Friday, 16 December 2016

UK Construction Market Update - November

Glenigan have published their 2017 Construction Industry Forecast, which shows that expectations for 2017 construction activity has softened during 2016. This is due to economic and political uncertainties. The 2016 JLL and Glenigan UK Commercial Construction Activity Index highlights that construction activity fell sharply following the referendum, yet some sectors remain resilient, particularly hotels and healthcare. CPA has publish a Regional Construction Hotspots Report looking at hotspots of construction activity at a regional and sub-regional level.

This mixed picture is reflected in overall construction figures, with some highlighting a negative impact from Brexit and others showing a more positive outlook.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

UK Construction Market Update - October

The Construction Products Association’s latest construction forecasts gives a mixed picture for construction over the next two years, due to the impacts of the uncertainty following the EU referendum. Construction activity is expected to remain flat in 2017 and 2018; however this hides variation at the sector level, with growth in infrastructure and education offsetting falls in activity in areas such as commercial offices and industrial.

Current figures also provide a mixed picture.

Friday, 14 October 2016

UK Construction Market Update - September

The ONS have released their Construction output in Great Britain: June 2016 and April to June 2016. Output was estimated to have decreased by 0.9% in June 2016 compared to May 2016. Also output was estimated to have decreased by 10.7% in Q2 2016 compared to Q1 2016 due to downward pressure from decreases in both all new work and repair and maintenance. More recent figures from the latest Barbour ABI Economic and Construction Market Review shows that in August 2016 all contract activity decreased by 5.1% compared to July 2016 and is 13.4% lower that the value recorded for August 2015.

Friday, 16 September 2016

UK Construction Market Update - August

The Build UK State of Trade Survey for Q2 2016, shows a positive but stabilising picture of prospects for contractors, with 46% operating at over 90% capacity. Contractors also saw an increase in output of 22% for Q2 2016, significantly more than the 5% growth recorded in Q1 2016 and the 3% seen in Q4 2015. These figures though, reflect a pre-referendum market.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Do Cleaners need CSCS

CSCS cards are intended for construction related occupations only. CSCS recognises that due to the diverse nature of construction projects, there are occasions when a person may need to access a construction site to perform a non-construction activity and that these individuals would not be expected to carry a CSCS card.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

UK Construction Market Update - July

The ONS have released their Construction output in Great Britain: June 2016 and April to June 2016. Output was estimated to have decreased by 0.7% in Q2 2016 when compared to Q1 2016, with all new work decreasing by 0.8% and all repair and maintenance decreasing by 0.5%. In June 2016, output decreased by 0.9% when compared with May 2016.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Theresa May on Construction

The installation of Theresa May as Prime Minister has helped reduce the political and economic uncertainty facing the UK and the construction industry but what is the new Government likely to hold in store for the construction industry?

The May administration appears set to press on with Conservative’s Manifesto commitments, on which it was elected just over a year ago. In addition, her initial speech as Prime Minister has highlighted social justice, “building a better Britain” and “forging a bold new, positive role” for Britain outside the EU as the broad direction of travel for of the new administration.

Previous comments by the new Prime Minister provide an indication of how specific construction related policies are likely to fit into this broader strategy:

“Unless we deal with the housing deficit, we will see house prices keep on rising. Young people will find it even harder to afford their own home. The divide between those who inherit wealth and those who don’t will become more pronounced.” The Government is likely to press on with the delivery of two key housing policies set out in it manifesto: starter homes and extending the Right to Buy to housing association tenants in England. The Government may also look to further planning reforms to increase the supply of development land.

“I want to see an energy policy that emphasises the reliability of supply and lower costs for users.” This could be interpreted as a new “dash for gas” with investment in gas fired power stations to replace generating capacity being lost over the next few years as aging coal fired and nuclear plants are retired.

Airport capacity in the South East
Patrick McLoughlin as Transport secretary has already pushed back a decision on Heathrow expansion until the autumn. Mrs May, whose Maidenhead constituency is in the flight path of the west London airport, was critical of the original proposals put forward when Labour was in power. New members of her cabinet, including Philip Hammond and Boris Johnson are likely to favour the Gatwick alternative.

