Some information on how the EU referendum has affected the construction sector

Learn Basic Skills That Can Help with A Future Construction Career

A construction career is a physically challenging career but is a financially rewarding one

When you begin your career in the field of construction, you join a team of specialist people that work together to build a stronger foundation together.

The recruitment process of every construction job will assess your skills including technical as well as other life skills.

Whether you are interested in the entire construction cycle or prefer to design, articulate, and construct the things, there is definitely a career for you.

You are not only required to be proficient with the basic technical knowledge but the core skills like soft skills, life skills, are of the equal importance.

Good interactive skills are vital for anyone who is looking for a career in the construction industry. With your communication skills, you will be required to negotiate your solution throughout the complex communications on a daily basis.

Regardless of your role in the industry, in the beginning, you are just required to be equipped with the basic technical and the communication skills.

To get started, here are the basic skills that you to need to incorporate before stepping in.

Reading A Tape Measure

 Construction projects require precise measurements. Whether it is about cutting grades for excavating, stringing electrical wires, or mounting the box, every job requires measurements.

Regardless of the job you choose in construction, it will require the exact measurements. So before you choose to build career in construction, make sure you know how to read a tape measure.

Creative Thought Process

Creative thinking is of utmost importance when you are looking to build a career in the construction industry.

For example: If you face a hurdle in the construction task, you have to get back, think about it, and then get back to the task with the solution.

Mechanical Knowledge

While you are stepping into a construction career, it is very important that you are familiar with the building materials and have experience with the tools used in repairs and construction.

Excellent Depth Perception

Construction jobs require precision as well as accuracy in the tasks you perform. You must have the ability to read the blueprints and observe the details from a very close range.

You should also understand the operation of gauges and dials to make sure that everything is working properly.

Along with these basic skills, you also need a foundation degree in this niche or a professional qualification in this subject from a registered institution.

For more information on the skills required by the construction career

CPCS Cards and Plant Training

CPCS Cards!

What are they?

CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) is a card scheme created to reflect and showcase the competence of plant operating personnel. Launched in the year 2003, CPCS is a standard to show how competent a plant worker is. CPCS was started due to requests put forward by several employers in the UK. It is controlled and run by the authority CITB (Construction Industry Training Board). The main objective of creating CPCS Is to standardize different practices for plant operatives throughout the country.

CPCS is the most popular and widely recognized card which ensures that all the standards and rules are followed by the plant operatives. Most of the types of plants in the UK which are run by UKCG (United Kingdom Contractors Group) mandates the use of CPCS for all plant operatives.

There are two type of cards issued by the CPCS:

Red Trained Operator Card – This card shows that the holder of the card has been tested to meet all CPCS standards

Blue Competent Operator Card – This card reflects the competence of the plant operative

Who needs CPCS cards?

Anyone working in the construction industry in the UK should have this card. UKCG requires that all the plant operatives must have this card and several other companies in the construction sector are also starting to make it a requirement.

Indeed, at the moment, all the employers in the UK do not insist on a CPCS certification, specifically in the industries other than construction. If you require a certification to show-off your skills, you can check various trainings and courses which our company offers by clicking on ‘courses’ menu above.

How to obtain CPCS cards?

There are three stages to obtain CPCS cards. We can help during all the stages to make the process easier and smoother for you.

Stage 1 – After the completion of CPCS Technical Testing and CPCS Training, you are eligible to obtain a Red Trained Operator Card

Stage 2 – After the completion of a part of National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) in your relevant occupation, you obtain the Blue Competent Card which lasts for 5 years

Stage 3 – You can renew your blue card every 5 years after taking a theory renewal test and proof of practical experience in your professional occupation

SB Skills Solutions Ltd
Units 4c
Selby Place
Tel. 01695 558420

Get CPCS Training from SB Skills Solution Ltd.

partnership with Knowsley College and Job Centre Plus

We are now Partners with Knowsley College & Job Centre Plus!

SB Skills Solutions Ltd are pleased to announce another successful partnership with Knowsley College and Job Centre Plus in the creation of a Logistics Skills Academy. The academy will help provide trained CPCS Dumper and Roller drivers to a leading Construction Company based in Manchester.  Commenting on the partnership, Operations Director Neil Beaumont, was pleased that SB Skill Solutions Ltd could make a difference in both helping currently unemployed learners with the opportunity to get back into work and also helping cement further the relationships we have with construction clients who have urgent recruitment opportunities.

