New Apprenticeship Standards are a Welcome Boost

Apprenticeship standards in construction are set to increase following the Government’s approval of two new apprenticeships in bricklaying and plastering, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “We feared that the Government’s ambition to deliver three million apprenticeships by 2020 would lead to an emphasis on quantity over quality. Today the Government has demonstrated that it really is committed to working with the industry to increase the quality of apprenticeship training by approving these new standards. Research by the FMB shows that two-thirds of construction SMEs believe that the overall quality of construction apprenticeships has decreased during the past 30 years. Furthermore, over 70% of small construction firms would be more likely to train an apprentice if the quality of construction apprenticeship standards were improved. Given that it’s construction SMEs that train two-thirds of all apprentices, the Government is right to back the FMB’s mission to increase the quality of apprenticeships.”

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Construction Site

FMB welcomes court ruling on smaller sites

FMB chief executive Brian Berry praised the ruling, commenting: “We welcome the Appeal Court’s decision to confirm the government’s right to waive Section 106 affordable housing contributions for sites of ten units or fewer. It’s widely recognised that if we are tackle the long-term undersupply of new homes in this country, then we will need to see renewed growth in output from SME house builders. Today’s verdict will go a long way in backing these firms. It will make the economics of small scale development that much easier and should increase the use of small sites in sustainable locations for the delivery of new homes.”

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Cumbrian Footpath

Footpath fund launched to help repair Cumbrian storm damage

Floods minister Rory Stewart has launched a new £3.5m fund to help repair and improve Cumbria’s public rights of way damaged by Storm Desmond in December.

As well as bringing benefits to residents, the Cumbria Countryside Access Fund is also intended to help to attract tourists back to Cumbria.

Individual grants from a minimum of £100,000 are available for landowners or public bodies and will cover reinstating and improving rights of way for rural towns and villages, visitor attractions, long-distance trails and those passing through environmentally sensitive areas such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

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Berlin micro-apartment is given a modern makeover to maximize space

Fitting all your home necessities into a 21-square-meter room can be tricky, but it can feel downright impossible when you also need to cultivate a modern and spacious environment that respects the building’s historic 20th century character. Berlin-based design studio spamroom, however, was about to achieve just that with their renovation of a Berlin flat in the district of Moabit. Created in collaboration with johnpaulcoss, this sensitively renovated micro-apartment was created with a minimalist aesthetic that pairs pale wood surfaces with white steel.

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