High Speed 2
Mrs May is in favour of the High Speed 2 rail link.

Watch this space. The new Prime Minster has been supportive of Free Schools and, in the past, local authorities freedom to reintroduce Grammar Schools. “School reform is ... a passion for so many Conservatives – and I will be setting out my own plans for schools policy in the coming weeks.” Any reforms will also need to ensure that the education system can effectively provide the additional capacity to accommodate rising pupil numbers.

Monday, 25 July 2016

CSCS Red Trainee Card Changes

Trainee cards are available to new entrants to the industry and are designed to allow workers access to sites whilst they undertake their construction related qualifications.
The following Trainee Cards are currently available:
  1. The Trainee (Craft & Operative) card - click here for more information
  2. The Trainee Technical, Supervisory and Management (TSM) card - click here for more information

Friday, 15 July 2016

What Happens to EU Nationals post-Brexit

The government have clarified in an official statement that there has been no change the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU following the EU referendum. At the present time the UK remains a member of the EU.

Once Article 50 has been triggered, the UK will still remain part of the EU until the two year negotiations have concluded. In the long term, once the UK has left the EU the government fully expects that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and UK nationals living in the EU, to be properly protected. 

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

UK Construction Market Update - June

The Construction Products Association have released their latest State of Trade Survey, reporting continued growth in sales of construction products in Q2 2016, making this the 13th consecutive quarter sales have increased. Manufacturers displayed pessimism about prospects for the year ahead, even though 75% of survey responses were received before the outcome of the EU referendum was known.

Do I Need to Bring my Chippy Tools?

If you're not sure what to do about tools when coming over to the UK it's worth comparing the price of buying a full set of new carpentry tools when you get here against how much it'll cost to ship them over.

We usually recommend you bring over your drill if you have space in your luggage and then buying the rest here.

When it's time to go back home, Construct will help you in selling these tools on - with 100% of the sale value going to you!

Buying a Brand New Set

We've put together this list of what you'll need as a carpenter working for us and listed their price on Screwfix (the UK's largest supplier of Trade Tools) -

Remember, if you're not working for us you might also need to have your own power tools

Buying 2nd Hand Tools

With a steady flow of Construct chippies heading back to Aus / NZ, there's a chance we can hook you up with some 2nd hand tools. This will be cheaper than buying them brand new but you might need to top up a few items.

Bringing Tools Over

If you're bringing over all of the tools we've listed, we're guessing you'll be paying at least GBP ??? to ship them from Aus / NZ.

Also remember that the 110V system (i.e. tools plugged into a yellow transformer) are not used in the UK. Site power is standard 240 volts.

Friday, 1 July 2016

13 Wimbledon Facts

13 Wimbledon Facts you might not have heard before....

1. In the Men’s Singles Championship, the Isner–Mahut match in 2010 is the longest match in tennis history in both time and number of games; 11 hours and 5 minutes of play over three days.

2. Ball girls weren’t allowed on Centre Court until 1985.

3. In true British fashion, 235,000 glasses of Pimms were drunk at the games in 2015 and 350,000 teas and coffees.

Monday, 27 June 2016

How will Brexit effect British Construction

Even though Friday's result was determined by the vote of the majority, it has come as massive shock. Some are celebrating, some are infuriated and most of us are still trying to guess what will will happen next. Regardless of how you voted, in the coming months the country will have to come together and move forward.

The effects Brexit will have on the construction industry will no doubt be profound. We've collected the views of some of the leading figures in the industry in order to shed light on what is an unprecedented situation.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The Pros and Cons of Brexit for the Construction Industry

Less red tape for SME builders
Less say over EU trading standard whilst still having to comply with them
Widen the talent pool beyond the EU by targeting skill sets to fill the gaps in the industry
Increase skills shortage further due to barriers for EU workers
Invest in upcoming young talent from the UK to address the skills shortage
Increase in import and export duties and greater restrictions on movement of goods
A chance to negotiate a free trade deal with Europe to allow free movement of goods without the costs of an EU membership
Economic uncertainty could make it difficult to raise funds for new developments.
Greater flexibility in relation to environment and health and safety legislation
Property prices are predicted to fall by 10%

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

UK Construction Market Update - May

EU referendum uncertainty is stalling construction growth.