Want some more information? Contact Us today and we will be happy to help!

Browse our courses today.

first UNIC 295 Compact Crane.

We now have a UNIC 295 Compact Crane!

SB Skills Solutions ltd are proud to announce they have purchased their first UNIC 295 Compact Crane. The crane which can be used for either Compact Crane Training or can be hired out with or without the operator. Operations Director, Neil Beaumont comments – ‘This is a big step for SB Skills Solutions Ltd as we aim to provide the complete lifting solutions. We envisage this to be the first of many acquisitions in the crane department. The crane, barely a few days old has been hired out by a leading glazing company to provide assistance in the refurbishment of the local Next store on Aintree, retail park.’

Want some more information? Contact Us today and we will be happy to help!

Browse our courses today.

we have signed a contract with Calderdale College

We have signed a contract with Calderdale College!

SB Skills Solutions Ltd are pleased to announce we have signed a contract with Calderdale College to provide Intermediate/Higher Skills Training to companies based within the Greater Manchester regions. This contract starts in November 2016 and is for an 18 month. The programme is further proof of SB Skills Solutions Ltd success at delivering high quality training and underlines our belief of being the “provider of choice” for construction and logistics training.

Want some more information? Contact Us today and we will be happy to help!

Browse our courses today.

CPCS A17E Suspended Loads Category

New accreditation for the CPCS A17E Suspended Loads Category!

SB Skills Solutions Ltd are proud to announce that we have gained accreditation for the CPCS A17E Suspended Loads Category. Being one of the very few centres in the North West to offer this qualification, the new slung loads on telescopic handlers means that Slinger Signaller associated machine disciplines continues to grow at pace as telehandlers will require an additional slinger to complete slung load lifting tasks. Coupled with the breadth of crane categories and the constant lifting with excavators in industry, there has never been a better time to gain this qualification.

Want some more information? Contact Us today and we will be happy to help!

Browse our courses today.

civil engineering

Supervisors and the Gold CSCS Card


Who has a supervisor on site who requires the Gold CSCS Card? This is something us here at SB Skills Solutions offer. We offer the Level 3 Occupational Work Supervision NVQ! We can help your team grow a lot better as we offer a variety of courses that will help each team member of yours upgrade their levels.

So, what do our course units include?

  • Developing and Maintain Good Working Relationships
  • Confirming the Occupational Method of Work
  • Implementing and Maintaining Health, Safety and Welfare
  • Coordinating and Organising Work Operations
  • Allocating and Monitoring the Use of Plant and Equipment


Another thing you may want to know is the price for this course which is only £850 + Vat but if you are a levy payer then you may be entitled to claim £400 on successful achievement. If you have successfully completed and passed this NVQ course, you can apply for the CSCS Gold Supervisor Card but that is providing you have also passed the Supervisors Health and Safety touch screen test. This is also a course we do.


For more information about this course etc you can email us on or give us a call on 01695 558420


civil engineering

Starting Civil Engineering after graduating

Starting Civil Engineering after graduating

Civil engineering is an amazing job and qualification to have as you are involved with creating architectural buildings to train stations to stadiums and to other amazing even historic buildings like the millennium dome! When you graduate, and start your first job as a civil engineer you are taking on important responsibilities and tasks that are forever improving from a day to day basis.

Being a civil engineer is someone that is needed every day so you will never be without a job. It isn’t always the best-looking job but it is most definitely worthwhile. The only questions you may have is what do you do after you graduate? Easy, find out here!

A bright future for Civil Engineering

Currently the UK unfortunately has a low number of civil engineers even though the demand is high. Therefore, if you are a graduate then you have a good chance of work, especially whilst the salary is high according to the magazine ‘Engineering and Technology’. The mirror also recently revealed that engineering graduates are amongst the ‘most employable in the UK’. You could also work overseas or take on jobs where you could travel around many countries! Who wouldn’t want to take this opportunity?

Are there future upcoming projects?

