Can You Work in Construction at 16

Can You Work in Construction at 16.

Other challenges Coulter recognises are juggling different responsibilities in minor organisations – such as getting to grips with technology, not knowing where to get assist and back up and having ‘limiting beliefs’ – that concord business owners back from achieving.

She adds: “At that place is fearfulness about the competition and the fact that we are seen as a commodity manufacture. It is hard to differentiate yourself. People in modest businesses have got information technology fixed in their head that information technology should be about the lowest price. But they aren’t presenting clients with anything else to make a decision on. There is a lot of work needed to sympathise what value really means and why clients should pay more for it.”

According to Dr Nicola Thompson, group compliance and operation director at consultancy Pick Everard, there are five fundamental applied challenges that SMEs face up: staff memory, cash menses, late payment, rise costs and difficult jobs.

She says: “For SMEs, budgets ofttimes do not let for all-encompassing grooming programmes for staff and it is difficult to promise hardworking professionals that they volition be working on multi-million-pound contracts. With skills shortages worsening and average wages increasing, SMEs will struggle to keep hold of staff.”

Construction firms: Value of piece of work done by size of firm and type of work in 2020, Great Great britain

Size of firm
(by number employed)
Electric current prices (£bn)
5-9 thirteen.9
10-19 14.2
20-99 28.9
100+ or ≥£60m turnover 65.5
Source: ONS

Construction firms: Number of firms, past size of business firm, Great Britain

Size of firm Number of firms in 2020
0 (sole proprietors) 36,891
ane 148,584
2-three 94,651
4-vii 36,725
viii-13 13,269
14-24 half dozen,633
25-34 1,937
35-59 i,913
sixty-79 584
eighty-114 441
115-299 573
300-599 143
600-ane,199 58
1,200 and over 54
Source: ONS

“These bug are often just discussed in the context of principal contractors,” says Maher. “For SMEs, they stand for significant downward force per unit area in terms of pricing as well as retaining labour.”

Seeking support

Maher wants to see the wider industry working as i to engage clients and share the financial burden presented by electric current market place weather condition. “Ultimately, if SMEs fail, main contractors and their clients fail. An effective socially conscious response involves principal contractors managing their SME supply bondage fairly,” he says.

Five tips for SMEs

Ideas for minor businesses from consultant Maria Coulter

  • Be more proactive when it comes to seeking out the support you need. Don’t to exist afraid to enquire for help.
  • Tap into Local Enterprise Partnerships, and their local growth hubs in item (
  • Join trade associations and membership organisations, as well equally connecting with local universities.
  • Accept advantage of free resources similar Futurelearn ( which is a platform for mass open online courses (MOOCs).
  • Promote and prioritise closer working relationships betwixt SMEs, primary contractors and clients. Maintain open and constant dialogue with the remainder of your supply chain.

‘Developing our BIM expertise helped our cladding concern’

Chris Bula MCIOB is a director at BPG Architects + Surveyors. He joined the business 33 years agone, merely after it was founded. The (now) employee-endemic business performs a range of services and has carved out a niche specialising in cladding remediation.

Surviving for 34 years is no mean feat. Riding the whole ridiculous boom and bosom cycle can exist tiresome. We were fortunate and received an date from Wandsworth Council to deal with flammable cladding on two residential towers. Everyone was finding their feet with this afterward Grenfell and we made information technology happen.

Since then, we take been involved in 16 unlike cladding remediation schemes both as designers and providing a total service for an aggregate structure value of circa £75m. It has been our bread and butter.

On another positive front, the company is much more various than it was. It used to be well-nigh all young men. Now we have a gender divide of l/fifty. It creates a whole dissimilar vibe to the place and we accept our first female director.

We were an early on adopter of Revit and BIM. It was a big investment, but we have developed our expertise and it has helped united states with the cladding business.

Our cladding piece of work is very specific. It’southward difficult finding people in the architectural world who are prepared to sit down and redesign what someone built in the last twenty-odd years and make it work. They would prefer to be creating new buildings with sweeping curves, non working through what is going to satisfy burn engineers, edifice control officers and structural engineers.

Meanwhile, the cost of professional indemnity insurance has quadrupled for the states in the last three years. Although, equally our broker says, nosotros are lucky to have information technology. We only have to smiling and bear it and endeavour to become it back through our fee levels, although there is always a general downward pressure level on fees in the public sector.

‘You get more than responsibility, more than quickly’

UC Build was founded in 2015 and has grown to 51 employees and turnover of around £50m this year. Director Neil Hennessey FCIOB joined the business from a major tier 1 contractor to gear up up a northern office in 2020 based in Doncaster.

James Halksworth [another manager] and I ran a retail construction delivery business organisation for a tier 1 contractor for 10 years. That operating model is vastly dissimilar from what we take now. Y’all accept all the support functions yous demand, like estimating, planning, projection support, document controllers. In an SME you lot don’t have all that. Price is absolutely everything – right down to office equipment.

“We have to get-go of all break a client – find a lead and convert that atomic number 82 into an opportunity. But really seeing something get from cradle to grave does give you lot a massive sense of achievement.”

Neil Hennessey, UC Build

Recruitment is very different in a tier 1 surround compared to an SME. Talented young people are blindsided by a bigger bluecoat. We can’t e’er offer the do good package or what is perceived to be a traditional career path. However, we maintain that if we tin get concord of that bright immature thing, they are going to be exposed to more than responsibleness at a much quicker pace.

Another challenge is that, while nosotros have a few years under our belts, new companies tin can struggle to obtain a credit rating or confidence in the market. Unless you have a potent human relationship with a client that is willing to grow with you, that mindset is more than or less impossible to change.

We have to first of all break a client – find a atomic number 82 and convert that pb into an opportunity. But really seeing something go from cradle to grave does give you a massive sense of achievement. We’re excited for the future. The SME can be quite a niche role and if a contractor tin can discover the right markets, I believe clients become best value from SMEs.

‘Nurturing homegrown talent is imperative’

Martin Sandall, managing director of Kent-based contractor and Chartered Building Visitor Jenner, on why he finds running a construction SME rewarding.

We pride ourselves on the potent team of talented, experienced people we have adult. This is backed by a focus on nurturing homegrown talent which is so imperative for progression and business longevity.

“It is all about conscientious, hands-on and attainable direction, understanding the marketplace and our client needs.”

Martin Sandall, Jenner

In my 14 years as Doctor, I have navigated the business through the financial crash of 2008 and the subsequent recession, and Brexit. Nosotros are hopefully at the end of a global pandemic, only we now take political unrest and the conflict in Ukraine.

Nosotros are at present immersed in the backwash and know the effect of these challenges in the form of spiralling materials costs, a shortage of skilled labour and diminishing confidence in an unpredictable market.

Merely I am a firm laic that out of arduousness comes greater resilience. For a privately owned business like ours, it is all nigh conscientious, easily-on and accessible management, agreement the marketplace and our client needs, and nurturing relationships throughout our entire supply chain.

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Can You Work in Construction at 16