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.”

Right now, one in six construction workers in the UK is experiencing depression, anxiety or stress.

· In the UK men remain three times as likely to take their own lives than women.

· The highest suicide rate in the UK was for men aged 45-49.

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.

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B&K restarts stalled Leeds hotel project

Bowmer & Kirkland has restarted work on the stalled Hilton hotel project that stopped midway through construction with the collapse of builder GB Building Solutions three years ago.

The half-finished scheme has been redesigned by developer Select Property, which will invest £56m to turn the site into 273 student flats, under its Vita Student brand.

Mark Stott, CEO of Select Property Group, said: “For us, finding the right locations for our residences is key and we’ve done just that with Portland Crescent and St Alban’s Place.”

The project near the Leeds Arena was to be a 206-bedroom Hilton hotel and marked GB Building Solution’s first major foray into development.

But the firm collapsed in May 2015 leaving the project unfinished as a concrete frame. The project was part-funded by a taxpayer-backed loan of £4.8m from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership.

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Union demands direct employment on HS2

Unite is calling for all HS2 workers to be directly employed and an end to using payroll and umbrella companies on the project.

Unite kicked-off its campaign with a demo outside the offices of the Costain-Skanska Joint Venture

The union staged a demonstration yesterday outside the headquarters of Costain-Skanska Joint Venture (CSjv), who are currently carrying out the southern area enabling works for HS2.

Unite want to see CSjv employ workers directly rather than through agencies like Bowercross Construction Limited who supply labour on the job.

National officer for construction Jerry Swain said: “HS2 is one of the most high profile construction projects in the UK and there is an agreement between the unions and HS2 that outlaws these types of practices.

“It would be reasonable to expect that HS2’s management, would want to ensure that first class workers’ rights exist on this project and as a minimum uphold the agreement they signed.”

Unite said it will now be extending its campaign across all of HS2’s sites.

An HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “We have an agreement with the TUC demonstrating our commitment to working with the trade unions.

“By working together, we will build the new high-speed railway safely and create a diverse, inclusive and skilled workforce.”

A CSjv spokesperson said: “Bowercross Construction Limited (BCL), is one of the CSjv’s approved suppliers, who provide labour to some of our sites on the High Speed Two enabling works programme.

“All BCL workers on our programme are paid via PAYE and receive full employment rights, which include a minimum of the London Living Wage, EU holiday and sick pay and welfare benefits.

“CSjv are keen to meet with Unite to discuss their concerns and have previously offered opportunities for them to meet our workers.”

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Chemical giant to invest £500m in two new plants

Chemical giant INEOS has unveiled plans to build a £350m steam and power plant at its Grangemouth site in Scotland.

Tobias Hannemann, CEO O&P UK said: “This investment forms part of our wider plans to secure a bright future for manufacturing at Grangemouth and will continue its renaissance as a world class petrochemicals site.”

INEOS will also invest £150m in Hull to construct a new Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) plant.

VAM is a key component in a wide range of important high-end products including laminated windscreens, toughened glass, adhesives, coatings, films, textiles and carbon fibre.

Graham Beesley CEO of INEOS Oxide said: This is an exciting time for INEOS and great news for manufacturing in the region.

“We are proud to be bringing production of this important material back to the UK. This will not only strengthen UK manufacturing but boost exports from the UK to Europe and the rest of the world.”

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MPs demand review of working at height dangers

MPs are demanding a major review of working at height in a bid to cut the number of deaths and accidents caused by falls.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height has published a new report calling on the Government and industry to undertake a major review of working at height culture.

It also wants to see improved reporting of incidents and introduce reporting on near misses.

The report, Staying Alive: Preventing Serious Injury and Fatalities while Working at Height, is the result of a 12 month inquiry by the APPG.

Politicians explored why 18% of people who die at work do so as a result of a fall from height, and what steps can be taken by government and industry to prevent incidents for the millions of people in the UK that work at height.

The report makes 4 primary recommendations to reduce the overall number of falls:

  • The introduction of an enhanced reporting system through RIDDOR.
  • The appointment of an independent body that allows confidential, enhanced and digital reporting of all near misses, to be shared with government and industry to inform health and safety policy.
  • The extension of the Working Well Together – Working Well at Height safety campaigns.
  • An equivalent system to Scotland’s Fatal Accident Inquiry process extended to the rest of the UK.

Alison Thewliss, Chair of the APPG on Working at Height and MP for Glasgow Central said: “Every fall from height can have life-altering consequences for workers and their families. There is an urgent need to improve work at height culture, yet this issue is sadly not at the top of decision-makers’ agenda.

“A lack of empirical data prevents us from understanding the root causes of falls from height. This is compounded by a cultural obstacle when it comes to supporting people to report unsafe practices.

