BDC

Search
BDC Magazine

October 18, 2017

HS2 top brass agree quarterly union meetings

HS2 Ltd has set out to prevent industrial relations disputes disrupting construction of its £43bn rail project by signing a framework agreement with the Trades Union Congress (TUC). Above: Simon Kirby and Frances O’Grady sign the treaty Under the agreement, HS2’s chief executive, HR director and construction managing director will

Read More »

Wouldn't it be nice to get on with me neighbours?

According to a survey carried out on behalf of national garden furniture retailer, Rattan Direct, 31% of Brits admit to disagreeing with their neighbours with noise, broken fences and untidy gardens being the most common reasons for arguments. The findings uncovered the cause of most neighbourhood rows. Noise complaints topped

Read More »

From Sports Direct’s prole grinder to paternalist

©Bloomberg Mike Ashley, after giving evidence to MPs over Sports Direct’s business practices Mike Ashley, founder and majority shareholder of Sports Direct, is trying to morph from prole grinder to paternalist as a crunch shareholder vote impends. Like a Victorian mill owner falling penitently to his knees in chapel, he

Read More »

AEI Cables Add to Portfolio with New Amtech Electrical Software

AEI Cables, the specialist supplier has announced that they have added a further service to their portfolio in order to allow the company to work more closely with building designers. The new electrical software that has been adopted by the specialist supplier has been delivered to the company from Amtech.

Read More »

LetBritain Research Shows Move Toward Online Only Services

Research has been carried out that shows consumers are moving away from the traditional, offline, high street estate agents. LetBritain has carried out a survey on a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults. The research published has shown that there has been a mass consumer exodus from the more

Read More »

Stephen George + Partners Midlands Expansion

The architectural practice, Stephen George + Partners have announced that their Birmingham office will be relocated to larger premises. The architectural firm will be moving their offices to Longbridge Technology Park after a search for larger premises. Stephen George + Partners have recently carried out a localised merger with the

Read More »

Salix Homes Complete Upgrades on Shakespeare Road

The first residents on Shakespeare Road on The Poet’s in Swindon have been given the keys to their new homes. Neighbours that have lived next to each other for over 30 years in some cases are now gradually being allowed to move into their brand new homes on The Poets.

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

October 18, 2017

HS2 top brass agree quarterly union meetings

HS2 Ltd has set out to prevent industrial relations disputes disrupting construction of its £43bn rail project by signing a framework agreement with the Trades Union Congress (TUC). Above: Simon Kirby and Frances O’Grady sign the treaty Under the agreement, HS2’s chief executive, HR director and construction managing director will sit down four times a year with nine trades union representatives to discuss labour relations on the project. The framework also provides a platform for future work package agreements to be to be agreed directly between the relevant contractors and unions with support from HS2 Ltd and the TUC. The document, signed by TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady and HS2 chief executive Simon Kirby, states that: “The partners believe that a relationship between them, at a high level, will provide a useful mechanism to discuss, strategically, matters concerning employment, development, diversity and inclusion issues affecting those working for the suppliers to HS2 Ltd.” As part of the agreement, HS2 Ltd and the TUC have committed to a series of shared values including: the importance of respect at work a commitment to equalities, diversity and inclusion a commitment to exemplary health, safety and wellbeing a commitment to legacy, maximising economic and social regeneration. Simon Kirby said: “Our mission is to be a high-performing, innovative organisation that delivers value for money by applying the best in worldwide design and construction techniques. “To accomplish this mission we need to lead a safe, valued and effective workforce. This fundamental agreement underlines our responsibility as a direct employer as well as a commitment to the wider workforce that will deliver HS2 across our supply chain. “I look forward to working with the TUC and their colleagues to provide the very best standards in areas such as safety and wellbeing, diversity and development.” For the unions, Frances O’Grady said: “HS2 is a massive opportunity for workers in the construction and rail sectors. We look forward to working with HS2 and our member unions to ensure that equality, safety and respect are at the heart of the project. “HS2 is key for creating jobs, driving economic growth, and narrowing the north-south divide. It’s a much-needed investment boost in our railways. “This agreement commits all those delivering HS2 to maximising benefits to the UK supply chain, crucial at a time when we are discussing the future of the UK steel industry.” Unions represented under the agreement are RMT and Unite (who will each supply two representatives to the committee) and ASLEF, GMB, TSSA and Ucatt (who will supply one representative each. The TUC general secretary is the ninth union-side committee member. The last clause of the document states: “The agreement is not legally enforceable and either party may terminate it by giving one month’s notice in writing.”               This article was published on 8 Apr 2016 (last updated on 8 Apr 2016). Source link

