Do You Want the Good News First or the Bad News?

Last week’s Budget represented a great opportunity to address employers’ concerns about the Apprenticeship Levy but passed with no concrete promises from Chancellor Philip Hammond who said he would “keep under review the flexibility that levy payers have to spend the money”.  This isn’t particularly good news as it sends a negative message about apprenticeships whey companies in the UK are trying to promote them in order to solve the skills shortage.  Some companies are actually telling potential apprentices that they can’t take them on because they’re not getting levy support in time!  The

Dampbusting for Home and Building Owners

Last week we brought you information on SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) and its annual National Maintenance Week campaign which is designed to encourage owners of buildings (all types of buildings, not just the ancient ones) to be aware of the importance of regular care and maintenance.  SPAG is giving away free pocket-sized maintenance calendars that feature top tips and a list of annual maintenance tasks to promote National Maintenance We

The Benefits of Self Closing Safety Gates

There’s been a sharp increase in recent years in the use of self-closing safety gates, for the most part in guardrail systems to allow roof access from a fixed ladder.  This is in some part as a result of the Working at Height Regulations 2005 which demand that any working at height is required to be planned as a result of a risk assessment. 

SPAB and National Maintenance Week – What’s it all About?

SPAB is the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and, although you may never have heard of it, it’s not a new organisation at all.  In fact, SPAB was founded back in 1877 by a group of Pre-Raphaelites including none other than William Morris, the famous textile designer responsible for some of the most exquisite wallpaper and textile designs on the planet.   The original SPAB members were dismayed to find that some architects at the time were scraping away at the historical fabric of so many buildings during restoration work and launched SPAB in order to raise awareness and preve

Home Improvement Projects – Be Prepared to Wait for a Professional Builder

If you’re a home owner considering a refurbishment or other type of building work, then you’re sure to want to get the job gets done by a reputable building company.  There are many ways of checking out building firms – you can look at online reviews to begin with, ask around friends and family for recommendations (you’re sure to know plenty of people who’ve had to hire a building company to do work on their homes) and look at the building companies listed in your local business pages.  However, if you’re on the lookout for a building company, you’d better get your skates on as recent resea

The UK Construction Industry - Jobs for Life Available Here

Nobody in the construction industry here in the UK can fail to be aware that we’re facing a massive skills shortage – it’s an issue that we’ve written about several times in the past, lauding the Apprentice Scheme as a powerful way of finding a solution to this crisis.  There are all sorts of initiatives being launched to overcome this shortage of skilled construction workers, including the introduction of degrees in construction, a shout-out to construction companies to provide work experience for future school leavers in a bid to attract them into the industry and the belief that the incr

Managing Equipment in the Construction Industry

Inspection checklists for equipment are a vital tool that companies can use to enhance their safety programmes.  Many employers are tempted to create their own checklists or buy a generic checklist that covers a wide range of equipment.  This can make the equipment checks more laborious and confusing and the details are often incomplete or not fully relevant – which may lead to dangerous assumptions.  An effective safe equipment management system will:

Building Customer Relationships for Construction Company Owners

If you’re the owner of a small to medium sized construction industry here in the UK (and most of Britain’s construction companies fall into the category of small to medium businesses), then you’re sure to be familiar with the fact that as well as building houses, etc., you also need to build a customer base.  While you may be an expert in the building trade, to run a successful business, you also need some expertise in managing a business. 

Homeowners and Building Managers – Getting Ready for Winter

Now that the clocks have changed it seems that we’re well into the winter months and all that they bring here in the UK.  With weather forecasters promising a cold and dreary winter, now is the time to make sure that the exterior of your home is winter-proofed and will withstand all that the UK weather has to throw at it over the cold winter months.  Maintaining the exterior of your home is vital if you want your home to keep its value and keep you and your family cosy and warm during the coming harsh weather.