How I built my…

Posted by Blog Team | Posted in Careers | Posted on 26-04-2016

When he was just 21 years old, Warrington lad Ashley Terron went and won the WorldSkills bricklaying competition. Since then there’s been no stopping him and he’s risen through the ranks to become a Site Manager at Redrow Homes.

We sit down for a brew (or a water) to hear what he’s been up to and find out what makes him tick.

Ashley, thanks for taking the time out to speak to us . Tell us how you got started in your trade!

I first started as a bricklayer after leaving school, following in the footsteps of my eldest brother and father who are also bricklayers. I did three years day release as part of an Apprenticeship Programme at Warrington Collegiate to gain my bricklaying qualifications. Then I went on to study for my HNC Construction & Property at the University of Salford.

What’s your job now?

I’m now a Site Manager at Redrow Homes, working on a brand new development in Chester. I am also in my last year of study at the University of Salford to gain my BSc (Hons) Construction Project Management degree.

Describe a typical day for you 

A typical day involves ordering materials and organising trades on-site to ensure build programmes are adhered to, as well as managing all health and safety aspects on-site. Dealing with customers post completion is also a big part of my job to make sure they’re happy with their new home. 

How do you go above and beyond for your customers?

I like to think I go above and beyond for my customers by dealing with any issues as promptly as possible and helping out where I can on-site. It could be anything really from helping them move furniture in or setting stuff up in their new house to make them feel more at home.

If you had to choose, what’d be your favourite bit of kit?

My favourite bit of kit when I was a bricklayer was no doubt my Marshalltown 11″ Philadelphia trowel – that was the money maker!

How do you unwind off-site?

I unwind off-site by going to the gym, meeting up with friends for a few Peroni’s, or just chilling and enjoying a bit of peace and quiet after a busy day.

Which piece of work/achievement are you most proud of?

The piece of work I am most proud of is obviously winning the gold medal at WorldSkills Leipzig 2013, where I represented the UK at the World Finals. After beating thousands of potential candidates in the UK, I got to represent the UK against the best from across the globe. I was up against 26 other nations, and beat them all after the 3 ½ day competition building three walls to a zero tolerance standard. I also managed to achieve the highest ever score in the biannual competition.

Aftewards, I was involved with a lot of work nationally and internationally promoting apprenticeships due to my success story and as a result I was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2014, and awarded a British Empire Medal for services to skills.

Blimey. We’re brewing up – what’s yours?

I get some stick for it, but I don’t drink tea or coffee… I’ll stick to my water fountain.

Finally, what’s your top bit of advice for anybody thinking of starting out in a trade?

Secure an apprenticeship, if possible and do your three years at college to become fully qualified in your chosen trade. This gives you a good foundation to go into further study if you wish, and also makes you a far better tradesperson as you understand the reasons behind doing stuff in a certain way.

BOB’s guide to looking the part

Posted by Blog Team | Posted in More | Posted on 26-04-2016

When you’re off to a job, it goes without saying that you’ll be sorted for safety – with your hard-hat, high-vis and work boots in-hand. But what about all the other stuff you need to stay warm, safe, comfortable – not to mention, dashingly stylish?

Don’t fret because BOB, Jewson’s monthly newsletter, has put together this guide to looking, and feeling, the part on-site.

Pockets, pockets, pockets!

 Pockets in trousers, pockets in shorts, pockets in gilets – in our humble opinion you simply can’t have enough pockets when you’re on-site. The essential ones are your holster and cargo pockets, though, so your tools are nice and near to your hands. As for the rest of them, well, you’ll need space for your phone, your keys, your cash, spare bricks… until they invent construction handbags, pockets are the way to go.

Padding in all the right places

Concrete floors, sharp edges, hours and hours of standing up… there are a lot of reasons why padding in the right places is simply essential on-site. Trousers and jeans with padded knees are a must, while socks with reinforced heels and toes, plus increased arch support, can make a huge difference.

When it comes to proper knee pads, the choice is yours: elastic straps or slotted in your knee pocket? Flexible or gel-filled? There are just so many options, so you ‘knee-d’ to find what’s right for you.

Nice and cosy

We don’t need to tell you that it can get chilly on-site every now and again. We can’t get enough of the humble microfleece when it comes to layering and insulation in both cold and warm weather. Stick on a fleece hat under your hard hat, thermal undies under your trousers and more layers than you can shake a stick at. We’re big fans of gilets for being waterproof and windproof while leaving your arms free – plus we must say they’re at the height of style right now.

Staying chill

When you have to stay covered up but are feeling the heat, we recommend a jacket with a breathable mesh lining. Durable, comfortable work shorts are also a must – choose ones made of heavyweight, stain resistant fabric. Plus,  you can also protect your eyes while looking pretty fly with tinted, UV safety goggles.

Bang on-brand

Whatever you choose to wear on-site, we think it’s a really good idea to choose the colours according to your company’s branding. It can make the whole ‘squad’ look a lot more put-together and give your company some extra advertising. If you’ve the budget and the inclination, you can also get your brand name and contact details embroidered onto key items of workwear.

What are your workwear essentials? Tell us on Twitter using the #JewsonBOB hashtag.

You can check out our full Spring/Summer workwear collection here.

How to hire an apprentice

Posted by Blog Team | Posted in How To Guides | Posted on 26-04-2016

 A lack of young, skilled workers is one of the biggest challenges the construction industry faces, according to a recent report by the CITB.

With that in mind, we all need to do our bit to help young people get a foot on the trade ladder. We’ve put together a handy step-by-step guide to help you understand what’s involved in hiring an apprentice.