“We have made comprehensive recommendations to government, but the APPG’s work does not stop here. Our report must be the first step in a wider process of systematic and cultural change. It is now time for policy-makers to act.”

The APPG is now calling for a further period of consultation and a major review of work at height culture, including how to engage with difficult to reach sectors, the suitability of financial penalties, and the role of digital technologies in improving the safety environment.

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Why Every House Should Have a Toolbox

A few generations ago, the toolbox was a staple in the home. Your Mum, Dad, Gran and Grandad all know how to fix the odd problem around the house, but do you?

More recently, there has been a crisis in DIY. Millennials, on the whole, don’t have the time, don’t know how or plain just don’t want to do it, with things as simple as bleeding a radiator or changing a lightbulb being out of the question for many.

Is it time we turned things around? Here’s why and how you should go about bringing the toolbox back into your home.

Outside of avoiding feeling a tad embarrassed when having to admit you don’t know how to rewire a plug, there are numerous reasons that it’s worth learning a few tricks of the trade.

• Save serious money: The cost of external labour is significant. Often the simplest of tasks come with an initial ‘callout fee’ with an additional charge. Learning basic DIY tasks, especially when it comes to remodelling or moving into a new home, could easily be worth thousands in savings.
• You’re the boss: You know what you want and how you want it done, so who better to do the work than you? You are the only one who can recreate the picture in your head, and it saves the trouble of paying for something you didn’t quite ask for.
• Learn the craft: Whether it’s online tutorials or taking a few courses, learning DIY can give you valuable life skills that not only save you money, but give you a sense of achievement as well.
• The best results?: Following on from being your own boss, there’s no reason to say you won’t do a better job on your home than a local tradesmen. After all, you can devote more time to a job, plus you have a vested interest in the final product being as good as it can be.

What Should I Have in There?

If the above has done enough to persuade you to get involved, then you need to know what a basic home toolbox should have:

• Electric drill: The handiest of all power tools. Go cordless for sake of ease, but make sure you get a good battery to power it.
• Hacksaw: For cutting wood, plastic and metal.
• Screwdriver set: A set of multi-headed screwdrivers is an absolute essential.
• Claw hammer: For banging in new nails and removing old crooked ones.
• Pliers: A versatile tool that can clamp and cut.
• Adjustable wrench: For tightening nuts and bolts.
• Tape measure: An obvious must for any measuring needs.
• Spirit level: Avoid wonky photos, shelving and wall fitted appliances.
• Utility knife: Multi-purpose for all sorts of little jobs.
• Flashlight: So you can see what you’re doing.
• Safety gear: Safety goggles and work gloves should be a basic requirement.

Now you’ve got some good reasons to do it and a basic list to get you started, you can join the DIY revival.

Don’t be afraid to start small and grow to bigger and brighter things. Before you know it, you will be completing projects to be proud of, and you’ll have some extra cash in your pocket to enjoy as well.

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Nottingham Forest unveil stadium revamp plans

Nottingham Forest have revealed plans to redevelop the City Ground in a move that will see it become the largest stadium in the East Midlands.

Architect Benoy has designed the revamp

The club have been drawing up redevelopment plans for 18 months with the aim of starting at the end of next season.

Plans include building a new Peter Taylor Stand and improvements to the Trentside area, Brian Clough and Bridgford Stands.

The new stand will include a museum, new club shop and a range of hospitality lounge facilities. When complete The City Ground’s capacity will reach 38,000.

The club unveiled the stadium plan, drawn up by architect Benoy, after an agreement with the City Council for an extended lease on The City Ground

Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis said: “The City Ground has iconic history and memories for our supporters and?these legacies were fundamental in our decision us to remain on the banks of the River Trent and not relocating to an alternative site.

“This is our home and we will remain here forever.

“This investment is about our club and the city of Nottingham and we are all committed together to deliver a place that we will all feel proud of, The New City Ground, our home forever.”

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Paragon Interiors goes into administration

Fit out and refurbishment specialist Paragon Interiors Group Plc has recently gone into administration.

The Midlands based contractor is in the hands of administrators from Leonard Curtis Business Rescue & Recovery.

The joint administrators are now seeking offers for the business in order to preserve jobs and maximise the return to creditors.

It is understood that the company employs in excess of 90 people.

Paragon Interiors is not related to Interserve company Paragon which continues to trade well.

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GPD Decline Hitting UK Construction

According to recent figures, the UK economy’s been grinding its gears hard lately – and now it’s actually slipped into reverse. The Office for National Statistics is reporting that growth in Gross Domestic Product (the value of all the country’s goods and services produced) shrank 0.4% in a month. In fact the 2018 figures show that growth in the UK economy has now hit its lowest point since 2012. With an uncertain Brexit just weeks away and a skills shortfall crisis to contend with, these are uncomfortable numbers for the British construction industry.

