‘Hat trick’ – Covers staff to don headwear for charity

Covers’ staff will be helping to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research by supporting the charity’s Wear A Hat Day on Thursday 29th March.

Staff at the Portsmouth and Southampton depots will be donning a variety of different headwear throughout the day in return for donations for Wear A Hat Day, which has raised over a million pounds since it was launched by Brain Tumour Research nine years ago.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. Funds raised through Wear A Hat Day 2018 will develop the charity’s network of world-class research centres in the UK.

Henry Green, Managing Director at Covers, said:

“One of our employees had a friend who was affected by the disease and very sadly passed away last year. At Covers we are always keen to help raise awareness of the important endeavours being undertaken by charities, so we are delighted to be supporting Brain Tumour Research so more people can benefit from the great work that

they do.”

Tim Green, Community Fundraising Manager at Brain Tumour Research, said:

“Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone, at any age. We are extremely grateful to everyone at Covers for getting involved, and hope people will be inspired to hold their own events. It’s as easy as wearing a hat and making a donation!”

For more information about Brain Tumour Research and Wear A Hat Day, please visit www.wearahatday.org.

Wienerberger focuses on the workforce of the future

With many of the construction workforce nearing retirement, more than any other age group[1], as well as the growing skills gap in the under 35s bracket[2], it is more essential than ever for employers to offer young professionals the opportunity to build a fulfilling career within the construction and manufacturing industries. Wienerberger, the UK’s leading provider of roof, wall and landscaping solutions, spearheads this movement by encouraging young people to consider a career in construction through its wide range of apprenticeships currently on offer across the business.

At Wienerberger, we recognise the importance of preparing for the future. By investing in apprentices, we are able to realise a robust and enhanced learning and development strategy that feeds into our overall business plan. We believe that apprenticeships are transformational for both the company and our employees alike; achieving a working life for staff that is both rewarding and fulfilling is a key objective for us. In addition to the typical craft apprenticeships on offer, including electrical and mechanical engineering, we also offer apprenticeships in management, ceramics, IT and customer services, with plans on expanding this even further. This means that we are able to not only encourage young people to create a career path in construction, but we can also tackle the on going skills shortage and play our part in bridging the gap for the future.

Wienerberger currently has an array of apprentices across various sites. One of those apprentices includes 20 year-old Sven Goerlach, who is currently training in Mechatronics.

Sven commented: “I chose to apply for an apprenticeship with Wienerberger as I really admire their enthusiastic and supportive approach. My apprenticeship has allowed me to step onto the career ladder and gain practical, first-hand experience in my desired career path. Alongside increasing my confidence as a professional, it has also enabled me to build up my teambuilding skills, something that is prominent across all areas of the company.  

“I am currently involved in the installation, repair and preventative maintenance of Mechanical and Electrical systems, and no two days are the same. I am constantly learning new skills, whilst also developing my theoretical knowledge behind the practical work that I’m completing.

“For anyone who is looking to pursue a career within the construction industry, I would highly recommend applying for an apprenticeship with Wienerberger. I feel valued and appreciated, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that I have been presented with.”

Following joining Wienerberger in September 2017, Sven will have completed his four-year apprenticeship by July 2021, where he plans to pursue his passion for engineering with the company.

Stuart Wardale, Learning and Development Manager at Wienerberger, commented: “We’re delighted to be able to offer such a wide range of apprenticeships to young professionals who are looking to break into the industry, and we’re extremely proud of the talented team members that have passed through it over the years. At Wienerberger, we will continue to offer our commitment and support to apprentices within the company as we work towards bridging the skills gap, and we’re looking forward to seeing the future generations of skilled employees flourish.”

National Apprenticeship Week takes place on the 5th-9th March 2018 and encourages employers and apprentices from across the country to celebrate the success of apprenticeships whilst also inspiring more people to choose this route as a pathway to a successful career within the construction industry. 

Building bridges and talking heads as A-Plant celebrates National Apprenticeship Week​

Building bridges and talking heads as A-Plant celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

From building bridges to talking heads, A-Plant today begins an exciting programme of events to mark National Apprenticeship Week, March 5-9th 2018.

The UK’s largest supplier of hire equipment will be sharing insights from its current team of apprentices as well as inspiring the next generation.

To kick-start the celebrations, A-Plant exhibited at What Career Live in Birmingham last weekend to talk to young people and their families about the exciting opportunities available.

Later this week the training team will be visiting a school in Ipswich to take part in career sessions and invite pupils to a local service centre for a tour of the facilities and some work-based tasks and activities.

