• Fitness Feat Finale!

    Fitness Feat Finale

    We had a fantastic end to the year here at strukta as we pedalled and power walked in aid of Cancer Research UK.

    Cancer Research UK

    We challenged our team to hit 392 miles (a trip between our 7 Trade Stores) over a 27-day period to raise money for a cause that is close to many people’s hearts. Statistics show that almost 3,500 Cancer cases in the UK each year could be prevented by physical activity, so we decided to get active this holiday season.

    Thanks to an incredible effort from our team (and customers) we managed to clock up 928 miles!

    Our office exercise bike travelled our 7 Trade Stores on our trusty strukta van, and between us we managed 555 miles – just a few miles shy of a road trip from Edinburgh to Bruges. A big congratulations to our team at struktaSALISBURY who cycled 133 miles in 10 hours – which averages at an impressive 13.3 mph. For those favouring a saunter over a cycle, steps were tallied and those wintery walks clocked up another 373 miles.

    We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who sponsored us, and are delighted to say that we raised £631.06 for Cancer Research this winter.

     

    strukta exercise bike

    As part of our challenge, we also ran an internal competition to see who could move the most miles in a day – and complete the most press-ups in 1 minute.

    Well done to Jo, who ran 9.1 miles, and Giles who managed 77 press-ups in 60 seconds. In the spirit of the fitness theme, (and as we all try and be a little healthier in January) they both won a strukta green fit bit.

     

    Winners Jo and Giles

    If you’ve haven’t sponsored us yet, but would like to – there’s still time. Visit our JustGiving page today.

     

    struktaSMILE Contact Us

  • The 2017 Autumn Budget and What It Means for the Construction Industry

    What the 2017 Autumn Budget Means for the Construction Industry

    Chancellor Philip Hammond | ConstructionOn Wednesday 22nd November, Chancellor Phillip Hammond delivered the 2017 Autumn Budget Statement, revealing the Government’s spending plans for the UK.

    “A future that will be full of change, full of new challenges and above all, full of new opportunities.”   - Chancellor Phillip Hammond

    A large percentage of the budget will contribute towards the construction sector, with significant investments being made in both retaining our existing workforce and training the next generation of construction workers. There was also a focus on innovation and productivity in the construction sector, with a £170 million investment.

    With so many different industries and areas to consider, such as transportation, tax, pollution, healthcare etc. it can be a challenge to identify the announcements that will have a direct impact on the construction industry. We thought we would save you the headache of reading the entire executive summary and summarise the key points that will have a direct impact on the construction sector.

     

    The Takeaway

     

    300,000 New Homes a Year

    Further financial support has been assigned to building 300,000 new homes a year, a volume that hasn’t been reached since 1970. The total budget now stands at £44 billion, with:

    • £15.3 billion for house builds over the next five years
    • £1.2 billion for the acquisition of new land for home builds
    • £2.7 billion for infrastructure

     

    Future of the Construction Industry
    Garden Town Plans

    Garden Towns

    Five new garden town developments will be initiated, adopting a smarter approach to land utilisation whilst putting provisions in place to protect the environment.
    ‘New “garden” towns and villages will be built across England in an attempt to alleviate the housing crisis.’ (Source: The Telegraph)

    “Locally-led garden towns and villages have enormous potential to deliver the homes that communities need. New communities not only deliver homes, they also bring new jobs and facilities and a big boost to local economies.”  - Gavin Barwell

    14 locations have been approved for garden villages, whilst 3 have been approved for garden towns, including:

    • Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
    • Taunton, Somerset
    • Harlow & Gilston, Essex and Hertfordshire

     

    First-Time Buyers

    With it having become more and more challenging for young people to get on the property ladder in recent years, the Government are going to abolish stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on homes under £300,000 for first-time buyers. This will take effect as of the 22nd November, saving the average first-time property buyer £1,660 (Source: GOV.UK).

     

    First Time Buyers

     

    Training and T-levels

    Looking to the future, the Government are keen to invest in the longevity and quality of our construction industry by backing training and the development of home-grown talent.