In the civil engineering world, there are always upcoming jobs out there and projects currently in talks. You are never out of work because projects like transforming rail networks with Crossrail and HS2 will need your talent but it is always good to have a fresh eye and ideas. Everything you have learnt will be beneficial to companies you work for or with as there is always some sort of project to do. Another upcoming project is protecting the Thames. Things like this always need some work on as the generations go by.

What is out there?

It doesn’t matter where you start after graduating, you will always be able to build your way up and achieve the job title you want. You could be part of a designing team for the nuclear power stations in the UK. With aviation work you could deliver aviation services to airlines, airport owners, construction supervision, transactions etc. There is a lot you can do when doing aviation work. Estimating is a fantastic job to do and when you become more and more experienced you will notice that it is currently one of the highest paid salaries in the industry which include working on highways, structures, groundworks and public realm etc. Roads and drainage work is always important as they always need re-doing and making sure roads are all motor friendly etc. With this job, you could be working on pavement design, external level or even below ground drainage. Take a look through our blogs and see what else you could be doing after with civil engineering.


Construction Industry

Do You Want to Work in the Construction Sector?

If you want to become a part of the construction industry, you need to know about these things

It does not matter if you have some experience in the industry or you are a fresh graduate without any experience; there are multiple opportunities available in the construction industry. If you have decided to join the construction industry, this article will help you and guide you to numerous options available to you to choose from; through degrees, diplomas or apprenticeships. Construction industry is one of the most versatile and diversified industries in the world and there are different roles available, depending upon your preference; whether you like a hands-on approach and a technical job or if you are more inclined towards an office job. Before selecting or deciding a role or position for yourself, you need to research a lot and find information related to that post, including the job requirements as well as the degree qualifications necessary for that particular role. You can research over the Internet or ask around to people who you already know, are working in the construction industry.

As mentioned earlier, the construction industry is one of the most versatile and diverse sectors in the world and can accommodate people from a variety of different backgrounds. From entry level to the top-management, there are several roles available in the construction sector. There are planners, warehouse managers, architects, plant managers, engineers. Quantity surveyors, draftsmen etc., which work and offer their services in this particular sector. It is always good to plan ahead of time and decide where you want to be in the future before selecting any role for yourself. This article explains in detail, attempting to answer your queries related to working in the construction industry. If you have decided to enter the construction industry, give the complete article a good read.

Read the complete article if you want to work in the construction sector!

How to Get Your First Construction Job

Finding an entry-level construction job shouldn’t prove too difficult a task, as opportunities are plentiful and the industry has been on the rise since 2009. The difficult task is knowing exactly what constitutes ‘entry-level’.

If you see the words ‘Trainee Quantity Surveyor’ don’t assume anyone can apply for it. As is often the case, it requires relevant work experience first and, alas, we are in that frustrating cycle of trying to get your first job when everything requires work experience.

There are more and more apprenticeships being offered now though, with companies willing to supplement your studies whilst you work/learn. But companies still like to see a certain set of skills and basic qualifications to consider you.

Construction jobs with no experience

To land yourself a construction job with little or no experience can seem an impossible task. After all, there are plenty of people out there with ‘x’ number of years in the profession and all kinds of qualifications. Ironically these ‘strengths’ are their greatest weaknesses. There are plenty of firms out there that would be put off by this, deeming the candidate over-qualified. So you should remain optimistic about entry level opportunities!

The key to finding them is down to what words you search for when looking for a job online. ‘General Labour’ or ‘Construction Labour’ are common terms employers use to convey that the role requires little or no experience. As obvious as it sounds, always ensure the job isn’t listing any particular qualification under the ‘essential requirements’ heading.

Most construction jobs with no experience tend to be temporary or part-time (to begin with), with more permanent openings and opportunities presenting themselves once you have some experience.

An Interview with a Builder

Bricklayers can be either fully employed or self-employed, with opportunities quite rich in both areas. More and more Bricklayers are tending to go down the self-employment route in recent years though, with the freedom of being your own boss and flexi-time proving a massive pull. But, just like any other self-employed vocation, it comes with its challenges.

Jay Charlton, a self-employed Bricklayer/General Builder, has kindly offered some of his own experience and insight into a career in self-employment within the construction industry:

What challenges on your path to becoming a Bricklayer/Builder have you faced in terms of opportunities and progression?