Overall, ONS figures for the building trade show:

  • Total construction output went town by 0.3% in the last 3 months of 2018, after having risen by 2.1% for the quarter before. The drop was mostly down to maintenance and repair output, which fell 2.8%.
  • The maintenance and repair drop came down to decreases of 4% in figures for private housing output and 2.9% in non-housing.
  • The blow was cushioned a bit by a 1.1% rise in overall new work. You can thank rises of 1.9% in infrastructure and 1.4% in private commercial work for that.
  • The latest monthly figures dropped badly, with December’s all-work series falling 2.8% compared to November. That’s the biggest one-month drop since June 2012’s 4.3% plummet.
  • Looking back to 2017’s numbers, we’re seeing growth of 0.7% in construction over the last year. Again, that’s the lowest year-on-year growth rate since 2012, when output dropped by 6.9%.

Needless to say, these aren’t great numbers – and there are likely to be some knock-on effects for the industry to deal with. A general unease over awarding new projects would be pretty understandable, for one thing.

A nervous atmosphere in the industry is exactly the kind of breeding ground that leads to stalled or abandoned projects – particularly when there’s the fear of rising costs to factor in.

Work opportunities tend to dwindle down, and the looming threat of layoffs feeds into a broader perception of construction as a field weak on opportunity and prospects. With an ageing workforce and a skills shortfall, people are just leaving the industry and not coming back.

Construction thrives on innovation, and is learning fast how to pull in talent from other fields. The other side to that, obviously, is that people with transferable skills will simply transfer themselves back out when the going gets too uneven.

Putting it all in perspective, if you’re working in the building trade it’s a challenging time. At RIFT, we see more and more of our construction customers struggling over finding new jobs and making the most of existing ones.

It’s more important than ever to make sure you’re paying the right amount of tax – and claiming back what you’re owed from HMRC. That takes expertise that few people have – and it’s the reason RIFT are the UK’s leading tax specialists. From welders to window fitters, when it comes to handling tax refunds in construction, you’re better off with RIFT.

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Let’s Get More Women Into Engineering – an International Women’s Day plea from training provider DTL

Attracting more women into construction and engineering must become a higher priority for government and employers, urges Develop Training Ltd (DTL).

The training company says redressing the gender imbalance is not just desirable from an ideological viewpoint but also a means of helping to tackle the chronic skills shortage afflicting the industry. Two thirds of employers say a shortage of engineers is a threat to their business.

DTL, whose customers include household names in the utilities and energy sectors, highlighted the issue to coincide with International Women’s Day on Friday March 8.

This year, International Women’s Day kicks off a year-long campaign with the theme #BalanceForBetter. Organisers say: “Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, a gender-balance of employees… Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.”

John Kerr, DTL’s Director of Education & Training, said: “The industries we serve are among the most male-dominated in the country. Only nine per cent of the UK’s engineering workforce is female, and we have the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe.”

He said the challenges included improving the way construction and engineering were portrayed in schools, encouraging girls and young women to study engineering-related subjects and changing perceptions of working in the industry.

“In many ways, the obstacles to bringing more women into the sector are the same as we face in attracting young people,” said Mr Kerr. “The industry offers well-paid, secure and skilled work with great career prospects, but it still encounters prejudiced ideas of dirty manual labour. There are a number of excellent initiatives to attract women into engineering and construction, and some great role models, and we hope that broader changes in society will also play a part in breaking down barriers. We support International Women’s Day and the Balance For Better campaign in their efforts to make a difference.”

One female role model is DTL’s own Nicola Smith, who swapped life as a stockbroker to become an engineer.

Nicola has been a Lecturer in Smart Meter installation with DTL since February 2017, passing on the skills and knowledge she developed during her time as a hands-on installer to others. Having started work as a cashier for a building society, she

quickly progressed in the financial services sector, eventually becoming a stockbroker based in London’s Canary Wharf, but she had a nagging feeling that she wanted to do something else.

At age 19, she applied for a mechanics course, but the man she spoke to about it put her off. Years later, when an apprenticeship at British Gas came up, she grabbed the opportunity.

“At that time British Gas were one of the few companies offering to pay people while they learned,” Nicola recalls. “Fortunately, many more companies offer apprenticeships today.”

Nicola said she was completely accepted by her team-mates, but she had to challenge public perceptions that engineers were men. “Customers would say to me ‘but when will the engineer be here?’ and I’d have to explain that I was the engineer,” she says.

Nicola hopes that at DTL, she can play a part in encouraging women into engineering: “I’m a massive advocate of encouraging more women into the industry. I really want to encourage women to see it as a career choice. There’s genuinely nothing a man can do that we can’t. With practice, you become just as capable as your male colleagues. I really can’t shout loudly enough about it.”

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