Dyslexia in the Construction Industry

It is estimated that up to 20,000 people within the construction industry could be dyslexic and many of the people with the condition are completely unaware. The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) has estimated that between four and 10 percent of the UK population is dyslexic meaning up to 2.9 million workers may be affected.

These numbers are surprising, and mean that each and every one of us will know someone who is dyslexic. The BDA estimates that four percent of the population is seriously affected by the condition. A further six percent experience less serious difficulties.

Dyslexia Scotland Construction Industry

According to Dyslexia Scotland, some of the difficulties involved with having dyslexia include: Problems with reading, taking notes, remembering numbers, names and details and problems with written work, such as spelling and writing.

Research has shown dyslexia to be more prominent among architects, construction workers, entrepreneurs, farmers, scientists and in the medical profession. With the condition – which can be classified as a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – being found more prominent in our own industry, we felt we had to do more.

At Worksmart Contracts, we want to make sure everyone feels at home and included. Whether you’re in the boardroom or on the front lines producing some of the finest Fit-Outs and Refurbishments. Everyone is in this together, and no one should ever have to feel like they are at any kind of disadvantage or falling behind their peers.

Dyslexia Friendly Construction Materials

Once we realised the scale of this issue, we felt the need to do our part and address it. In our company vision and values, we state that we “value our health, our happiness” and we offer “consideration, helpfulness and friendship to others.” These are the principles we work by every day. We are committed to helping others, especially when it comes to the health of our employees.

Over the last few weeks, Worksmart Contracts has been preparing a dyslexia-friendly version of our site induction literature. These materials are crucial for people working on a live construction site. They cover everything from PPE to on-site conduct to first aid and parking.

For anyone who has ever struggled to understand something, whether it’s in a book, during a lecture or while watching a movie, it can be embarrassing to admit you need help. Because of this, it’s critical that these site induction documents are dyslexia friendly.

The formatting of this document will make it much easier to read for anyone suffering with dyslexia. Failure to read and understand the document fully could result in some serious accidents on a construction site. Hopefully with this new dyslexia-friendly version, we will be able to ensure complete clarity for everyone.

Our Health and Safety Consultants, Amalgamate, have been involved with one of our site teams who wanted to take this development on, in addition to them delivering some fabulous fit out & refurbishment works on their own projects.

construction company helmet health and safety

Worksmart Contracts Managing Directors Steve Neilson said: “We’re proud to be taking this step to help people with dyslexia. These site induction materials are extremely important in our industry. We’re delighted that they will now be available in a format which is suited to everyone’s needs.”

The site induction document is the first of a series of on-site document developments we are working on. As ever, we will keep you informed as things progress.

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How Scotland House in London is Helping Scottish Businesses

Scotland House in London has recently been opened by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.The latest Innovation and Investment Hub was officially opened in London after Worksmart’s Team created the state of the art facility in London’s Victoria Embankment through 16 weeks of Interior Fit-Out.

Scotland House will provide touchdown facilities and a place to meet customers and target new markets, secure investment and showcase products and services. The Hub is aimed at helping Scottish companies take advantage of business opportunities in London and on the international stage.

It also brings together officials from the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Visit Scotland under one roof to provide a Team Scotland approach to supporting businesses and attracting visitors and investment to Scotland.

Officially opening Scotland House, the Rt. Hon. Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland said: “London is a very important trading market and a meeting place for the world’s business leaders, but for Scottish businesses it can be challenging and costly to try and break into these markets.” The new hub will play a critical role in attracting investment to Scotland, helping businesses trade internationally and raising Scotland’s international profile. We are already seeing the benefits of our presence in Dublin and I look forward to our next investment and innovation hubs in Brussels and Berlin.”

Worksmart were delighted to attend the event and even more delighted to hear the First Minister speech thanking Worksmart’s Team for the fabulous delivery of the facility with some great Scottish materials used in the Specification. The First Minister also thanked CDA Architects for their role along with all of the other Client Design Team involved in the successful and dedicated delivery of the Project.

Worksmart had the pleasure of working with an excellent team on Scotland House. Working with MITIE, CDA, TUV SUD and Graham & Sibbald, all of whom were focused to ensure the projects smooth delivery and that this was a very high quality fit-out over the 6000 sq ft.

Worksmart`s business continues to grow and develop and prove to the markets project after project in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales that we deliver every time for our Clients and the Clients Design Teams. Communication, consistency and determination are paramount to the continued delivery of our Interior Contracting Refurbishments and Fit-Out Projects.

With Scotland House being located in the heart of London – on the banks of the River Thames – this is a very exciting prospect for businesses in Scotland. Scotland House presents an opportunity for all Scottish companies who looking to become more prominent in London. After all, a 2013 government report calculated that 22% of the UK’s entire GDP comes from London. If Scottish businesses are able to tap into this huge market, it will help to strengthen not just the Scottish businesses who have expanded down to London, but also help improve London-based businesses and the UK as a whole.

Expansion into London can also be a great way for an organisation to increase their customer base. London is the biggest city in the UK worth over 8 million people living there – almost 3 million more than the entirety of Scotland. Therefore, a huge number of people can be reached if a business markets themselves right, and it will obviously be far cheaper to market to a city as opposed to an entire country.