Having learnt all of my trades direct on-site I have no official paperwork or certifications for my skills therefore sometimes I have found it hard to find stable work within large companies as most will not consider you unless your CV looks appealing and brimming with tickets. Most of my career has been for smaller to medium size companies.

Are apprenticeships perceived as valuable (if not more so) than just qualifications in certain construction fields?

Again, if you have completed an apprenticeship within a trade you are more valuable and will be considered ahead of those without – even though you may not be able to complete set tasks to the same standard as others (paperwork does not always mean you know what you are doing).

Health and Safety

Of course the big subject in the construction industry is health and safety. The good news is just how much safety regulations have improved over the last 40 years within the UK. Fatalities are down by almost 80% since 1974, the graph below demonstrates this:

Construction jobs for women

Though the stereotype that the construction industry is largely male remains prevalent, there are currently a record amount of opportunities for women to break into a career within this sector. Out of the 11% of the female workforce that represents the construction industry, most roles are office-based, with only 2% working in manual jobs.

However, there are now an increasing number of work placements and training courses specifically aimed at getting more women into construction.

The fact that there aren’t many women in construction means that, should you be successful, you can become a role model and help to start the shift. This is no better represented than by the ‘Women in Construction Awards’ ceremonies – which are now in their ninth year.

The complete article can be found here:

Careers in Construction

Recruitment in The Construction Industry

How to bridge the gap in skills in the construction industry?

A new survey was conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) which reveals that the employers and companies are concerned about their ability to recruit people in the future. The Right Combination, CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey 2016 was published in July 2016. The results were shocking; they revealed that 69% of the respondents feel that the skilled personnel and staff will not be available. The concerns of the organizations were related to their worries related to not being able to find enough skilled personnel and workers to fill the positions which require high and intermediate both skill levels. The survey was conducted between the time period of April 2016 to May 2016 and it included around 500 different companies of different sizes. The most popular of the respondents to the survey were from the manufacturing, engineering and construction sectors. The respondents also varied in ranks and around one third of them (31%) were Senior Management Executives (SMEs). The survey encompassed a variety of factors ranging from thoughts on business graduates, preparations for school leavers, worries regarding skilled workers and apprenticeships. The concern regarding the skilled workers was primarily that there is dearth of skilled persons and around 77% of employers stated that the next few years will bring more job vacancies but will require high skill levels. Indeed, the situation is critical regarding the less number of skilled personnel but there are measures which can be taken in order to prevent the problems that it would bring in the future. This article discusses the recruitment in the construction industry and how can the gap be bridged.

Read the complete article to learn more about this issue!

Josh Hardie, Deputy Director-General of CBI, accepts the skills shortage is “already biting” but believes there is a commitment to preventing it.

He said: “Skills have always been a vital currency and this is particularly pertinent as the UK carves out a new economic role in the world and beings the process of leaving the European Union.

“The rapid technological transformations affecting our jobs and workplaces make skills ever more critical – when someone enters the workforce and throughout their career.

“Shortages are set to grow and their impact is already biting. This is particularly acute in some sectors and at higher levels where they are acting as a brake on growth.

Construction fears

This is certainly the case for construction employers. Many respondents from this industry anticipate demand for people with higher skills to increase hugely. Of those in construction who responded, 89% think this will be the case, while 80% expect an increase in demand for workers with intermediate skills.

These fears are no surprise, according to construction recruitment agency Right 4 Site Ltd, whose Director Mark Hudson, said the industry was one of the first into, and last to leave the recession – a five-year spell that saw school leavers look at other careers. The shortage has been worsened because the recession also resulted in experienced skilled workers leaving the industry.

He said: “We are now suffering from this as there is a void of trained and skilled workers.”

How can employers and recruiters respond?

Accentuate other positives of working at your company

Construction employers often rely on recruitment agencies to find them the most suitable staff for vacancies, but can agencies help companies bridge the existing gap between lack of skilled workers and the demand for these?

Right 4 Site believe the current level of supply and demand in the industry is making it harder to recruit workers for higher skilled positions because these candidates are in a position where they can “auction” themselves to the employer who will pay the most.

It is not an easy problem to navigate around but Mark Hudson says agencies need to be proactive in marketing their clients’ vacancies, rather than only getting employers to increase the pay they offer.

Author: John Train

Link to the original post: