Changes to apprentice pay will impact UK construction
Almost half (46 percent) of firms in the construction industry will feel the financial impact of new pay legislation affecting apprentices aged 25 years and over, according to a recent survey.
The survey was conducted by the UK’s leading construction payroll provider Hudson Contract, which polled companies on the new legislation which will see the wages of apprentices aged over 25 increase from £6.70 to the national living wage of £7.20 in April 2016.
The research discovered that 24 percent of firms in the construction sector don’t know about the impending legislation change, whilst 30 percent of those surveyed will be less likely to employ an apprentice who is aged 25+ due to the financial pressure brought on by the wage rise.
This is despite 24 percent of construction employers stating that they see apprentices aged 25+ as being more experienced, whilst a quarter consider them to be more reliable than younger apprentices.
When it comes to the age debate, 81 percent of firms said that they employ apprentices under the age of 25, with 47 percent claiming their apprentice stays with the business for up to three years after completing their apprenticeship. This compared to 34 percent who stay with the company for up to five years and 14 percent who last up to 10 years – proving that apprentices are still seen as a long-term investment and vital to bolstering a talented workforce.
Ian Anfield, Managing Director of Hudson Contract, commented: “With the construction industry one of the biggest apprenticeship employers, we wanted to gauge the opinions of our building clients across the UK who will ultimately be impacted by the new legislation.
“Despite the findings indicating that nearly half of firms will be hit financially by the legislation and around a third may potentially be deterred from employing an apprentice aged 25 and over, it was reassuring that 42 percent of firms will employ an apprentice based on ability, rather than age.”
Businesses looking to see the full results of the survey can view them at http://www.hudsoncontract.co.uk/resource-centre/new-apprenticeship-pay-legislation/
Skanska invests $225m in Houston office project
Skanska is investing US$225m in an office development project, 1550 on the Green in Houston, with construction expected to begin in June and scheduled to be completed in 2024.
The construction contract is worth US$125M, which will be included in the Q2 order bookings. International law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has signed a 15-year lease for about 30 percent of the building.
Located at 1550 Lamar Street, adjacent to Discovery Green, in downtown Houston, Skanska plans to develop and build a 28-floor, 34,800 square meter office tower.
1550 on the Green will be the first part of a three-block master plan by Skanska, which will transform the parcels into a distinguished district known as Discovery West and consist of 3.5 acres of mixed-use development full of restaurants, retail and lush green space. The project will target LEED and WiredScore Platinum certifications.
Since 2009, Skanska has invested a total of US$2.8 billion in commercial and multi-family projects, creating more than 1 million square meters of sustainable and community focused developments in select U.S. markets. Skanska USA had sales of SEK66 billion in 2020 with 7,600 employees in its operations.
Skanska’s flagship London office has set the standard in sustainable workspaces by becoming the first in the UK to achieve WELL Platinum under the new v2 pilot scheme.
The accreditation from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) was awarded through the v2 pilot, the newest version of the WELL Building Standard. It looks at all building features and management processes – from air and water quality to lighting, acoustics, nutrition, thermal comfort and mental wellbeing. It’s widely recognised as the industry yardstick for measuring how workspaces can contribute to the wellbeing of occupants.
The offices – which span three floors of the newly developed 51 Moorgate – contain floor-to-ceiling windows for extensive natural light, dedicated wellbeing and quiet spaces, as well as stringent air and water quality monitoring, among a range of other features that have helped earn the standard.
The company has also been exploring drone flights for use in industrial environments.
Peter Cater, Development Manager, said it was invited to carry out trials because of its use and knowledge of drone capability. "The trials have benefited everyone involved: sees.ai get to test their equipment and remote use of the drones and we get access to accurate, real-time data on our construction activities which benefits us and our customer, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation."
“Projects like this – at the forefront of innovation – go to show what an exciting industry construction is to be involved in. We are always looking for innovative ways of working, ways to be more sustainable so we can find better solutions for our customers. These trials are just one small part of our digital transformation journey.”