On social media, A-Plant’s apprentice ‘advocates’ will be sharing their experiences in a series of ‘talking head’ interviews offering insights into what they love about their careers.

The week finishes with A-Plant’s apprentices being put to the test to build a bridge as part of a challenge set by the Institution of Civil Engineers. Their efforts will be caught on camera for a time-lapse film.

Now in its 11th year, National Apprenticeship Week brings together everyone who is passionate about apprenticeships to encourage more people to choose apprenticeships as a fast-track option to a great career and business growth.

This year’s theme is ‘Apprenticeships Work’ to showcase how apprenticeships work for individuals, employers, local communities and the wider economy.

A-Plant was named in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer list at the National Apprenticeship Awards in January for the second year running.

A-Plant currently has 166 apprentices across five different apprenticeship streams and invests more than £2m in its apprenticeship programme every year.

Since it started in 2005, many apprentices have progressed to senior roles across the business and the programme is regularly oversubscribed.

A-Plant's Head of Training, Bob Harper said the awareness week is an excellent opportunity to get everyone talking about apprenticeships and delivering skills for the future.

“A-Plant is the UK’s largest provider of hire equipment and tools so we need to ensure we have the right people and skills in place to meet the continuing needs of our customers and deliver award-winning expertise and capabilities.

"Our apprenticeship programme is widely sought after and we have excellent retention levels. It is a fantastic route to a long and fruitful career enabling people to earn as they learn.”

Lynch brothers take on the triple crown of physical challenges!

Every year Merrill, Rob and Darren Lynch, of Lynch Plant Hire, challenge themselves to a ‘brothers Lighthouse Day’ to raise money for the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, the charity that provides financial and welfare support to those who are suffering long term injury or illness within the construction sector.

And it seems that each year, the challenges are getting more and more physical and the training regimes more gruelling.

Last year the three brothers conquered the Yorkshire three peaks, Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and   Ingleborough raising over £3,000 for the Lighthouse Club charity.

The previous year saw them complete a 12 mile ‘Tough Mudder’ challenge. Billed as the world’s most difficult obstacle race, they made it to the finishing post looking very muddy in just 3 hours and 25 minutes raising £5,000.

But this year sees the trio take to the capital for the ultimate physical challenge when they compete in the London marathon on 22nd April this year. 

Training is well underway and the competitive streak is already beginning to show, even though Merrill Lynch admitted at the Lighthouse Christmas annual lunch, “that he was a ‘little bit’ behind in training compared to his brothers”.

Merrill added, “Training for a marathon requires a lot of time, dedication and mind over matter. But as brothers, we motivate each other to keep going, especially knowing that we are raising money for such a great cause. As a company and as individuals we have been long term supporters of the Lighthouse Club Charity and it is an amazing feeling to support our construction colleagues through difficult times. We enjoy the challenges and each year they seem to get more and more ambitious, but I think we’ll get the marathon completed before we think about next year!”

As well as raising vital funds for those in need in the construction industry, Merrill, Rob and Darren dedicate their achievements to their late mother Celia Lynch who was a Director of Lynch Plant for 30 years.

Gravesend employee celebrates 15-year milestone

An employee from Gravesend groundwork and materials supplier Rudridge has celebrated 15 years at the company.

Yard sales assistant Chris Yates, who joined the business in 2003, was presented with the company’s long service award and certificate by Regional Director Clive Summerfield.

Chris said:

“I can honestly say I have enjoyed every moment of working at Rudridge. We have quite a few members of staff who have completed 10 to 15 years’ service and beyond, which is testament to what a great place this is to work. I am looking forward to being here for plenty more years to come.”

Clive praised Chris for his dedication and hard work. He said:  

“Chris is outside in all weathers helping customers, and always has a smile on his face. He is a perfect example of the dedication and commitment of our team, which always strives to deliver the very best service.”

Branch Manager, Craig Lyons, also marks his five-year anniversary at the company and commented:

“We want to thank Chris for his loyalty and positivity. I’m equally pleased to be celebrating five years with Rudridge, working with an incredible group of people. Our team is the key to the success of the branch, so taking the opportunity to celebrate each individual achievement is very important to us.”

CEA will partner again with Primary and Secondary Engineer

The CEA (Construction Equipment Association) has for a second year teamed up with educational organisation Primary Engineer to work with primary and secondary schools in the Leicestershire area.  The catchment area has been widened this year to include schools in Coventry - the schools will work on exciting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) vehicle and fluid power engineering projects.

