Fujitsu UK & Ireland comments on the recruitment shortage in the UK construction sector
Following the news this morning that Britain needs to recruit one new construction worker every 77 seconds to solve the housing crisis, hiring 1.5million people by 2021, Graeme Wright, IoT Director, Manufacturing, Utilities and Services, Fujitsu UK & Ireland. has commented on the recent news.
“The estimation that the UK construction sector needs to recruit more than 1.5million workers by 2021 is no easy feat, and needs to be an issue addressed by the entire sector. To rectify the situation and the potential productivity problem that may occur, organisations need to break away from the norm when attracting talent. If companies in the sector continue to employ the same profile of people that they inherently have been, we will continue to see the same results as the sector won’t be innovating and changing ways of working. What they need to be doing is hiring people that will break the status quo.
At Fujitsu, for example we have altered our hiring process to ensure we are attracting the right skills and talent. For instance, we have introduced gaming as part of the process as it ensures we are attracting candidates who are creative and innovative, as gaming links with those skills we are looking for.
“Moreover, as automation and robotics become more popular in the sector, it will impact the type of work that manual workers will do on a day to day basis as it will replace the more mundane tasks, removing inefficiencies and making them altogether much quicker. This may be perceived with negative connotations for labour relations, however it provides them with the opportunity to undertake roles that are higher up the value chain. In fact, 88.7% of the next generation said they would be attracted to work in an industry if they knew it had state of the art technology.
“Technology can also have a huge positive impact on people’s lives, especially when looking at soft retirement. Thanks to digital devices and tools, those who are of retirement age but do not necessarily want to retire won’t need to. Instead by using digital devices, they can move into soft retirement and share their knowledge and skills with construction workers on the ground and in field remotely from the comfort of their home or office. This can help transfer knowledge and skills to younger workers, as well as saving construction companies time and money by being able to advise its workers through video chats for instance, and not having to be on the site itself.”
Read the January 2017 issue of Construction Global here
Environment Agency clamps down on plastic films and wraps
Businesses in the waste and construction industries must ensure they deal with waste plastic properly to stop illegal exports, the Environment Agency (EA) has warned.
The warning comes as the Agency is increasingly aware of plastic film and wrap from the construction and demolition sector being illegally exported.
Exports are frequently being classified as ‘green list’ waste of low risk to the environment, but are often contaminated with materials such as mud, sand, bricks and wood, posing a risk to the environment and human health overseas, and undermining legitimate businesses in the UK seeking to recover such waste properly.
During the last year, the EA has intercepted shipments to prevent the illegal export of this material on numerous occasions. The Agency inspected 1,889 containers at English ports and stopped 463 being illegally exported. This, combined with regulatory intervention upstream at sites, prevented the illegal export of nearly 23,000 tonnes of waste.
Those convicted of illegally exporting waste face an unlimited fine and a two-year jail sentence. But construction firms could also face enforcement action if contaminated construction and demolition waste plastic is illegally exported.
Malcolm Lythgo, Head of Waste Regulation at the Environment Agency, said it is seeing a marked increase in the number of highly contaminated plastic film and wrap shipments from the construction and demolition industry being stopped by officers.
“I would strongly urge businesses to observe their legal responsibility to ensure waste is processed appropriately, so we can protect human health and the environment now and for future generations. It’s not enough just to give your waste to someone else - even a registered carrier. You need to know where your waste will ultimately end up to know it’s been handled properly. We want to work constructively with those in the construction and waste sectors so they can operate compliantly, but we will not hesitate to clamp down on those who show disregard for the environment and the law.”
There are a number of simple, practical steps that businesses can take to ensure that C&D site waste is handled legally.
Construction businesses should check what’s in their waste
- Different waste types need different treatments and so must be correctly categorised to ensure it goes to a site that is authorised to handle it safely. Businesses can also check if their waste is hazardous as different rules might apply.
- If you are removing the waste yourself, you must be a registered waste carrier- registration can be carried out here. When a waste collector is transporting your site waste, you must check they have a waste carrier’s licence from the EA.
- You must also check that the end destination site any waste is taken to is permitted to accept it and has the right authorisations in place. Keep a record of any waste that leaves your site by completing a waste transfer note or a consignment note for hazardous waste which record what and how much waste you have handed over and where it is going.
Waste management industry must adhere to export controls
- Contaminated C&D waste plastic - including low-density polyethylene (LDPE) wrap and film - must be exported with prior consent from the EA as well as competent authorities in transit and destination countries.
- Those involved in the export of such waste must ensure that it meets the requirements set under the relevant export controls, such as being almost free-from contamination; the destination sites are appropriately licensed to receive and treat the waste; and waste is correctly managed once received.
The EA will continue to actively target those who export contaminated C&D plastic waste illegally, including any accredited packaging exporters who issue Packaging Waste Export Recovery Notes (PERNs) against such material in breach of their Conditions of Accreditation.
Businesses involved in the shipment of waste are required to take all necessary steps to ensure the waste they ship is managed in an environmentally sound manner throughout its shipment and during its recycling.
Anyone with information regarding the illegal export of waste including C&D waste plastics can contact the EA’s Illegal Waste Exports team at: [email protected] or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their website