    ‘£34 million will go towards teaching construction skills like bricklaying and plastering. £30 million will go towards digital courses using AI.’ (Source GOV.UK)

    The introduction of T-levels will see a significant increase in the number of young people entering the industry, with the practical skills and knowledge needed to hit the ground running.

    “T-levels will increase the life chances of many thousands of young people, while at the same time helping to ensure British industry remains competitive.” - Review Chairman Lord Sainsbury

    Construction ('building, services, engineering pathway) has been announced as one of the first three T-levels to be actioned. It will be launching in 2020 alongside digital and childcare & education.

    ‘The new vocational qualifications will be supported by funding worth £60 million in 2018-19, rising to £445 million in 2021-22, and eventually to “over £500 million” a year.’ (Source: tes.com)

     

    Construction Training Budget
    Minimum Wage Increase

    National Minimum Wage Increase

    If you’re an employer, you need to take note of the new changes to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage, that will take effect as of April 2018.

    For those 25 years and over, the National Living Wage will increase by £0.33, taking it to £7.83 and the National Minimum Wage will see the following increases (Source: GOV.UK):

     

    21 to 24 year olds - £7.38 per hour

    18 to 20 year olds – £5.90 per hour

    16 and 17 year olds - £4.20 per hour

    Apprentices - £3.70 per hour

     

    What Does This Mean for the Construction Sector?

     

    Whilst the above covers some of the key factors that will influence and shape the future of our industry and the future of the country, you can find out where the rest of the budget will be going in the Autumn Budget 2017, Executive Summary.

    Overall, the Autumn Budget has been good news for the British construction industry. The more work there is, the higher the demand will be for experienced workers. Employment is expected to grow, with 179,000 construction sector jobs predicted to be created over the next 5 years.

    You can find out more about these plans in our article, Growing Opportunities and a Rising Demand for Construction Workers in the UK.

     

    You can watch the Chancellor’s statement in full here:

     

    Contact Us

  • Seasonal Closure Notice

    Seasonal Closure Notice

    Please note that strukta closes for the holiday period at 12:00 on Thursday, 21st December and reopens at 6:30am on Tuesday, 2nd January.

    - This includes Trade Stores, Customer Services, Head Office, and deliveries. The website will accept orders but these will not be delivered until the New Year.

     

    • Last orders by phone, email and on the website for delivery before Christmas need to be placed by 4:30pm on Wednesday, 20th December.
    • Last deliveries will be made on Thursday, 21st December for items ordered on Wednesday, 20th December.
    • Orders placed on Thursday, 21st December, before 12:00, by phone and email will be delivered on Tuesday, 2nd January.
    • Orders placed on or after Thursday, 21st December via the website will be delivered on Wednesday, 3rd January.
    • Orders placed on Tuesday, 2nd January will be delivered on Wednesday, 3rd January.
    • Normal terms and conditions apply to delivery.

     

    Seasonal Closure Information
    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    We hope you have had a wonderful 2017 and from all the team at strukta, we would like to wish you all the best for 2018!

  • Growing Opportunities and a Rising Demand for Construction Workers in the UK

    A Rising Demand for Construction Workers

    Chancellor Philip Hammond

    We can expect to see an increase in employment in the construction industry, with 179,000 construction sector jobs predicted to be created over the next 5 years, and by 2021, output will grow by 1.7% a year. This means opportunity for more work as the industry grows which is great news for construction workers.

     

    With the recent announcement of plans to double annual house builds in London, there is going to be an immediate demand for more construction professionals.

     

    Chancellor Phillip Hammond recently pledged £34bn towards training in the construction industry, building skills in areas including brick laying and plastering. The Government’s plan to build 300,000 new homes requires more industry professionals. This significant investment in training demonstrates the Government’s immediate plans for more housing, investing in the quality and future of the UK’s construction industry.

     

    From the £34bn, £20m will go towards the introduction of T-levels, training students in practical skills.

