Over 300 projects benefit from CITB levy funding

Steve Radley

Steve Radley

More than 300 projects across the UK have benefitted from CITB levy funding, a new report has revealed.

The Impact of CITB Project Funding’ document states a total of £17.8 million raised through the organisation’s levy was shared by 303 projects in England, Scotland and Wales between September 2015 and December 2016.

The largest group to receive funding were micro and small employers (231), followed by construction federations (38), large employers (18), CITB-funded training groups (9), medium employers (6) and one trade union.

Of the projects that received funding, 149 were funded to reduce the skills gap, 119 received monies to increase access to the right training, 18 won funding to reduce skills shortages, 14 projects increased the appeal of working in construction and three increased the value added per employee.

In addition, larger-scale projects to receive funding included £2.5m to Skanska’s five-year strategic partnership with the Supply Chain Sustainability School to provide an online resource library, while £1.1m was pledged to the Civil Engineering Contractors Association’s Infrastructure Development Programme.

Other larger-scale schemes included:

  • £1.9m to the Roofing Industry Alliance programme to bring together all the main roofing industry stakeholders to collectively set up a training strategy for tackling skills gaps and skills shortages in the sector at all levels.
  • £200,000 to Kier Construction’s Inspiring Students project to raise awareness of different career opportunities within the sector.
  • £250,000 for BAM Nuttall to develop Construction Employer Frameworks for ex-offenders across Wales.

Steve Radley, CITB director of policy, said the report showcases how levy payers’ money is having a positive impact on the industry, including on many small firms.

“It shows that CITB funding helps people gain qualifications; reduce skills gaps and improves staff morale,” he said.

“For employers it has encouraged innovation and facilitated new partnerships, as well as improving perceptions of construction as a career. We will continue to work closely with our industry to ensure that funding is targeted at its priorities and delivers the outcomes it needs.”

BAM Nuttall to support CITB Consensus

Steve Fox

Steve Fox

Chief executive Steve Fox has confirmed that BAM Nuttall will support the CITB Consensus vote, arguing that disbanding the body would be a significant setback for skills development in the industry.

According to Fox, reform of CITB’s governance is “necessary” and “we do need confidence that this will be effective and transparent”.

He added: “However, the industry needs to step up its involvement in the Training Board and recognise what the CITB does and could do, as well as being clear about what future skills needs are.”

Fox highlights the breadth of work undertaken by CITB and the ecosystem of skills support, advice and delivery that the Board maintains on behalf of the industry:

  • Developing and maintaining the construction standards on which NVQs and Apprenticeship frameworks are based.
  • Supporting and coordinating 31 new ‘Trailblazer’ Apprenticeship standards, ensuring consistency, reducing duplication and making sure the standards are fit for purpose.
  • Providing advice and guidance on skills to all construction businesses, particularly SMEs.
  • Supporting a network of 80 independent training groups, providing cost effective training to more than 3000 construction businesses.
  • Training and coordinating Construction Ambassadors across all sectors, supporting more than 2000 school engagement events and careers fairs.
  • Awarding, funding and assuring National Skills Academies for Construction.
  • Collating and publishing 5-year labour management information to identify skills shortages across sectors, regions and occupations.
  • Working with major public infrastructure clients to develop skills strategies in the supply chain.
  • Providing structural and flexible funds to support diversity programmes and tackle industry recruitment challenges.
  • Engaging with Local Enterprise Partnerships, Regional Learning Partnerships in Wales, local and national government to influence decisions on skills strategy, investment and funding.

Much of this activity is unseen by large parts of the industry and goes unappreciated. Whilst larger construction organisations have dedicated teams to manage learning and development and might appear to manage training activity in-house, the delivery of training often relies on content or standards developed and maintained by CITB, a circumstance that ensures consistency across the industry. Furthermore, these same businesses rely on the supply chain to be equally well provided for, and this is where the delivery support of the CITB plays a crucial role.

The BAM Nuttall chief executive believes that laying blame for industry skills shortages at the door of the CITB is misguided.