The first event CEA and Primary Engineer collaborated on was held at last year’s Plantworx exhibition and it was a resounding success! Local schools worked on their projects throughout the year following training sessions with the Primary Engineer teams.  The school children, along with their teachers, then brought their projects along to Plantworx for the ‘Celebration Event’ where their vehicles and fluid power models were scrutinized by judges.

Judges included engineers from Caterpillar, JCB and Perkins, who volunteered for the role, and from other sponsor companies including AMI, Bomag, BSP Foundations, GKD, Gomaco, Datatag, Marubeni Komatsu, Nylacast, Point of Rental and TriMark.  

The CEA and Plantworx team had very positive feedback from the schools involved and many said that if this event was run each year – it would automatically be added to the school curriculum. This initiative forms part of the CEA Skills Council programme - all part of the drive to engage young people in STEM projects as a means of inspiring careers in the sector. 

JCB’s Apprentice Programme Advisor, Chris Morris, attended the 2017 celebration event at Plantworx he said, “The JCB Engineering Talent Programme would like to thank Plantworx, the CEA and Primary Engineer for inviting us along to the Primary and Secondary Engineering Award. 

The day was thoroughly enjoyable, and it was great to see the young budding engineers in action. We brought along the Apprentice Built Loadall which was manufactured and built entirely by 68 JCB engineering apprentices at our World Headquarters in Staffordshire. This made such an impact with the students and the advice given by our apprentices will hopefully help inspire them into a career in engineering. Some of the thought and hard work that went into the projects was fantastic and it was great to see the smiles on each of the student’s face during the trials.” 

Mr Morris concluded, “As we know, the UK is heavily short of engineers and Primary Engineer is doing a fantastic job in helping to promote engineering through school engagement, by setting tasks and importantly, making it enjoyable. It was an excellent achievement by all. Keep up the good work!”

About Primary Engineer and The Universe of Engineering.

Primary Engineer has been working with teachers to address the fundamental issue of a lack of engineers and the wider perception of engineering since 2005. It is a not-for-profit organisation instigated through seed-corn funding from the then Department of Trade and Industry. It has grown over the last decade to deliver teacher training to over 1000 teachers annually, bringing the programme, in the classroom, to over 33 000 new pupils, establishing itself as part of the curriculum in thousands of schools across the UK.

The research demonstrates that primary teachers find STEM subjects more difficult to teach, this lack of skills increases the disengagement of pupils with these subjects from a very early age.  Primary Engineer has addressed this issue by providing teachers with practical skills and academic knowledge to subtly apply and embed the theoretical into the practical, effectively ‘STEM by Stealth’. The impact on the teaching professionals and their pupils which has been reported anecdotally in numerous schools, Ofsted reports and evaluations from Engineering UK’s Tomorrows’ Engineers programme which funded some of Primary Engineers engagement with schools have also demonstrated significant impact on learning outcomes and experiences.

Over the last decade Primary Engineer has responded to the demand led by teachers and local companies expanding the programme from the first Primary Engineer training days delivered to primary teachers to a comprehensive suite of training and whole class activities.

There are sponsorship opportunities available for this years’ CEA and Primary Engineer project and the CEA would be delighted if CEA Members and associated companies would like to be involved.  Sponsorship is just £750.00 to support teacher training and materials.

All sponsor companies will be invited to be part of the judging panel at the ‘Celebration Event’, which will be held at the end of the 2018 academic year the WMG (Warwickshire Manufacturing Group) at the University of Warwick in Coventry.

DART Tool Group - New Regional Sales Manager

DART Tool Group - New Regional Sales Manager 

A very welcome addition to the DART Team is a new Regional Sales Manager for the South East region. Adie Walker has been in the industry for more than twenty years with a varied and rich background across numerous roles.

Adie worked in Harrison & Clough many years ago as a Regional Sales Manager then after a few years moved on to Milwaukee Power Tools, which provided him great exposure to the power tools industry and confirmed his ongoing love for ‘big boys toys’ as he calls them!

However, Adie says on his new position in DART ‘I love being this side of the industry - selling in to the merchant trade. It’s a real awakening for me to come back to it now – it’s where my passion lies. To be out on the road, selling products I love, for a company with such a great ethos is a fantastic opportunity’

When asked what attracted him to DART he says ‘I had followed the DART brand for the last ten years and could see they were a company that were going in the right direction – they are constantly moving forward and it’s obvious that they are always innovating. The new DART brand particularly caught my eye’

Adie certainly has plenty of energy and describes himself as optimistic, enthusiastic and happy.  His plan for his new role is to hit the ground running, with plans to visit the customers in his area as soon as possible – especially dormant accounts, as he sees immense potential in the region.