     

     

    What are T-levels and why are they significant?

     

    The “biggest ever overhaul of technical education to deliver a skills revolution for Brexit Britain.”

     

    Education Secretary Justine Greening

    T-levels are a new technical qualification that are designed to make the job market more easily accessible to students, giving young people skills that are going to be essential in a post-Brexit Britain. This new qualification is expected to be phased in between 2018-2022, and the first three qualifications to be announced are construction, digital and education and childcare.

    “We are transforming technical education in this country, developing our home-grown talent so that our young people have the world class skills and knowledge that employers need.”

    “As we prepare to leave the EU, it is more important than ever that we create an outstanding further education and skills system, giving all young people the opportunity to fulfil their potential and deliver a better future for our country.”  - Education Secretary Justine Greening

    The main challenge meeting young people trying to enter the job market is that they don’t have the practical skills and experience to secure a position, unless they have completed an apprenticeship. It’s a chicken and egg situation really; it’s impossible to get a job without the experience but it’s impossible to get the experience without a job... this is where T-levels come in! As well as practical education and training, students will go on a placement to gain work experience and apply their new skills in a genuine working environment.

    “The introduction of these technical programmes will provide young people with skill sets that are valuable and relevant to employers, helping to create skilled employment opportunities for school leavers."

    "In particular, the support being put in place for work placements will be crucial in ensuring that students are able to gain experience of a work environment, helping them move from education to employment in a more seamless manner.” - Simon Blagden, non-executive Chairman at Fujitsu

    You can find out more about T-levels and the plans for developing 'home-grown talent' here.

     

    T-levels and Construction Training

     

    Building a smarter future

     

    Not only do we need to develop great practical skills, we also need to nurture great problem solvers and strategists. With the British population ever expanding, we need to be both skilled and smart about how we accommodate for these bodies, whilst ensuring a green future. Phillip Hammond's plans for five new garden towns were announced in the 2017 autumn budget.

    If you’re not familiar with the term ‘garden towns’, they are “holistically planned new settlement which enhances the natural environment, tackles climate change and provides high quality housing locally and accessible jobs in beautiful, healthy and sociable communities” (Source: BuyAssociation), as defined by the Town and County Planning Association (TCPA).

    You can find out more about the plans for new garden towns and villages and the locations that have been approved here.

    Building Garden Towns

     

    Experienced WorkersExperienced workers are in high demand

     

    With man power and a skills shortage being the main obstacle in the new housing plans, experienced construction workers are going to be in high demand. ‘The UK Commission for Employment and Skills believes a further 700,000 workers are needed to replace the retiring population.’ (Source: BuyAssociation).

    Whilst T-levels and other plans are being put in place to attract a larger percentage of the younger generation to the industry, there are also efforts being made to retain experienced adults, with £76m pledged ‘towards retraining adults to work in the digital and construction sectors’ (Source: BuyAssociation).

    Not only will experienced industry professionals play an essential role in the exciting new development plans for the UK, they are also the best source for training new recruits and the next generation of bricklayers, scaffolders, surveyors, roofers etc. To ensure the next generation have the skillset to deliver the best results, they need to be trained by the best.

     

     

    Good news all round

     

    There’s no denying that following the vote for Brexit, there has been an air of uncertainty and apprehension, with all industries questioning what the next few years hold. But with all of the recent announcements of Government plans, the future is looking bright for the construction industry.

    One of the main challenges currently facing the construction industry is a shortage of skilled professionals. This ‘challenge’, along with the plans for large scale construction projects backed by the Government, comes as welcome news with plenty of work on the horizon.

    ‘The industry also expects profit margins, workloads and employment to rise over the next year, though at a slower pace than in the years from 2013 to 2015.’ (Source: The Telegraph)

    It’s encouraging to see our Government investing in the future of our industry and country; if we build a stronger workforce and skillset, we build a stronger and more stable future for Great Britain.

    Construction Industry Future

     

    Contact Us

  • More strukta Successes!

    More strukta Successes

    We’re on the lookout for causes and activities that we can support as part of our struktaSMILE campaign!

    Whether you’re running a marathon, sporting a new hairdo or hosting a charity auction, we want to hear from you! Perhaps you're raising money for a national charity, or are simply seeking support for a community organisation or activity and don’t know where to turn!

    Contact our team on marketing@strukta.co.uk – we’d love to support you if we can!

     

    Matt’s Movember Mayhem!

    Our Biggleswade Trade Store Manager Matt spent the month sporting a variety of facial hair designs all in aid of Prostate Cancer!

    Since his dad had a scare several years ago, Matt has been dedicated to raising funds for this great cause every November, showcasing his artistic flair with some fantastic facial hair!

    Well done Matt!

    There’s still time to sponsor that moustache on Matt's Just Giving page.

    strukta Movember

    Sherwin’s Sponsored Swimathon!

    Lions InternationalOur Healthy & Safety Manager Sherwin, and Proud President of the Lions Club of Salisbury & District was also raising money for Prostate Cancer in November!

    He hosted a sensational swimathon – encouraging supporters and front-crawl fans to don their swimsuits and help support this great organisation. 3,870 men were expected to be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in November, and Sherwin and his team of water babies pledged an amazing 3,8710 lengths in support.

    The event might be over, but if you’d like to support this great event email salisburylionsanddistrict@outlook.com.

    To find out more about the Lions Club of Salisbury & District and all the great work they do visit their Facebook page.

     

    A Strenuous Spine Race

    We were pleased to be able to support one of our suppliers, Simon Bitcliff from Webmart in his challenging 2018 pursuit!

    Simon will race 268 miles, in what is considered to be one of the most challenging races in the world! He’ll walk and crawl for 7 full days, carrying all of his provisions on his back! The trail will take him from Edale to Scotland – and all funds raised will go to Greenpeace!

    Charity Golf DayGood luck Simon, braving the elements to help the environment – what a great challenge!

     

    Charity Golf Day!

    We love a bit of sport here at strukta – and we were more than happy to support one of our valued customers, Beard Construction, by sponsoring a hole at their charity golf day! For amateurs and enthusiasts alike, there were 18 challenging holes – followed by a 2-course meal and charity auction.

    Beard generously offered to double all money raised, and the total was a phenomenal £6,423.

    All proceeds were donated to some of their many chosen charities including DASH & Brighter Futures.

    Congratulations Beard Construction!

     

    struktaSMILE Contact Us

  • We Have a Winner!

    The Winner Is

    Winter Card Competition Winner 2017Our children’s drawing competition closed on the 10th November, and the winning design has now been transformed into a Holiday card!

     

    Our team thoroughly enjoyed reviewing all the creative masterpieces. There was an array of different snowmen, an abundance of glitter glue and even the odd dinosaur here and there!

     

    Congratulations Phoebe, your googly eyed, sparkly snowman and ice-skating Robin won us over. We hope you enjoy your prize!

     

    We’d like to say a really big thank you to everyone that entered our winter card competition! We had some amazing entries and have been really impressed with all of your designs.

    We hope you all have a wonderful winter!

    Winter Card Competition

    Winter Snowflakes

  • struktaSMILE Fitness Feat!

    strukta Fitness Feat 1

    As you’ve probably heard by now – we’ve challenged our team to walk and cycle a whopping 392 miles this holiday season in aid of Cancer Research UK!

    strukta Fitness

     

    Why are we doing this?

    As we head into the festive period, we’re all desperately trying to avoid the dreaded winter weight gain! We’ll forgo the bench-press for the biscuits and the treadmill for the truffles and before we know it – we’ve piled on the pounds!

    We all know that hitting the gym is good for our waistline; but did you know that just a little physical activity can help prevent life threatening diseases? Statistics show that almost 3,500 cancer cases in the UK each year could be prevented by physical activity?

     

    strukta Fitness Feat 2

    Why 392 miles?

    Fitness Feat Cycling strukta
    115 miles longer than the length of the Grand Canyon, almost 15 London Marathons and only 4 miles more than a road trip from Barcelona to Madrid.

     

    How far we’ve got so far?

    To date, our bike has travelled to 3 of our 7 stores – and on that alone we’ve managed an incredible 342 miles – and that’s just on the bike!

     

    Help us support Cancer Research UK this season – any and all donations are greatly appreciated!

    Visit our JustGiving page or fill in one of our in-store sponsorship forms!

     

    strukta Fitness Feat 3

  • Cookies for Cancer Research!

    Cookies for Cancer Research

    On the 15th of every month, our team make a payday donation to one of our chosen charities! This month we decided to do something a little different…

    In July, we honed our skills during a great British bake-off challenge and our culinary abilities were put to the test as we competed to be cupcake connoisseurs!

    strukta | British Bake Off

    So, we thought we’d put our new-found skills to the test, and we enjoyed our #struktateabreak with an array of tasty treats, all lovingly prepared by the struktaTEAM!

    With a spread fit for a king, the team (and lots of our customers) made generous donations, and enjoyed some well-deserved calories on a cold October day!

    To the shortbread chef’s, brownie bakers and the tiffin tasters, thank you! Your generosity has helped us raise £236.71 for this fantastic cause. 1 in every 2 people will be affected by cancer at some point during their lifetime and we're doing our bit to help reduce this, increase survival rate and provide much needed support to those who are suffering.

    Cancer Research Bake Sale

  • Plans to Double Annual House Builds in London

    Plans to double house builds in London

    As we are approaching the end of 2017 we thought we’d look ahead to 2018 and what it has in store. These are exciting times for the construction industry, with plans to double the annual house builds in London to 66,000 in a year.

    With UK house prices rocketing (particularly in the capital) and the population ever increasing, there is an undeniable long-term need for housing and more of it. Not only is there a need for more housing but also more affordable options. With the average London home costing around £580,000, it’s important that new builds cater for the majority rather than the elite minority. Whilst luxury accommodation will continue to be a profitable avenue and in high demand, basic affordable housing will also be a principle focus in London’s development moving forward.

    With housing prices heavily dependent on location, there is going to be greater focus on the outskirts of London, with more developments in smaller, suburban town centres.

     

    Sadiq Khan | Housing

    So what's the plan?

     

    The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is behind the push for affordable housing, in an effort to address the housing crisis.

    On the 6th September, Sadiq Khan announced his plans for City Hall to utilise £250 million for buying and preparing land for these new developments. The intention is that this investment will be recycled, funding the purchase of further land and home builds. The Mayor’s plan doesn’t only focus on buyers but also renters, calling on the government, as well as London’s private tenants and landlords to help resolve the current extortionate renting system.

     

    The number of Londoners that are private renting has increased by more than 200% in the last eight years (Source: london.gov) resulting in more and more tenants paying beyond their means and decent landlords losing business to landlords that are operating inefficiently and irresponsibly. The private renting sector is in urgent need of regulation, affordable options, as well as enforced standards and procedures for landlords.

     

    “It is shameful that a generation of young people are being priced out of the city they grew up in because of the housing crisis. I inherited a development pipeline where just 13 per cent of homes given planning permission were affordable, which is unacceptable. I’ve been honest from the start that turning things round will take time and fixing the housing crisis will be a marathon not a sprint, but my strategy sets out how we can start making a real difference to affordable housing in the city.”

    – Sadiq Khan

     

    “The London Housing Strategy marks an important step in the long journey towards solving the capital’s housing crisis. Central government, the Mayor and the boroughs all have a part to play in ensuring we better meet the housing needs of all Londoners, making it possible for London to grow economically and continue to be a great place to live.”

    - Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, London Councils’ Executive member for housing

    (Source: london.gov)

    London Housing Project

    With the ‘London property bubble bursting’ (Source: The Independent) this year and the housing market in the rest of the country on the rise, there needs to be a focus on accommodating Londoners. Housing prices in London exceed the reach of the majority’s average incomes, resulting in 'generation rent'.