Steve Fox said: “Volatility of industry workloads, low margins, slow adoption of new technologies, poor industry image and extensive use of ‘bogus’ self employment are what hamper employment and growth, not the training board delivery model. Infrastructure procurement needs to be more stable and rational, and firms that commit to direct employment and structured employee development must see this reflected in bid evaluation outcomes.”

He added: “We all acknowledge the need for reform and frankly, if we didn’t already have the CITB, the industry would need to invent it. The Apprenticeship Levy funding is far from being a replacement and no existing trade association or sector body has the pan-industry reach and funding mechanism to deliver what the CITB does, and more importantly could do, with the right governance and support. Let’s all take this opportunity to get behind the CITB and really ensure that we get what our industry wants and needs from it.”

Last month Balfour Beatty revealed that it is likely to vote against the continuation of the CITB because of a “fundamental weakness” in the training body.

BAM appointed to Edinburgh Airport expansion

Edinburgh Aiport extensionBAM Construction has been appointed by Edinburgh Airport Ltd to deliver the first phase of their Terminal Expansion Project (TEP).

Once completed TEP will provide new domestic and international arrival facilities including baggage reclaim and border control facilities, additional retail and food/beverage outlets and expanded lounge space along with new office accommodation.

The project will also include link bridges and stair nodes to allow connection to new larger aircraft stands and an extension to the south east pier to provide additional departure/arrival gates.

Located on Glasgow Road, eight miles from the west of city, Edinburgh Airport is Scotland’s busiest airport and recently experienced the busiest ever month for a Scottish airport, carrying more than 1.4 million passengers in July. It’s also the fastest growing airport in the UK.

Edinburgh Airport terminal 2The first phase of this project, which forms part of an £80 million investment plan, is a three storey terminal extension providing an additional 14,350m² of accommodation.

Work has started on site with completion scheduled for autumn 2018.

Bruce Dickson, regional director at BAM Construction, said: “TEP is a significant infrastructure project and we are absolutely delighted to have been selected by EAL to deliver the first phase of this scheme.”

Capital director at Edinburgh Airport, Ian Lang, said: “This is a major investment for the capital and Scotland and means we will be providing the first class infrastructure the airport needs to handle more passengers and provide them with a positive experience. BAM have extensive experience in delivering complex projects on time and to a high specification, something which was crucial to us when appointing them.”

Government releases £28m tranche of ‘Schools for the Future’ funding

(from left) Back row: Depute Head Boy Tom Balderston and Skye Patterson of the Jedburgh Grammar senior hockey side. Middle row: Greig Jamieson of hub South East Scotland; Jedburgh Grammar Headteacher Susan Oliver; Councillor Carol Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council's executive member for children and young people; Martin Cooper of BAM Construction. Front row: Harry Brown, Jedburgh Head Boy; Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Scottish Borders Council's convenor Councillor David Parker and Jedburgh Grammar Head Girl Kira Renilson

(from left) Back row: Depute Head Boy Tom Balderston and Skye Patterson of the Jedburgh Grammar senior hockey side. Middle row: Greig Jamieson of hub South East Scotland; Jedburgh Grammar Headteacher Susan Oliver; Councillor Carol Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for children and young people; Martin Cooper of BAM Construction. Front row: Harry Brown, Jedburgh Head Boy; Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Scottish Borders Council’s convenor Councillor David Parker and Jedburgh Grammar Head Girl Kira Renilson

A £28 million investment will be shared between four new schools as part of the fifth phase of the Scottish Government’s £1.8 billion ‘Schools for the Future’ programme.

The new projects will see Jedburgh Intergenerational Campus replace Jedburgh Grammar School, Parkside and Howdenburn Primary Schools, in the Scottish Borders and Sighthill Community Campus replace St Stephen’s Primary School and St Kevin’s Primary School in Glasgow.

Underbank Primary School and Walston Primary School in South Lanarkshire will also be replaced.

