With skills a critical issue amid industry recovery, these firms have blazed a trail through their apprenticeship, education and awareness programmes.
A-one+ Integrated Highway Services – No Strikes IPV training initiative
A-one+ Integrated Highway Services uses impact protection vehicles every day on the road network, and between June 2008 and December 2013 it experienced eight major strikes on IPV on its maintenance contracts – seven of which were by HGVs.
The No Strikes initiative was born to combat this, visiting freight companies to deliver the training directly to more than 1,500 drivers as of December 2014.
Feedback has been positive, with 88 per cent of drivers saying they would change their behaviour as a result of the training.
Balfour Beatty – Authorised Persons: 93% reduction in HIPOs in just one year
Balfour Beatty Engineering Services’ Authorised Persons training programme covers all aspects of electrical safe systems of work.
The authorised person has sole responsibility for promoting and ensuring safety in the commissioning of electrical services, rather than performing other tasks such as a supervisor or site foreman.
By placing significance on safety for low-voltage electricity as well as high-voltage, Balfour Beatty has been able to go from incidents that warranted 15 HIPOs a year to now experiencing minor breaches of procedure – the firm has seen electricity HIPOs fall 93 per cent in just 12 months.
Building Lives CIC – Building Lives
Building Lives academies provide local people aged 14 to 64 with pre-apprenticeship training followed by paid apprenticeships.
The organisation gets local people working on local building sites. Its new Southwark16+ academy, in partnership with Peabody and LandAid, will deliver Level 2 traineeships specifically designed to train people in trades that are in demand from contractors.
Specifically, these are drylining, carpentry and formwork/shuttering, fitting both new build and maintenance.
Carillion – Construction Technician Apprenticeship Programme
Carillion launched its Construction Technician Apprenticeship Programme last year, aiming to promote opportunities in construction to young people and actively support them to achieve their goals.
The programme is a less academic alternative to traditional college-based training, allowing young people to start an apprenticeship any time of year, anywhere in the UK, in line with project location and start dates.
Apprentice technicians have been working and training for 30 months towards a Level 3 technical apprenticeship in civil engineering.
Dorset Construction Training Forum – Construction companies working together to ensure better training for all
This group was initially formed by a few local businesses that were frustrated at being penalised for sending a few people on a course and therefore having no negotiating leverage on costs.
In 2014, the group tried to ensure its members had attended the IOSH H&S for Directors and Senior Managers course – and more than 90 per cent have now done so.
The spaces were free to all members.
An additional £25,000 CITB grant was also made available in 2014 to be shared among members that were CITB-registered and had been group members for more than six months.
Eurovia UK – Conflict resolution
Eurovia UK’s conflict resolution training came out of a desire to help deal with violent situations that arise on the highway.
The training includes a number of modules that help staff understand what triggers such events, breakout techniques for if a situation deteriorates, and how to deal with situations where workers have been deliberately driven at by the public.
The course has been externally accredited and is available to Eurovia’s competitors through live demonstrations at trade events, helping to share knowledge.
Grays Dry Lining – The Construction Skills Academy
In 2014 Grays Dry Lining created a dedicated training facility, the Construction Skills Academy.
The proposition is simple: to provide free training and a career in construction to young people, providing all the tools, training and equipment they need.
Grays also insists that all of its contracts managers spend half a day each month at the academy working with trainees, and employs a dedicated training manager to oversee their site in Hertfordshire.
This year the firm plans to offer 240 apprenticeships through the academy, in partnership with North Herts College, moving to a new joint site by Q3.
Morrison Utility Services – Calm Networks training to combat transient surge
The problem of transient surge (water hammer) in water networks has been a serious issue for water companies for some time, with potential for structural damage.
Working in collaboration with Sheffield University and Severn Trent Water, MUS is spearheading a new ‘Calm Networks‘ training approach to valve operations.
Calm Networks training rigs have been designed to demonstrate to operators of valves the potential, dramatic pressure surge consequences of operating distribution network valves in the traditional way.
This will help ensure longer asset life and more focused capital investment.