Read More »

MOHSG: Drugs, substances and alcohol, do they work for me? – Manchester, 27 July 2016

Manchester Occupational Health and Safety Group (MOSHG) event Date and location Wednesday 27 July 2016, from 13.45 St Antony’s Centre for Church & Industry, Eleventh Street, Trafford Park, Manchester M17 1JF Event overview Afternoon meeting of Manchester Occupational Health and Safety Group that includes the above talk on Drugs, Substances & Alcohol, do they work for me! by Alex Boyd, Adams Alexander Associates. A Workplace officer from the Health and Safety Executive is likely to be in attendance. Anybody is welcome to attend. Booking and information No booking required. Further information is available from cathy.nixon@mohsg.org.uk or visit the Manchester Occupational Health and Safety Group website. Source link

Read More »

Wouldn't it be nice to get on with me neighbours?

According to a survey carried out on behalf of national garden furniture retailer, Rattan Direct, 31% of Brits admit to disagreeing with their neighbours with noise, broken fences and untidy gardens being the most common reasons for arguments. The findings uncovered the cause of most neighbourhood rows. Noise complaints topped the list, followed by a broken fence or wall, an untidy garden or hedge, an overgrown tree creeping over the fence and annoying kids and pets. Looking at the differences between regions, the biggest arguments between neighbours can be found in London. On the other hand, Bristolians are far more civil and more likely to avoid neighbour disputes. Interestingly, Birmingham is home to the noisiest neighbours. Welsh homeowners don’t welcome their neighbours’ pets into their gardens, whereas residents in Sheffield won’t return next door’s ball if it lands in their backyard, as they are mostly annoyed with their neighbours’ children.   What else annoys us when it comes to our green spaces? Further data reveals that noisy neighbours were also voted as one of the top annoying things about our gardens. Moreover, two-thirds of homeowners and tenants admit there is at least one thing in their gardens they wish they could change. 59% of those unhappy residents said that keeping their gardens nice and tidy is the most annoying aspect of having an outdoor space. In more detail, people are mostly irritated by having to mow the lawn during the summer months, having to do lots of gardening, such as weeding, or having a fence or hedge that requires a lot of maintenance. Robert Fernandez, the Marketing Director at Rattan Direct, says: “It’s interesting to see the UK map of ‘neighbours rows’ and how things differ from region to region. Some are calm and harmonious, whereas others are very protective of their outdoor spaces.” While it’s understandable that no one wants to deal with an overgrown tree, a broken fence or messy pets, there’s always a way of overcoming an argument. At the end of the day, you want to have a nice relationship with your next door neighbours. You never know when you might need to borrow some sugar.” Source link

Read More »

Hinkley Point C’s approval a “step in the right direction for Wylfa”

Commenting on the UK Government’s decison to approve Hinkley Mark Bodger, Strategic Partnership Director for CITB Cymru Wales, said: “The UK Government’s decision to give the go-ahead to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset could have knock-on benefits for Welsh construction. But it also highlights the need to start planning now to make sure we have the skills for all the projects in the pipeline. “Hinkley could bring other nuclear projects closer, including the £14bn Wylfa Newydd power station on Anglesey. This would be one of the main drivers of Welsh construction growth over the next decade. “However, it could also drain construction skills from Wales at a time when we need to build such major projects as the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, the South Wales Metro and the Celtic Manor Convention Centre. “With so much on the horizon, it’s imperative that the new National Infrastructure Commission for Wales maximises the sector’s potential through careful planning and finance of major Welsh projects. “This certainty will help construction employers identify their upcoming skills needs, and CITB will work closely with industry to upskill the existing workforce and attract new people to construction.” Source link

Read More »

RIBA Future Trends Survey Results for March 2015 show greater stability in market for architects