The funding will take the overall number of schools being delivered to 116 and benefit over 60,000 pupils across Scotland.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney made the announcement during a visit to Jedburgh, where proposals for the new intergenerational campus include sports facilities and a community hub, alongside education provision for two to 18 year olds.

Mr Swinney said: “We originally aimed to build or refurbish 55 schools across Scotland at the outset of the programme in 2009 and have now more than doubled that commitment.

“These new buildings will provide children and young people with inspiring learning environments and some also include facilities for wider community benefit and use that will be enjoyed by generations to come.

“The projects are also a welcome boost to the local economy, creating apprenticeship opportunities for young people and construction jobs across the country.”

According to Mr Swinney, the £28m has become available due to the Scottish Futures Trust’s (SFT) monitoring of the programme budget and contingency, enabling more schools to be built for the same government funding.

Gemma Boggs, education delivery director at the Scottish Futures Trust, said:  “We’re absolutely delighted that by careful management of the budget and programme, four more schools are to be built from the existing programme budget.

“This will benefit 1,000 more pupils and will take them out of poor condition schools and allow them to learn in well-designed, fit-for-purpose schools aligned to modern teaching methods.”

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The Jedburgh campus is to be located in land at Hartrigge Park, subject to planning permission being granted. Work is due to start in Spring 2018 and is expected to last 18 to 24 months.

The project will see Scottish Borders Council team up with development partner hub South East Scotland, while BAM Construction have been announced as the appointed contractor.

Greig Jamieson, hub South East’s commercial director, said: “This is a major investment in education for our client, Scottish Borders Council, and we are delighted to be working in partnership to ensure its successful delivery.

“The new Jedburgh Campus will provide a modern learning experience, fit for the needs of all generations, and as we develop this exciting project, we look forward to ensuring that the community will benefit from investment in the local area.”

Martin Cooper, construction director at BAM Construction, added: “This is our first appointment by Hub South East since joining its supply chain earlier this year and we were absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to bring our experience to their team on this state of the art learning campus that will be a massive asset to both Scottish Borders Council and the local community.”

Mecanoo approved to lead Perth City Hall transformation

Perth City Hall Mecanoo 4Perth & Kinross Council has formally approved the appointment of Mecanoo to redesign Perth City Hall, despite criticisms over its selection procedure.

The selection panel considering proposals from five shortlisted architects recommended the Dutch practice to transform the Edwardian venue into a £20 million major arts hub last week.

However the choice was criticised by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) which said the recommendation highlighted a “variance from the procedure set out in the bid documents”.

Scoring criteria to assess the shortlisted entries against the brief, which were developed by RIAS and agreed with council officers, were weighted 80% of the scoring criteria attributable to architectural quality and 20% to the fee price. The relatively high ratio of quality to price was agreed “to reflect the importance of the design concept to the council”.

report recommending the appointment of Mecanoo to the project show that the firm initially came third in the competition, based on the combined scores for quality of design and proposed fee.

The practice did, however, comfortably top the shortlist based on design alone.

Council officers felt the low marks on fees had disproportionally weighed against the firm, and that Mecanoo’s design concept “is the only one which, on the basis of the estimated construction cost, can be delivered for the available project budget”.

Backing the recommendation, the local authority said that the proposal from Mecanoo best meets the core requirements from the competition brief.

Following a meeting of the full council yesterday, a spokesperson told Scottish Construction Now: “Today councillors agreed to recommend to the East Central Scotland HubCo that Mecanoo be added to their list of approved architects for the redevelopment of the City Hall. This is a key Tay Cities Deal project which is part of the wider strategy to develop a cultural and creative industry corridor along the Tay.

“The project brief had three core requirements, a building which delivers the operational needs of a major museum attraction; responds sensitively to the surrounding public realm; and is affordable and deliverable within the £20m budget, £11m of which represented the construction cost element.

“Mecanoo’s design best met these core requirements of the brief in terms of quality and the ability to be delivered within the council’s agreed budget for the project. This design also attracted the greatest support from local residents and businesses and taking into account initial views from Historic Environment Scotland which is a statutory consultee.