There are clear signs that uncertainty around the EU referendum is concerning businesses. The latest CBI Growth Indicator showed the pace of growth in output across manufacturing, distribution and service sectors for May 2016 was broadly similar, with a balance of 11% of firms reporting a rise in May 2016, compared with 10% in April 2016. Firms though are expecting to see growth again over the coming 3 months, with a balance of +13%, but expectations are well below the average seen over the previous three years (+26%).

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

What do do if England are kicked out of Euro 2016

It's only been one match and a couple of arrests but it's worth having your Euro 2016 exit strategy ready! Should the worst come to the worst you're going to need a boisterous bar in which to watch your new adopted homeland...

Friday, 27 May 2016

How to Navigate The Tube

One of the most essential and convenient parts of being a Londoner is using the underground system, known as the Tube. It can be a little overwhelming, especially if you've not lived in a city before, so we've put together a few helpful tips.

1. Get an Oyster Card or a Contactless bank card (credit or debit both work)
Without a doubt, the Tube will be your primary mode of transportation. The Oyster card / contactless bank card is the most efficient and budget-conscious way to use the Tube. The rates are cheaper than buying visitor tickets, it's quick and efficient and it'll work on the London bus system as well.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

UK Construction Market Update - April

The CBI economic forecast for May expects the UK economy to grow but at a slower rate through 2016 and 2017, saying global economic risks, including uncertainty ahead of the EU referendum, are starting to weigh on investment plans. Building have surveyed 1,300 professionals and found 63% believe remaining in the EU would be the best outcome for the construction sector. Just 21% thought leaving would be better and 16% are undecided.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

A Guide to Central London Markets

Markets... London's got plenty of them! For once, we're not talking about the construction market... we've moved on to more... "enjoyable" research! From foodie havens to little known vintage collectors stalls, we've rounded up a few of Central London's best markets.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

UK Construction Market Update - March

At the end of March the Government Construction Strategy 2016 – 20 was released. The strategy presents ideas on improving efficiencies and increasing productivity in government construction, to deliver £1.7 billion efficiencies and support 20,000 apprenticeships. It is hoped increased productivity will support government to deliver the £163 billion of planned projects identified in the spring 2016 Government Construction Pipeline.

Friday, 15 April 2016

A Guide to West London Markets

Markets... London's got plenty of them! For once, we're not talking about the construction market... we've moved on to more... "enjoyable" research! From foodie havens to little known vintage collectors stalls, we've rounded up a few of West London's best markets.

Monday, 4 April 2016

CSCS Profiled Route is Now Closed

The CSCS Profiled Route was introduced in 2011 as a route to the Black or Gold Card for construction site managers or supervisors who have on-site experience but no nationally recognised qualification in construction.

With the announcement made by the Construction Leadership Council, the Profiled Route no longer supports industry’s desire for a fully qualified workforce.

Applicants will still be able to apply for a Construction Site Manager or Construction Site Supervisor CSCS card, but will be required to complete an NVQ/SVQ levels 4, 5, 6 or 7.

  • If you hold a degree, HND, HNC, certain CIOB certificates or NEBOSH qualifications you will be able to apply for an Academically Qualified Person card.
  • If you hold professional membership you may be eligible for a Professional Qualified Person card.

Friday, 1 April 2016

The New National Minimum Wage

From today, all workers aged 25 and over are legally entitled to at least £7.20 per hour. The latest
National Minimum Wage Increase was announced in last year's budget, with national minimum wages to remain the same for under 25s.

Here's how the new National Minimum Wage has changed since 2010:

25 & Over
21 - 24
18 - 20
Under 18

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

CSCS Test Revision Material 2016

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.

Alternatively, you can also download the relevant Health Safety and Environemt Revision App for £5.99 - Available to download on iOS or Android devices.

Monday, 21 March 2016

A Guide to East London Markets

Markets... London's got plenty of them! For once, we're not talking about the construction market... we've moved on to more... "enjoyable" research! From foodie havens to little known vintage collectors stalls, we've rounded up a few of East London's best markets.

