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What's in the news?

4 June 2008

You’re hired, honey – now look after the apprentices!

Over a third of bosses in Britain’s small construction companies have worked with their other half

That's according to a survey unveiled today as part of ‘Building Britain’, a new ConstructionSkills campaign to ensure that everyone in the construction industry from the apprentice to backroom staff gets the right training.

The study found that 37% of bosses of construction Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) work with their husband, wife or partner. This is just lower than the average across all sectors of 43%.

But across all sectors Scottish bosses obviously think love and work don’t mix - only 18% of firms worked with their partners compared to nearly two thirds (63%) in the North West.

The study found almost half of construction businesses owners in the UK – 47% - have family members on the workforce, with one of the main responsibilities to look after the company’s apprentices and training (33%) and ensuring the firm is up-to-date with relevant legislation (31%).

However, the study also found different attitudes across the UK to working with family members. Yet again, Scottish SME bosses were reluctant to work with them, with only 46% doing so compared to 79% in the North West.

It also found the vast majority of family members are not working for free. 83% of them are taking a wage with only 17% being unpaid. They’re also prepared to put the hours in, with more than 53% working more than 31 hours a week and more than a third (34%) clocking in for more than 40 hours.

Mike Bialyj, Director of Advisory Services at ConstructionSkills said:

“The study shows firms seem to acknowledge the importance of keeping it in the family with a third trusting their loved ones to look after training and apprenticeships. It is important then that these hard working members of the team aren’t taken for granted. They, too, need development and support and through this the recognition that they are professionals with a crucial role to play in the business.

We are always working to ensure the British construction industry is the safest and most professional in the world. ConstructionSkills helps construction businesses find the right training for all in their business and provides financial support towards the cost of training.”

ConstructionSkills is the expert and leading supplier for training within the construction industry. Through the launch of the new campaign, Building Britain, ConstructionSkills are encouraging more employers to commit to training and skills development such as offering apprenticeships, management training and health & safety courses to relevant staff.

For more information on training call ConstructionSkills on 0844 844 0406 or visit

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