“As part of our wider plans for the transformation of Perth, the council remains committed to delivering an outstanding cultural venue and we are looking forward to working with all our partners on this exciting next phase.”

The council voted in June to bring Perth City Hall back into public use with the vision of increasing the city’s capacity to display collections of national significance, house major touring exhibitions and feature national and oversees loans.

The competition challenged architectural firms to come up with a grand vision for redeveloping the building into a cultural attraction capable of bringing visitors to the city from around the world.

Austin-Smith:LordMVRDVHoskins ArchitectsLDN and Richard Murphy Architects were shortlisted alongside Mecanoo following a design competition which attracted global interest and over 70 initial expressions of interest.

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In its submission, Mecanoo said: “The project endeavours to create a new gateway to Perth; to its history and its pride. Perth City Hall has been under a ‘dust blanket’ for many years however its grandeur and resonance within the hearts and minds of the community has meant that it has not been forgotten.

“Our scheme proposal aims to re-activate Perth City Hall by a number of ‘light touch’ interventions that open the building up to the public realm at ground level (The Vennel and the café/bar) and provide a flexible platform in which to best display Perth and Kinross Council’s permanent and temporary collections.

“The design is about transparency, permeability, accessibility and creating an interactive environment for all.”

BAM Construction, which was appointed by hub East Central Scotland to redevelop the building, is expected to start work in 2019, with the grand opening scheduled for 2021.

CIOB awards hat trick for BAM

Three managers from BAM Construction in Scotland have made it to the finals of the prestigious CIOB Construction Manager of the Year Awards in recognition of their leadership on several of Scotland’s most innovative building projects.

Construction manager Tom Cornish has been recognised for his work on Dunfermline’s Carnegie Library and Galleries, which opened to the public in May, within the Refurb & Refit category.

The Carnegie Library and Galleries in Dunfermline

The Carnegie Library and Galleries in Dunfermline

The critically acclaimed, award-winning building was the culmination of a ten year mission by Fife Council to combine two B-listed buildings within a contemporary extension overlooking Dunfermline Abbey.

Creating a new office headquarters on the doorstep of one of the world’s largest operational petrochemical plants was the task facing project manager Gary Brown, who was responsible for delivering the new headquarters office for INEOS in Grangemouth.

34 INEOS HQThis building, which has also already won design awards, was delivered to a fast track programme and had the added challenge of a blast proof envelope.  Gary has been shortlisted for the Office category.

Finally, construction manager Paul Carle created history when he managed the installation of the Siemens MAGNETOM® 7T MRI unit during construction of the University of Glasgow’s new Imaging Centre for Excellence (ICE) building on the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus. This is the first 7T MRI scanner in the UK and is a step change in the research and understanding of complex medical conditions. Paul has been recognised within the Healthcare category.

The University of Glasgow's Imaging Centre of Excellence

The University of Glasgow’s Imaging Centre of Excellence

Bruce Dickson, regional director for BAM Construction, said: “All three of these very different projects presented challenging and complex problems within their construction for Tom, Gary and Paul to solve. Their leadership along with the professionalism of their teams has allowed us to deliver fantastic end products which we are rightfully proud of.

“It is the first time we have had all three of our nominees from Scotland shortlisted for a CMYA award, on top of which BAM has a further six finalists from England and Wales. We are extremely proud of this achievement which recognises not only the individual but also the pool of talent that sits behind them as we see these accomplishments as a team effort”.

Medal winners will be announced by the Chartered Institute of Builders at a ceremony in London on September 27 hosted by BBC presenter Steph McGovern.

Contracts awarded for A9 dualling

Keith BrownTwo ground investigations contracts have been awarded as part of the A9 dualling programme.

BAM Ritchies will undertake the contract totalling nearly £3 million for the Crubenmore to Kincraig stretch while Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical Ltd was awarded a £3.8m contract for the Pitlochry to Glen Garry stretch.

Work is due to get underway from the end of August.

Keith Brown, cabinet secretary for economy, jobs and fair work, said: “The A9 Dualling programme between Perth and Inverness is one of the largest and most challenging infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history and we will shortly be starting further vital ground investigations that will support the ongoing design work.

“These latest significant ground investigation contracts will help inform the design work for three of the sections to be dualled – Crubenmore to Kincraig, Pitlochry to Killiecrankie and Killiecrankie to Glen Garry – in total around 27 miles of the route.

“Over the next few months some of this work will take place on or near the live carriageway. In order to ensure the safety of both road workers and road users we will need to introduce traffic management arrangements.

“Road users and local communities will be kept informed of our plans and we will endeavour to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum, recognising that there are on-going construction works between Kincraig and Dalraddy.

“Work on that section is progressing well and is expected to be completed this summer.”

Details of the A9 Dualling programme can be found here.

CALA selects BAM to lead Edinburgh World Heritage Site development

David McGrath, managing director of CALA Homes (East) (left) with Bruce Dickson, regional director of BAM Construction at the Donaldson’s College site

David McGrath, managing director of CALA Homes (East) (left) with Bruce Dickson, regional director of BAM Construction at the Donaldson’s College site

The lead contractor for a landmark development within Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site has been confirmed with the signing of a contract worth more than £30 million.

BAM Construction will deliver the main shell and core structure of The Crescent by CALA Homes, a sweeping curve of 84 glass-fronted, contemporary new residences set within the grounds of historic Donaldson’s College, renowned for the A-Listed Playfair building. CALA’s own team will carry out the fit out of the apartments.

The entire development, worth more than £90m, is among the most ambitious projects undertaken by CALA and will see the firm bring to life its vision for one of the most important sites in Scotland.

Donaldson's School, EdinburghDavid McGrath, managing director of CALA Homes (East), said: “This has been a major focus of ours for the past few years and we fully understand the responsibilities of developing within the World Heritage Site.

“In BAM, we are confident that we have a construction partner with the credentials and expertise to match our own high standards in delivering such an ambitious project.

“It is incredibly important to us that our partners understand the importance of this site and work with neighbours to minimise disruption as far as possible. BAM has proven that it shares these values.

“This promises to be a one-of-a-kind development that we are extremely proud to be part of. This appointment is the next step in realising the final, exciting design.”

04-the-crescent-contractBruce Dickson, regional director of BAM Construction, added: “CALA Homes is recognised as the pre-eminent developer of upmarket homes in Scotland.

“We are thrilled to be involved in such an ambitious project here at The Crescent. CALA Homes have brought BAM on board for our expertise in delivering major complex construction projects.

“It’s fair to say that this project has some challenges, but we’ve already been working in partnership together for over a year to resolve the majority of these before we put a shovel in the ground.

“Both of our teams are completely committed to delivering this really exciting project and its one that, once completed, will definitely be an impressive addition to Edinburgh’s architectural legacy.”

Donaldson's School, Edinburgh5Following preparatory works, construction will commence on the westernmost half of the split crescent, to create a stylish, glass-fronted building which cleverly takes a number of design cues – primarily height and form – from the finest buildings in Edinburgh’s celebrated Georgian New Town.

BAM Nuttall’s Isla Hill wins big at WICE Awards

Isla Hill

Isla Hill

Isla Hill of Kilsyth-based geotechnical company BAM Ritchies, an operating division of civil engineers BAM Nuttall, has been recognised as the Best Woman Quantity Surveyor in the European Women in Construction and Engineering (WICE) Awards 2017.

Aimed at recognising female achievement in a predominantly male-dominated industry, the prestigious awards call for entrants to be nominated by their peers. If selected as one of eight finalists, the nominees are judged on a five minute presentation outlining their current projects, questions from the judges and a one minute presentation to the room on why they should be chosen.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have won this award,” said Isla. “It’s great to have been nominated by colleagues and I think that my positive approach, commercial background and a desire to lead by example helped my win.

“I joined BAM Nuttall in 2010 and am an active member of the Women at BAM group. It aims to inspire a new generation of women into joining the industry and I’m trying to build on the good work they’ve already done. Civil Engineering is a great sector to work in and although we sometimes read or hear about potential issues, I have never found that being a woman in the industry has been a disadvantage and have had a very positive experience.”

As part of her desire to promote the benefits of construction to the next generation Isla is involved in the University of Strathclyde’s “Engineering the Future for Girls” project and will be accompanying over a hundred 13 to 15-year-old schoolgirls to observe a quarry blast and has been involved in a ‘bring your daughter to work day.’

Elsewhere, she is also a member of the BAM Nuttall Emerging Leaders Group 2017 and is working with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to make recommendations on digital construction.

Former receptionist, Isla took a degree in Quantity Surveying at Glasgow Caledonian University.

“I wanted to work in construction but initially wasn’t sure whether it was as a QS or an engineer,” said the 32-year-old who lives in East Glasgow. “The opportunity to build amazing things and see incredible places inspired me to go into the industry and since I’ve been at BAM Nuttall I’ve been inside a mountain at Loch Ness, worked on chalk mine infill in Hertfordshire, and plenty in between.”

Isla has been involved in a number of projects at BAM Nuttall citing the Glendoe Recovery Project as one of her most enjoyable to work on and is currently on a project to deliver a windfarm in the Highlands of Scotland.

Geotechnical Engineer Emily Wood, a colleague of Isla’s was shortlisted at the WICE Awards, in the Best Young Woman Engineer category.

BAM entrusted to bring Perth City Hall back to life

PerthCityHallBAM Construction has been appointed by hub East Central Scotland to redevelop Perth City Hall.

The building, which closed its doors to the public in 2005 and whose future was until recently the subject of much speculation, is to be converted by Perth & Kinross Council into a world-class visual arts visitor experience after much consultation.

The restoration takes on increased significance given Perth’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021.

Built in 1914 and located on King Edward Street in the heart of the city, the Grade B listed building, originally designed by Glasgow architect HE Clifford and Lunan, is an iconic landmark featuring an ornate façade with a 3-bay coupled Roman portico, arched decorative doorways and striking cornicing.

The reimagined building will create a new 1,500m² flexible exhibition hall that can accommodate displays of differing content and scale.   It will not only be a home to permanent collections of local archaeology and social history, but will also be able to host touring exhibitions. The wider plans include a 150m² learning suite, 250m² collections handling area and up to 275m² of commercial visitor facilities including a café and retail area.

Bruce Dickson, regional director, BAM Construction, said: “Having already been appointed on the refurbishment of Perth Museum and Art Gallery, we are absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to work with hub East Central Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council on the City Hall.  It’s fair to say that, once completed, these two buildings will transform the city’s arts and culture scene while at the same time retaining the links to the city’s rich heritage.”

Five architects have been shortlisted for the project following an RIAS-led design competition and include Austin-Smith: Lord, Hoskins Architects, LDN, Mecanoo and Richard Murphy Architects.

Depute chief executive, Jim Valentine, said: “We’re delighted to be working with BAM on this prestigious project. Having an experienced and knowledgeable contractor on board will help the transformation of Perth City Hall run smoothly over the coming years. This is an exciting stage in the project as we look to finalise the architectural firm which will develop the final designs and the concept of a new cultural attraction really starts to take shape.

“Along with the refurbishments of Perth Theatre and Perth Museum and Art Gallery, City Hall will help to build the foundations for people to use the city centre in new ways, making new connections and inspiring and stimulating new business.”

Gary Bushnell, chief executive, hub East Central Scotland, the procurement partner, said, “We are working closely with BAM and look forward to managing the project to successful completion, creating a unique new home for the museum and gallery.”

BAM Construction has specialist experience in working on heritage and cultural projects and is currently building the new V & A Museum of Design in Dundee. Other cultural projects include the Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh and the Kelvingrove and Riverside Museums in Glasgow.