28 Jul 2014

 In addition to the Events posted in the “Events” Section of this Website, we have plans ahead for 2015.  As these are firmed up and dates become available, we shall move them to the “Events” Section.  Any comments or questions on the proposed topics, please contact Ron Glen at  ronglen@msn.com  or by phone at 0795 102 1548

These include monthly Steering Group Meetings which are held from 07.30-08.30 am at Central College London Road Campus, Nottingham.

In February 2015 we shall be holding one of our popular Breakfast Briefings.

In March 2015 we shall be holding a Health and Safety Legal Update, hopefully with Ron Reid of Shoosmiths presenting again on the late afternoon.

Also in March 2015 will be our very popular “Construction Challenge” with Central College, Nottingham at their Beeston Campus, and  a good number of schools which take part.

April’s 2015 event is in planning

In May 2015 there will be another Breakfast Briefing

In June 2015 we shall be running our very popular CAGE Greater Nottingham Annual BBQ at Central College’s Highfields Campus near Nottingham University.

In July 2015 there will be a visit to a site of interest.

In August CAGE GN supports the Annual Construction and Commerce Race Day at Southwell Racecourse.

28 Jul 2014

Government Closes £120m Green Deal Incentive Scheme

Cash-back scheme designed to boost take up of Green Deal closes with immediate effect due to “overwhelming popular demand”

The government has closed its £120m Green Deal cash-back incentive scheme with immediate effect due to “overwhelming popular demand”.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said this morning that due to a surge in applications over the last two days the £120m allocated budget for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund had now been reached.

The move comes after it was revealed that that 7,925 cash-back vouchers totalling £43.5m had been issued through the fund in the six weeks to 21 July, with a further 4,295 voucher applications received.

This prompted DECC to lower the amount of cashback homeowners could get for installing solid wall insulation, the most expensive measure supported by the scheme, from £6,000 to £4,000 – a move that was meant to come into effect today.

The incentive fund was designed to stimulate take-up of the Green Deal, which has struggled to gain momentum since it was launched at the beginning of 2013.

Energy minister Amber Rudd said: “The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is a world first and in a short space of time it has proved extremely popular.

“We were always clear there was a budget which is why we encouraged people to act quickly.

“As a result, thousands more families will now benefit from Government help to have warmer homes which use less energy.”

DECC said it would monitor voucher redemption rates and would consider whether to launch a further offer should funds become available.

Richard Twinn, policy and public affairs officer at the UK Green Building Council, said: “The sudden and immediate closure of this fund is another setback for the energy efficiency industry because companies have specifically geared up to market and deliver through this scheme.

“These constant changes are not helpful to industry. We now need urgent clarity as to whether government will bring forward any more money to ensure continuity of Green Deal work.

“This does demonstrate that we need long-term drivers, not short term pots of cash to avoid this continual cycle of boom and bust.”

15 Jul 2014

Calls grow to scrap CIS tax scheme

Calls are growing to scrap the industry’s CIS tax scheme as HM Revenue & Customs launches consultation on reforms to the current system.

Chancellor George Osborne conceded that changes to CIS were needed in his latest budget.

The tax man is now calling on construction companies for their views on the scheme which is estimated to cost the industry £250m a year in administration.

But industry experts believe the Government should be looking at scrapping CIS rather than just tinkering with the way it operates.

Howard Royse, construction industry representative of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), said: “It is important that people working in the industry take this opportunity to tell HMRC exactly what they think of CIS.

“We at ICAEW are currently formulating our reply, but HMRC have drawn up a very narrow agenda.

“If industry members want the Scheme abolished, they should say so.”

One trade contractor said: “I’d love to see the back of CIS. It’s been a pain in all its different guises since the beginning.”

For full details of proposed changes to the scheme and to have your say on its future click here

08 Jul 2014

Cable says construction skills gap is a ‘horror story’

Vince Cable says addressing loss of skills from industry is his key priority

The loss of skills from the construction industry during the downturn has been a “horror story”, the business secretary Vince Cable has said.

Addressing the Government Construction Summit in London, Cable said improving training and apprenticeships in construction was his main priority for the sector through the government’s industrial strategy.

When asked what his main message to the construction industry was, Cable said: “I’d like the industry to start thinking five or ten years ahead […] If I was to pick one area as a key priority it would be skills – what could bring the sector’s recovery to a shuddering halt is a lack of skills.”

The construction industry has lost 350,000 people since its peak before the recession.

Cable admitted the government cut capital expenditure “too hard, too fast” after the financial crisis.

“We have rebuilt it but not enough.”

Cable said he now expects the construction industry to enjoy “a period of sustained growth and recovery”.

The other areas of focus through the industrial strategy are improving procurement, access to finance and the industry’s use of technology, including BIM.

Cable said he was “pleased” with the initial work of the Construction Leadership Council charged with implementing the strategy.

When asked, Cable did not say whether or not he supported the finding’s Sir John Armitt’s review of long-term infrastructure planning for shadow chancellor Ed Balls, but he said government infrastructure planning “is now more co-ordinated” following the appointment of Lord Deighton as Treasury commercial secretary.

Armitt’s review, published last September, recommended the setting up of an independent National Infrastructure Commission designed to assess and plan for the UK’s infrastructure needs.

Cable said: “I’ve invested political capital in getting the opposition on board with our infrastructure planning.

“Hopefully that will mean it will continue even if there’s a change of government.”

Andrew Wylie, chief executive of Costain, also called for long-term planning by the industry.

“Our infrastructure decisions will impact the second half of the 21st Century. If we think we can compete without HS2 or a world class hub airport we’re deluding ourselves.”

Wylie said he believes the construction industry “has the best opportunity in a generation to move forward” thanks to better collaboration with government.

CITB to dip into reserves to tackle skills gap

The industry’s training and skills body CITB has pledged to dip into its reserves over the next two years to pay more training grants and help the industry tackle it’s skills crisis.

The CITB’s new chief executive Adrian Belton told the Government Construction Summit in London that his two priorities on taking up the role were increasing training grants and simplifying the levy system.

Belton said: “I want to cycle more money into training.

“We will dip into our reserves this year and probably next so we’re giving the industry back more than we’re taking in levies.”

On the levy system, he said CITB will aim to “simplify” it over a “three year programme”, but was unable to provide any detail as the process has just begun.

01 Jul 2014
Skills Support for the Workforce is a new scheme to
help improve the skills of employees in small or medium
sized businesses.
Fully funded by the European Social Fund, this is an
opportunity for employers to plug their skills gap at
no extra cost.
Training can be delivered at your workplace or online
from as little as a couple of hours per week and can be
tailored to meet your specific business needs.
SME Businesses (up to 250 employees) based in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham or Nottinghamshire. Employees must be aged 19 or over, work for 16 hours or more a week and meet UK residency criteria.CENTRAL CAN GET YOUR BUSINESS WORKING
For more information about this new scheme and tailored training packages contact our
Business Engagement Team on:
0115 945 7260
business@centralnottingham.ac.uk                                 centralnottingham.ac.uk