     

    The thirty-somethings are a generation of renters, living in a financially draining cycle that prohibits them from saving enough money to enter the housing market. In recognition of this, multiple schemes have been set up to make the housing market more accessible to ‘generation rent’, with a government housing fund and saving schemes such as Barclay’s Help to Buy ISA. Whilst these are all important steps to restabilising the UK property market, it doesn’t address the impending crisis of over-population. With the UK population at more than 60 million people, and the London population at almost 8 million, predicted to rise to nearly 10 million by 2024 (Source: The Independent), we don’t have enough housing to accommodate all of these bodies.

     

    Housing & renting in London

    New Housing

    “Community-led housing offers the chance to build new homes Londoners that want to live in. Londoners should be able to play a leading role in building their own communities, but for too long this has been difficult and they have had no support or access to funding.”

    – Sadiq Khan

    This concept of building 'skeleton' homes that provide basic essentials, is a great way to give buyers a more affordable option. Essentially, it's providing the buyer with a blank canvas that they can decorate exactly to their tastes, in accordance with their budget and at their own pace. This also means that all of these new homes will have their own identity and style.

     

    What does this mean for the construction industry and workers?

    With real focus on developing a more “dynamic building industry” and understanding the diverse range of builders and companies needed for these projects, there is going to be plenty of work to go around, and not just for the large construction companies but also the smaller specialist companies.

    Not only will there be plenty of opportunity for new business, there will also be more opportunities for young people to learn practical construction and building skills. A key part of the Mayor’s plan is to encourage more young people to join the construction industry, safeguarding Britain’s housing future.

    With so many pessimistic articles in the news recently, questioning the future of Britain’s construction industry in a post-Brexit Britain, this new plan comes as welcome news. With the population ever-growing, new housing is always going to be in demand. What we need to focus on now, is how to develop a strong, sustainable future, combining the skills of Britain’s existing construction specialists as well as preparing the next generation of builders.

     


    If you need supplies, we know just the place to find them! At strukta, we stock everything you could need, from screws to steel.

    Building & Construction | strukta

  • Winter Card Competition

    strukta Winter Competition

    We are launching a Winter card competition for children to design a card that we’ll print and send to our customers!

    snowflakes

    We know that children love the winter season and everything that comes with it and we want to see it through their eyes! Maybe it's snowball fights with their friends on a wintery Sunday, a hot cup of chocolate brimming with marshmallows or a fun afternoon jumping in muddy puddles! Whatever it is, we want to see it!

    We're asking children to take part in our "Wonderful Winter" competition - using their vivid imaginations to design a seasonal card. We're looking for creative, handmade designs that capture exactly what winter means to them!

    One lucky winner will have their card printed, and distributed to you, our customers! They can also choose one of two fantastic prizes - a £50 Hobbycraft voucher or £50 book token.

    snowflakes

    The rules* are simple

    • All designs must be handmade, and no larger than A4 in size
    • The competition is open to children up to the age of 16
    • Designs should be winter themed, with no associations to religious festivals or holidays including (but not limited to) Christmas
    • The competition closes at 4.30 pm on Friday 10th November

    You can read the full terms and conditions here.

    Head to your local Trade Store, or print your entry form here then send your design along with your completed form to the following address:

    Marketing, 36 Walworth Road, strukta Group Ltd, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 5LH

    It's as simple as that.

    The challenge is on - we can't wait for the Wonderful Winter designs to flood in!

    snowflakes

    Here's some breathtakingly beautiful wintspiration (see what we did there) to help inspire some masterpieces!...

    Winter Competition 18a

    Winter Competition Collage 6

    Winter Competition 8a

    Winter Competition Collage 1

    Winter Competition 14

    Winter Competition Collage 2

    Winter Competition 19

    Winter Competition Collage 3

    Winter Competition 24

    Good Luck

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