Friday, 18 March 2016

UK Construction Market Update - February

With the Chancellor’s 2016 Budget Statement earlier this week, the government has identified Crossrail 2 as a ‘priority’ and is providing £80 million to develop the project. Government have also allocated £750 million for flood defences. Alongside this the HS3 rail link between Manchester and Leeds has been given the go ahead. Also the Chancellor announced that all schools are to become academies by 2022.

Monday, 22 February 2016

UK Construction Market Update - January

The latest Construction Skills Network report from CITB predicts strong growth, as UK construction is expected to grow by 2.5% every year over the next 5 years. Leading this growth is the Welsh construction industry forecast to grow 7.1% each yearfor the next 5 years.

The ONS have released their Output in the Construction Industry December 2015 and Q4 2015 figures. Output increased by 1.5% in December 2015 compared to November 2015, due to new work increasing by 2.6% and being offset by a decrease of 0.5% in repair and maintenance. In Q4 2015 output was estimated to have decreased by 0.4% compared to Q3 2015, yet overall annual output for 2015 increased by 3.4% compared to the overall data for 2014.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

A Guide to South London Markets

Markets... London's got plenty of them! For once, we're not talking about the construction market... we've moved on to more... "enjoyable" research! From foodie havens to little known vintage collectors stalls, we've rounded up a few of South London's best markets.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

How to get a CSCS Card with an Overseas Qualification

If you have a construction related qualification that was awarded outside the UK and is not currently recognised by CSCS you need to use UK NARIC to review your qualification and determine whether it is comparable to an NVQ, SVQ or other qualification appropriate to your occupation and the CSCS card you wish to apply for.

You can find out more about this process here: Mapping Across Your Overseas Qualification to a UK Equivalent

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

A Guide to North London Markets

Markets... London's got plenty of them! For once, we're not talking about the construction market... we've moved on to more... "enjoyable" research! From foodie havens to little known vintage collectors stalls, we've rounded up a few of North London's best markets.

  • One of London's most famous markets, Camden splits into Camden Lock Market and Camden Stables Market. Both are open seven days a week with stalls selling clothes, jewellery, gifts and more. 
  • International food stalls are prevalent and many small, independent stores also trade in the surrounding area. The area caters largely to the tourist market, so expect plenty of Union Jack-heavy merchandise on the main streets. 
  • A word of warning; Camden Town Station is exit only 1pm-5pm on Sundays and at other busy times, so be prepared to walk to nearby Mornington Crescent or Chalk Farm. 
  • Open every day.
Crouch End
  • Once a month, North London Vintage Market pitches up at St Mary's Parish Hall in Crouch End/Muswell Hill
  • There's over 20 carefully hand-picked stallholders selling mid-century ceramics, vintage fabrics, retro furniture, homewares, kitchen items, clothing, books, curiosities and loads more. 
  • Open monthly - check the website for upcoming dates. 
  • Islington Farmer's Market was London's first farmer's market, and has over 30 stalls each week. Producers all come from within 100 miles of the M25, and strict rules mean that they must raise, grow or bake everything they sell themselves. 
  • There's a full list of London farmer's markets run by the same organisation here
  • Open every Sunday, 10am-2pm.
Alexandra Palace

      Wednesday, 13 January 2016

      UK Construction Market Update - December

      As final construction market data comes in, all signs point to a strong finish for 2015. The Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI registered 57.8 in December 2015, a marked increase on the 55.3 seen in November 2015, which was a 7 month low.

      This exceeded the expectations forecast by many economists of a only a slight increase in December. This suggests a strong outlook for construction activity in 2016, with firms also optimistic as improving UK economic conditions continue to boost the demand for commercial projects.

      Monday, 4 January 2016

      Changes to the CSCS Profiled Route

      The CSCS Profiled Route was introduced in 2011 and was intended for construction site managers or supervisors who have on site experience but do not hold a nationally recognised qualification in construction.

      Since 2011 over 2,000 CSCS cards have been issued via the Profiled Route with applicants only required to submit evidence of their experience for independent review to qualify for a card.

      On this basis the Profiled Route does not support industry’s desire to qualify the workforce, therefore CSCS will stop accepting new Profiled Route applications from 1st April 2016.