For any enquiries, please contact: [email protected]

The 12th annual Executive Hire Show – the UK rental event of the year.

The Executive Hire Show has become a hub for the hire industry and year on year the show increases in size and visitors to the event can always guarantee plenty of brand new products on display.

The 12th annual Executive Hire Show is taking place on 7th and 8th February 2018 at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, UK. The team has reported that the show to-date is 99% sold out and many exhibitors have increased their stand size to accommodate more products – a sure sign that the Hire industry remains buoyant despite the uncertainty of what Brexit will bring.

New products are at the heart of the Executive Hire Show and it’s the place where visitors get to see new potential profits earners and take advantage of show only deals! There’s also the innovation trail where the most innovative products at the show are highlighted.

For the 2018 event visitors can expect to see “The Innovation Trail – Live!” where selected Innovation Trail products, which are considered to be particularly outstanding, will be exhibited on a specially branded stage area in Hall 2.

Each of the chosen “Innovation Trail – Live!” suppliers are given a dedicated 10-minute slot to present and explain their product to present and explain their product and to talk to the audience through the products innovative qualities. Paul Hutton, a radio, podcast and YouTube channel presenter, will be hosting “Innovation Trail – Live!” He’ll interview each company’s representative live on stage.

The EHS has become a magnet for hire industry professionals and each year its support grows as the biggest name suppliers to the UK hire industry commit to exhibit – the Show may only be a two-day event, but its reach and its influence continue throughout the hire industry throughout the year. With the onset of large –scale projects such as HS2 – the demand for rental equipment is predicted to be at a record high.

This year more than 180 companies have committed to the event amongst these more than 25 exhibitors are new to the 2018 show. New exhibitors include Astrak, Rentaload, Cautrac, AEM Spain, Scott Brothers, Southwire, Pladdet BV, Epiroc UK & Ireland, Contractors Plant Hire.

The 2018 exhibitor list is looking like a who’s who in the plant hire supply chain – with many of the ‘blue chip’ suppliers in the hire sector taking stands. These include A & Y Equipment, AL-KO Kober, Avant Techno UK, Bomag, Boss Cabins, C.Scope, Doosan, Ecovolve, GenQuip, Greenmech, HAE, Husqvarna, Ifor Williams, JCB Sales, Kubota, Leica, Mace Industries, Makita, Manitou, Niftyhill, Obart Pumps, Pramac UK, Ridge Tools, Shindaiwa, Thwaites, Topcon, Wilkinson Star, Yokota, Zenith and many more.

Many exhibitors offer ‘show only deals’, which makes the show an even better prospect for the visitors. 

Mackays of Cambridge have won the highly prestigious nationwide 'Real Deals' window competition for the second year running.

Mackays of Cambridge have won the highly prestigious nationwide 'Real Deals' window competition for the second year running.

Simon Bicknell The Marketing Director for Toolbank sponsors of the competition said: -

“Mackays created the best shop window displays amongst 2,000 retailers and merchants throughout UK & Ireland as judged by the marketing director of Real Deals for You and a team of industry experts”

Neil Mackay Joint Managing Director of Mackays of Cambridge said: -

We are thrilled to have our 'Real Deals' window display judged as the winner for the second year running.  The competition attracts fierce competition from all around the nation, so to win a second time is totally amazing." He added "We already have advanced plans in place to try and secure the 'Hat Trick' of wins next year."

Dickie Mackay, Mackays world famous mannequin sadly remained 'dumb' about the winning window.

To view the full Window Display please click on the following link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsMTxGDvlwE 


FMB wins public affairs award

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has won the ‘In-House Team of the Year’ at the Public Affairs Awards 2017 for its lobbying on behalf of small building firms.

The Public Affairs Awards recognise excellence in the field of public affairs and the announcement was made at a high-profile ceremony at the Park Plaza Hotel in London on the evening of Thursday 14th December 2017. The FMB was shortlisted in two categories – ‘Trade body campaign of the year’ and ‘In-house team of the year’.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Effective public affairs isn’t about ministerial meetings or busy parliamentary receptions, it’s about securing results. The FMB prides itself on providing small local building firms with a strong voice and ensuring that their views are heard by policy makers. Over the past year, we have been particularly effective in terms of increasing the quality of construction apprenticeships in order to make vocational education more attractive and meaningful. We have also made huge strides in our aim to remove barriers to small house builders so that they can be empowered to build our way out of the housing crisis. To have these accomplishments recognised through the Public Affairs Awards is fantastic and will only serve to bolster the FMB as we continue to bang the drum for Britain’s Master Builders.”


Scroll to Top