Staffing levels recover from temporary setback in February 2015 Private housing and commercial sectors remain strong Uncertainty remains in public sector, despite overall increase in the workload forecast The RIBA Future Trends Workload Index bounced back strongly this month, rising to +36 in March 2015 compared with +26 in February 2015. Practices based in London (balance figure +42) and the South of England (+39) were the most confident about medium-term workloads, though workload forecast balance figures remain positive across the United Kingdom. The March 2015 workload forecast increased across all four sectors. The private housing sector forecast remains the most positive, standing at +34 in March 2015 (from +27 in February 2015). The commercial sector workload forecast increased to +19 in March 2015 (from +15 in February 2015). Annualised, the combined workload across these two sectors continues to rise at a rate of approximately 8% per annum. The community sector forecast also experienced a healthy uplift, from +5 in February 2015 to +9 in March 2015. Meanwhile, the public sector workload remains the poorest performer in the monthly sector forecasts, despite an increase to +5 in March 2015 (up from +1 in February 2015). The Future Trends Staffing Index rose strongly from its temporary setback last month, standing at +16 in March 2015 (up from +9 in February 2015). Large practices (balance figure +63) are currently the most confident about their ability to sustain higher staffing levels in the medium term, closely followed by medium-sized practices (balance figure +56). Small practices are more circumspect, with a balance figure of +11. Overall, just 12% of individuals reported that they had personally been under-employed in the last month. RIBA Director of Practice Adrian Dobson said: ‘This is a striking indication of greater stability on the employment market for salaried architects, with only 2 per cent of respondents expecting to have fewer permanent staff in three months’ time. We are also seeing a greater number of practices expecting an increase in temporary staff over the medium term. This highlights that there is more certainty about the new project pipeline.’ ‘With a combined annualised increase of 8 per cent per annum, the private housing sector and commercial sector appear to be the primary drivers for the overall increase in the workload forecast.’ ‘However, respondents continue to suggest that overly complex procurement practices have reduced involvement in public sector work. This is in the context of uncertainty around future levels of public sector spending on buildings.’ ENDS Notes to editors: 1. For further press information contact Callum Reilly in the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3757 callum.reilly@riba.org 2. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members. www.architecture.com Follow us on Twitter for regular RIBA updates www.twitter.com/RIBA 3. Completed by a mix of small, medium and large firms based on a geographically representative sample, the RIBA Future Trends Survey was launched in January 2009 to monitor business and employment trends affecting the architects’ profession. 4. The Future Trends Survey is carried out by the RIBA in partnership with the Fees Bureau. Results of the survey, including a full graphical analysis, are published each month at: http://www.architecture.com/RIBA/Professionalsupport/FutureTrendsSurvey.aspx 5. To participate in the RIBA Future Trends Survey, please contact the RIBA Practice Department on 020 7307 3749 or email practice@riba.org. The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete each month, and all returns are independently processed in strict confidence 6. The definition for the workload balance figure is the difference between those expecting more work and those expecting less. A negative figure means more respondents expect less work than those expecting more work. This figure is used to represent the RIBA Future Trends Workload Index, which for March 2015 was +36 7. The definition for the staffing balance figure is the difference between those expecting to employ more permanent staff in the next three months and those expecting to employ fewer. A negative figure means more respondents expect to employ fewer permanent staff. This figure is used to represent the RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index, which for March 2015 was +16   Posted on Tuesday 28th April 2015 Source link

Read More »