Apprenticeships have the potential to have a huge impact on the construction industry. Young, enthusiastic and talented individuals are out there ready to be trained up for a specific role and moulded to suit your business.

Here’s our guide on how to hire an apprentice:

Step 1: Register your interest with the National Apprenticeship Service 

Step 2: Find a training organisation nearby that offers apprenticeships in your desired skill. This training organisation will handle your apprentice’s teaching, assessment and qualification.

 Step 3: Check to see whether you’re eligible for a grant. If you’re looking to hire an apprentice aged 16-24 and have fewer than 50 employees in your company, you could qualify for a £1,500 apprenticeship grant.

 Step 4: Advertise your apprenticeship. Your training organisation will be able to do this for you, but you can also follow the National Apprenticeship Service’s guide for further help on advertising your opportunity.

 Step 5: Make an apprenticeship agreement. Once you’ve chosen the apprentice you want, you’ll need to iron out the details in writing. You can download an apprentice agreement template here.

At this point, your new apprentice  will be ready to join you. You’ll be able to teach them the ropes, offer support and training and help them as they make a real difference to your business. There’s no hard and fast rule for apprenticeships, but most apprentices will spend around one day a week in training and the rest of time on the job. For more information on hiring an apprentice, visit www.gov.uk/take-on-an-apprentice

Win your own Australian Adventure!

Posted by Blog Team | Posted in Competitons | Posted on 04-04-2016

We’ve teamed up with our friends at Quest to give you the chance to win a holiday of a lifetime for two to Australia. Plus, whilst you’re down under, we’ll also give you some dingo dollars to make the most of your time!

Alongside the Australian Adventure, we also have 100 other prizes which can be won. This includes TV’s, soundbars, driving experience days, golf lessons and Virgin experience days.

Quest banner

The competition is in celebration of the new series, Robson Green’s Australian Adventure, which kick’s-off on Quest from Friday 8th April at 9pm. Quest is on Freeview channel 37, Sky channel 144 and Virgin channel 172.

English actor Robson Green has always been fascinated by Australia. Craving an adventure away from the big city, in the new series he takes off to the dirt roads to find the wild side of the land Down Under.

Robson Green

In this four part series, Robson sets out to experience what life in Oz is all about, heading to South Australia, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland.

Like Jewson on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest news and offers!

For more information on Quest please visit www.questtv.co.uk or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Building Better Communities is back

Posted by Blog Team | Posted in Building Better Communities | Posted on 30-03-2016

 

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Following the success of last year’s competition, we’re pleased to announce that our Building Better Communities competition is back – and this time it’s bigger than ever!

In a bid to boost community spirit and make our communities even better, we’re asking people up and down the country to nominate projects near them that could do with sprucing up – from a lick of paint for an old village hall, to a brand new home for a local sports team.

With a mammoth new £250,000 prize pot, we now need people to tell us about local building projects that deserve a helping hand.

This year, entrants can put forward a project for either a top £150,000 prize or a share of a £100,000 fund where they can ask for anything from £500 to £10,000 to spend on building materials.

A new addition for 2016 is the top £150,000 prize, which will see one project receive a transformation using the Saint-Gobain ‘My Comfort’ building principles.

Recognising that we spend around 90% of our time inside, the My Comfort approach focuses on creating buildings that are comfortable and healthy, good for the people who use them and good for the environment. My Comfort creates buildings that are warm, quiet, well-lit and have good air quality, but don’t cost the earth to run.

We received over 2,000 entries last year for community projects up and down the country, and 14 projects went on to win a slice of the £100,000 pie. One of these projects was the RNLI Penlee Lifeboat Station in Penzance, which – with a £50,000 contribution from Jewson – is in the process of being rebuilt to give deserving volunteers a brand new base.

This year’s entrants have until 29th April 2016 to nominate their project. Nominations can be made via www.buildingbettercommunities.co.uk or the Jewson Facebook page at http://facebook.com/jewsonuk

Looking for inspiration? Watch the competition launch video here. 

Bob’s Guide to Looking After Yourself

Posted by Blog Team | Posted in More | Posted on 29-03-2016

 

Being a tradesperson can put a lot of strain on your joints and muscles, leaving you aching all over. It may sound a bit silly at first, but yoga is actually the perfect remedy for site-related soreness.

We’ve teamed up with personal trainer Sarah from SJLFitness to show you three simple poses, to do any time, to relieve the most common tradesperson twinges.

Spinal twist: good for lower back, a problem area for many tradespeople

Stretching sequence: to stretch legs and back

Forward bend: good for tackling lower back issues

BUDGET 2016: what you need to know

Posted by Blog Team | Posted in More | Posted on 29-03-2016



 

Once again, Chancellor George Osborne has whipped out his flashy red briefcase. Here’s the key things you need to know.

 Boost To Small Businesses

 From next April, if your business occupies an office or workshop with a rateable value of £12,000 or less, you’ll no longer pay business rates

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Drive on

 Fuel duty has been frozen for the sixth year running. This’ll help keep the cost of petrol and diesel down – welcome news if you’re clocking up miles in your van

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More £ in Your Pocket

The personal allowance – the money you earn before paying tax – will rise to £11,500 by next year, while the 40p tax threshold is moving to £45,000. Basically, this means more cash in your pocket at the end of the month 

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Mine’s a pint

If you’re partial to a pint at your local at the end of a long day on site, you’ll be pleased to see that duty on beer, cider and spirits is being frozen

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