CRASH connects the gap between construction and mental Health
Mental health issues affect 1 in 4 people across the UK. When you consider the homeless throughout the country, that figure doubles. Within the UK there is also an increase in terminal illness amongst those with mental health issues.
This, is where CRASH comes in.
CRASH is a construction charity that, supported by Patrons, aims to create positive, caring environments for homelessness charities and hospices, with a long term vision of improving the mental wellbeing of vulnerable, homeless individuals.
CRASH also offers support to staff and volunteers, only recently expanding its vision to support hospices and homelessness charities with their building projects.
A person’s surrounding environment, the shape of a building or a room, even the colour of paint can have a positive impact on mental health and to a person’s overall wellbeing. Using this, CRASH has partnered with Dulux Trade, one of its patron companies, to create colour schemes that do just that – improving the health and wellbeing of patients, staff and volunteers.
This is something that Jo McMullen, spokesperson for Dulux Trade, believes that despite there being rebuttals to this concept, a client or patients’ needs outweigh those concerns.
“While these claims are not set in stone, and evidence sometimes conflicts, academic studies can help prove ideas when creating the best possible environment for those suffering from mental health issues,” he said.
“Good design is all about considering the specific needs of the occupants.” He added.
Another Patron company of CRASH, British Gypsum, has launched the Evidence Space website, a website exploring the evidence of design and building user benefits.
Evidence Based Designed (EBD) originated in healthcare, but as a Patron of CRASH, British Gypsum look to use EBD to create caring environments to help improve the wellbeing of individuals.
The recent CRASH renovation of The Pilsdon Community saw British Gypsum, along with other Patrons, donate materials and offer technical and environmental support during the project.
Mental health issues remain something of a challenging topic of conversation for people within the UK, stigma and difficulties fully understanding mental health can often prevent an open dialogue. CRASH aims to break down this difficulty through its construction projects.
"Because we work collaboratively with homelessness and hospice charities on their building projects, CRASH gains a unique insight into the needs of clients, patients, staff and volunteers. Taking these insights and matching them to the expertise of our Patron companies ensures the best possible results are achieved for everyone involved,” says CRASH's Emma Brophy
"Also, enabling others to be directly involved with improving people's lives in this way helps us all to develop a better understanding of some of the issues others face. Understanding breeds tolerance which in turn creates a more open, positive and caring environment not just for vulnerable, homeless and terminally ill people and those who care for them, but society as a whole."
Apprenticeships can bridge skills gap says Autodesk director
The UK construction industry needs 216,800 new workers by 2025 to meet rising demand, according to the Construction Skills Network published by CITB.
Even before Covid-19, it was estimated it needs to attract 400,000 new recruits each year to meet the UK’s infrastructure needs.
But given one in three current construction employees are over 50 there is predicted to be a 20-25% decline in the available workforce over the next decade. And with end of the free movement of people from the EU, it has further limited access to skilled talent.
Mike Pettinella, Director, Autodesk Construction Solutions EMEA, believes the solution may be one that is hardly new, but might have taken a back seat during the pandemic.
"Apprenticeships could help us bridge the construction skills gap and meet this rapidly rising demand, and attract a new crop of younger talent to the industry," he said.
"Apprenticeships benefit everyone. For candidates, it’s an opportunity to learn valuable skills without incurring thousands of pounds of student debts. For employers, it’s a chance to train up employees in the competencies that are really needed – combining technical knowledge with collaboration and team work, which are equally important as you enter a new industry. And if you’re a larger company and already required to pay the apprenticeship levy, it makes sense to ensure you’re benefitting from the scheme too."
Marshall Construction recently took on nine new apprenticeships covering various roles. "Some of our previous apprentices have left and started their own businesses, which sets them up for life," said Chairman Robert Marshall. "Most of our current managers came from organic growth within the business whom we have trained to our own standards." Firms such as Barnwood Construction and Keepmoat Homes are also advertising and supporting apprenticeships.
According to the CSN, most English regions will experience an increase in construction workers by 2025, with East Midlands (1.7%) and West Midlands (1.4%) forecast to lead demand. Scotland (1.4%) and Wales (0.7%) are also predicted to fare well. The only region forecast to see a slight decline in workforce is the North East (-0.1%).
Major projects such as HS2 are driving growth in some regions and infrastructure (5.2%) and private housing (6.7%) should see the healthiest pace of expansion by 2025.
The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the future shape of work will be profound. Modelling by the McKinsey Global Institute on the effects of technology adoption on the UK workforce shows that up to 10 million people, or around 30 percent of all UK workers, may need to transition between occupations or skill levels by 2030.