From Sports Direct’s prole grinder to paternalist

©Bloomberg Mike Ashley, after giving evidence to MPs over Sports Direct’s business practices Mike Ashley, founder and majority shareholder of Sports Direct, is trying to morph from prole grinder to paternalist as a crunch shareholder vote impends. Like a Victorian mill owner falling penitently to his knees in chapel, he is pledging to “treat all staff with dignity and respect”. A report from law firm RPC on the treatment of workers is littered with mea culpas from the sportswear retailer. Mr Ashley is promising a new enlightened era at the Shirebrook warehouse, the subject of fury among MPs following revelations by undercover reporters from the Guardian. There will be a nurse, a welfare officer, a gym and English lessons for the predominantly foreign workforce. Shirebrook will lack the swimming baths, parks and boating lake that the philanthropic George Cadbury provided for former slum dwellers at his Bournville chocolate factory in Birmingham. But the changes should represent an improvement. They include: the suspension of the “six strikes and you’re out” policy operated by agency labour suppliers; an end to the alleged shaming of workers by tannoy; and an opportunity for employees to switch from zero-hours to minimum-hours contracts. Often, investors appear to care very little about the employees of the businesses they own. But in the case of Sports Direct, minority shareholders see staff welfare — or the lack of it — as expressive of the group’s shambolic governance. Many are due to vote against the reappointment of chairman Keith Hellawell. Any power he might have to represent them is undercut by the position of Mr Ashley, a 55 per cent shareholder, as “deputy executive chairman”. Mr Ashley cannot hope to forestall that censure, or support for a motion requesting an independent review of governance, both of which he can easily vote down. He is however giving a slim inch of ground by asking RPC to examine governance and report back in a ridiculously leisurely 12 months. This is an inadequate response. Shares in Sports Direct, which have collapsed, should remain deeply discounted until it appoints a genuinely independent chairman and non-executives. Mr Ashley should take a back seat managerially or buy out minorities at a stiff premium. Tuesday’s report shows he only edges towards accepted norms with the hot breath of an angry mob on the back of his neck. The contrast is with Victorian paternalist bosses who always aimed to surpass them. To paraphrase a barb against US politician Dan Quayle: “We knew the Cadburys, Mr Ashley, and you’re no George Cadbury.” Brexpocalypse, meh The public is not bovvered about Brexit. One did one’s best to panic them by pointing out Canada has been negotiating an EU trade deal for years and has so far only reached an outline agreement on maple syrup exports. But the public responded by producing a smartphone and displaying a picture of a Persian cat having its tummy tickled. Even shares in housebuilders are bouncing back, after losing two-fifths to one-third of their value. Redrow, which announced record full-year profits on Tuesday, has, for example, recovered to within 4 per cent of its pre-poll level. Where did it all go right? Chairman Steve Morgan says there has been “virtually no impact” from the vote. Undersupply of homes has worsened with the closure of smaller developers. Homebuyers are chipper, thanks to government subsidies. All very embarrassing, if, like Lombard, you saw the vote as a disaster. It might still be. Stocks are high. But their predictive ability has been compromised by action from the Bank of England needed to justify pre-poll Jeremiads. Consumer confidence creates economic conditions, as well as reflecting them, though. As for Redrow, Peel Hunt reckons it looks cheap. That is a reasonable assessment, given the success of Mr Morgan’s bold expansion into the south-east. No dithering nervousness from him, either. The right rotter Brummies sometimes moan the city lacks high-calibre leadership. That would change if Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis, gets the new job of mayor for the urban West Midlands. Mr Street is credited with steering the store chain to an enviable position in middle market retailing and was “most admired” company boss in 2014. He attended King Edward’s, the Birmingham school immortalised in Jonathan Coe’s poignant novel The Rotters’ Club. At one reunion he resolved a bar-room stand-off near Broad Street without violence, a feat beyond most UN peacekeepers. Mr Street is expected to declare his candidacy on September 19. If he wins, he would have to tell the mayor of Brum’s twin city Lyon what he meant by describing France as “sclerotic, hopeless and downbeat”. He would also need to explain to Brummies why he waited until 2015 to open a store in the city. Harvey Nicks beat John Lewis to it by more than a decade. jonathan.guthrie@ft.com Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web. Source link

Read More »

AEI Cables Add to Portfolio with New Amtech Electrical Software

AEI Cables, the specialist supplier has announced that they have added a further service to their portfolio in order to allow the company to work more closely with building designers. The new electrical software that has been adopted by the specialist supplier has been delivered to the company from Amtech. The software that has been delivered will odd designers to adapt their specification in a simpler process, for each specific project. The commercial Manager of AEI Cables, Stuart Dover has said that the new Amtech electrical software has been adopted by the supplier in order to help the company better understand the needs of the building designer. This more sophisticated software has been adopted in order to help the building designers. The new software will allow the specialist supplier of cables to work more closely with their building designers on projects in order to offer a more diverse range of products that are used for the maximum benefit of customers around the world. The company is one of the most respected cable suppliers in the world. When operating in the electrical supply chain, a business is only as successful as the projects that they work on. Therefore, whether looking to design and manage a project or to track the progress being made across the job, sites operated on by a company, it is important to make sure that you have the right tools on hand that will help to design electrical circuits. The software that has been created by Amtech allows the designers, consultants and contractors to create and managed the specification documents with access to a comprehensive library of all of the latest and applicable technical guidance in order to deliver a fully robust building construction specification for each project. Ducab is the parent company of AEI Cables and all AEI Cables are supplied with approvals from a range of independent bodies such as BASEC and LPCB which cover the design, manufacture and supply of their products.

