come join our league in SuperBru's Super 15 prediction game!

All you have to do is predict the results for each Super 15 match: the closer you are, the more points you'll earn and at the end the ultimate winner will be crowned.

It's free, it's fun and anyone (even you Highlander fans) can enter!

Just click here and register with your email address or Facebook account. Once you've registered, the quickest way is to just click on this link again and create your profile or you can find us using our pool code: ginsinch

Let the games begin!
P.S. Go Chiefs!!!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

UK Construction PMI - January 2014

UK's construction PMI rose to 64.6 in January from 62.1 in December with growth reaching its highest level since the start of the financial crisis in August 2007.

Construction activity expanded for a ninth straight month last month, with the PMI far exceeding economists' forecasts in a of 61.5, and all three sub-sectors of the industry expanding.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Bye Bye CSCS Green / Operatives Card

From 1st July 2014 the green Construction Site Operative card will no longer be issued so if you have a CSCS green card that expires after 1st July 2014 you need to know what to do when it is time to renew.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

CSCS Test Revision Material 2014

** Please click here for an updated post: CSCS Test Revision Material 2015 **

There are a range of revision materials available to help you revise and practice for the CSCS Health, Safety and Environment Test - we usually recommend you use the official CITB-ConstructionSkills revision book. This contains all the questions and answers for the 38 knowledge based questions in the CSCS test.

You should be able to find these in large book stores like W H Smith or you can easily buy them online on sites like Amazon. We also sell them at our CSCS test centre in Acton if that's easier.

Monday, 6 January 2014

UK Construction PMI - December 2013

The UK’s construction industry saw its second fastest month of growth since August 2007 in December, with a PMI of 62.1. Although lower than November’s record high of 62.6, this has been the sector’s eighth consecutive month of growth, heavily boosted by the biggest increase in commercial projects since April 2007.

With December's reading coming in slightly above economists' forecasts, residential activity remained the fastest growing sub-sector, although at a slower pace of expansion than in November. The civil engineering sub-sector increased at the same pace as the previous November but the real game-changer was the boost in commercial activity.