Read More »

LetBritain Research Shows Move Toward Online Only Services

Research has been carried out that shows consumers are moving away from the traditional, offline, high street estate agents. LetBritain has carried out a survey on a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults. The research published has shown that there has been a mass consumer exodus from the more traditional high street offices. One of the main sentiments expressed during the survey is one of widespread frustration in regards to the slow and more cumbersome high street letting agents. Virtual letting agency LetBritain has uncovered this transition as a part of their exploration into consumer sentiment. The nationally representative survey has shown that more than half of the participants regularly go online to obtain the majority of the products and services that they use. 45% of the 2,000 participants favour online services over the ones that would require them to go into a physical premise. A whopping 29% of the respondents have said that they would actively avoid using a business that does not offer an online service. Looking at the location of the participants, it would appear that those in the capital are considered to be the most technologically demanding, with 625 of the Londoners involved in the survey choosing online solutions, and 51% consciously making the decision to avoid businesses without an online service. Across a range of UK industries, the offering of digital solutions enhances the accessibility, transparency and quality of the services that are made available to consumers. In response to this, the majority of the UK society has feels that businesses that do not have an online presence or that require a significantly higher amount of offline communication will be replaced in the next 10 years with an online-only or app-based solution. LetBritain also saw the consumer dissatisfaction was prevalent mostly in the letting market, with renters and landlords discontented at the lack of a quick, accessible and easy online service available for those looking to rent a property.

Read More »

Stephen George + Partners Midlands Expansion

The architectural practice, Stephen George + Partners have announced that their Birmingham office will be relocated to larger premises. The architectural firm will be moving their offices to Longbridge Technology Park after a search for larger premises. Stephen George + Partners have recently carried out a localised merger with the Birmingham-based company, MKguru Architect Ltd. The move has demonstrated the significant level of expansion that has taken place at Stephen George + Partners in the West Midlands area. The practice has also seen the appointment of a new project Architect, Juma Chipeta. The appointment will lead to an enhancement of the already expansive technical and BIM expertise. The Midlands region of the country is seeing a great deal of economic growth with continually strong levels of investor confidence in property and development. The move for the architectural practice to larger, permanent offices is a demonstration that Stephen George + Partners are dedicated to driving future growth in the long term across the region. The company has announced that they will also be looking to increase their workload in the residential, retail, leisure, commercial and industrial areas. The company have developed a reputation that is enviable, for delivering quality design and robust delivery. The new Project Architect, Juma Chipeta has 25 years of experience in consulting practice. Juma will be joining Stephen George + Partners from Walker Troup Architects, where he worked on a range of residential developments across the Midlands region. No doubt, Juma will be an asset to the company and will flourish in his new position. In the past, Juma has most recently worked on a 150-home scheme that took place on the former Armitage Shanks Tap Works in Wolverhampton. In his new role, Juma Chipeta will be in a hands on position when managing projects on behalf of clients as well as overseeing the Birmingham office expansion of their BIM capabilities across all sectors.

Read More »

Salix Homes Complete Upgrades on Shakespeare Road

The first residents on Shakespeare Road on The Poet’s in Swindon have been given the keys to their new homes. Neighbours that have lived next to each other for over 30 years in some cases are now gradually being allowed to move into their brand new homes on The Poets. The new homes have been created after the old ones on the same site were demolished due to historic structural issues. This development is the first new build project that has been undertaken by Salix Homes in partnership with their chosen contractor, Galliford Try Partnerships. With the construction work coming to an end residents are being gradually allowed into the new houses on the street they’ve lived on for decades. One of the residents of Shakespeare Road is Gail Howell, who has lived in the area for 50 years. Gail first moved on to Shakespeare Road at the age of six, with her parents. Her family of four children and five grandchildren also live close by. Gail and her family took her parents’ house over following the death of her father and says that the Road will always be her home. It is great that Salix has been working to ensure that there are properties standing on Shakespeare Road for decades to come. Gail lives with her husband on The Poets and was the chair of the residents steering group. The residents have been involved in the development process of the houses from start to finish. The original tenants that were affected by the demolition of the old houses were temporarily rehoused nearby and were given the option to move back into the new properties. The new development has improved the resident’s living conditions, with problems such as damp creeping into the old houses on Shakespeare Road. Now the residents plan to carry on as they always have, in their nice modern new homes.

Read More »