With London having such a dense population, it can also be far easier for a business to recruit high quality candidates. With London, as is Scotland, being home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world, there is a chance to empower and employ the future workforce by offering graduates the chance to work with your business, and therefore ensure the next generation of workers are the best quality they can be.

So how can Scotland House help? With their excellent facilities, Scotland House is the ideal place to meet new clients and hold meetings. The stunning office space can also be a great place to network, therefore increasing the number of Scottish businesses who will build strong connections with London business, and potentially gain valuable investment.

The advantages of a Scottish business expanding down to London are significant. The large number of both potential clients and investors in London, as well as London’s reputation as a global powerhouse in the world of business, will mean that your business will grow exponentially as a member of Scotland House. If you would like to join Scotland House, you can visit Scotland House’s website and register your interest.


How Worksmart Are Socially Responsible

Just like any organisation, it is hugely important for Worksmart to be socially responsible – meaning that we must operate in a positive and ethical way. This can be achieved in many ways, from making sure all our employees have the consumer in mind and completing interior fit-outs to the highest standard to donating money to charity every year.

Every year, the Worksmart team participate in many events that help to raise money for charity. Some of these include Roon the Toon – a 10k run around Kilmarnock – and the Kiltwalk – a 13 mile walk from Clydebank, Glasgow to Baloch, Loch Lomond. These events not only help to raise money for some very worthy causes, they also help to raise Worksmart’s profile in the local area. These types of events can also be sponsored by companies, which will help to raise even more money for charity and help get the business noticed. We have also recently sponsored The Kevin Thompson Academy – a football academy run by former Hibernian midfielder Kevin Thompson. Our sponsorship was to buy them new football nets, which our Edinburgh regional manager and Hibs super-fan Gary McGurk was delighted to present to the Academy.

Keeping with sports, Worksmart are also proud sponsors of several youth teams, such as Hurlford 2003s and Kilmarnock Rugby and Football Club’s U18 teams. On top of this, we currently sponsor the very talented young swimmer Sophie Craig, who is completing swimming challenges. This money will help to go towards her trip to do community work in Cambodia.

Another way Worksmart have been socially responsible is through the high standards we maintain on our interior fit-outs and refurbishments. Our current mission statement is “Our Mission is to surpass our best competitors, have values and always develop”, which shows that our number one priority is the customer. Worksmart prides itself on our customer relations and has very high levels of customer satisfaction and client retention. This is very important as it ensures we will be able to gain a good reputation in the interior sector.

As well as treating customers well, it is important that we treat our own staff well. After all, without them, Worksmart wouldn’t be able to operate. We have always had a passion for team working, and we work closely with young people in order to recruit apprentices. We also employ both school leavers and university graduates. This ensures that Worksmart have a workforce that can perform to their high standards both now and in the future, and continue to be the best in the interior fit-out and refurbishment sector.

In conclusion, there is now more need than ever for an organisation to be socially responsible. It is very important that all companies help charities, as well as treating customers and employees well to make sure the business operates effectively. If these are not implemented properly, Worksmart would not be the dynamic and thriving company who are consistently growing the way we are today. We encourage you to take part in the events we have mentioned, as the money raised goes to excellent causes.



Investing in and Developing the Worksmart Team

Worksmart continues its development and investment in the Construction Industry with a wide spread approach to Tradespersons and Staff.

Three years ago Worksmart identified skills shortages in the Construction industry following the recession and set out plans to grow the Worksmart Team in a variety of methods.

Starting off with a School lever joining us in Office Administration and supporting with further education through College Programmes and then moving on to Apprentices from a variety of backgrounds and ages coming into help with our growing workload and learning from some of the finest quality Tradespersons in Scotland and the UK.

We have two Apprentices now through the Joinery Programme and who are now in the Advanced Craft Programme, and we have added Year on Year and have Apprentices in all years of College and in three Colleges from Ayrshire, Glasgow and Edinburgh and have six Apprentices currently.

We recently had a significant Glazed Partitioning and Glazed Fire Screen Project within the actual Ayrshire College where our Ayrshire Apprentices attend and worked between the actual project and their College attendance over a matter of Months. This was of particular interest to the College, our Local Press and indeed Willie Coffey our MSP. Pictured with some of the Apprentices at our Kilmarnock Office. Also acknowledged by Alan Brown MP, Jim Todd Provost and Fiona Lees Chief Executive at East Ayrshire Council.

In addition our Teams have found enjoyment and career development in our Interior Refurbishment and Fit-Out Projects within Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. Working within several Colleges and Universities such as North Kelvin College, Napier University, Glasgow Clyde College, Ayrshire College, Blackpool & Flyde College, and more. Working on some of the highest specifications from some of the leading Architects and Designers in the UK for some of largest sized Clients in both Public Sector and Private sector.

We have engaged and employed Graduates in various aspects of the Business and they have all done very well with the Programme and reached excellent heights in their respective fields.

Our most recent addition joins us next week from School and takes up the challenge of a Modern Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing to support our #makeitworksmart marketing plan and has a full structure in place to help grow and develop the young person in his career with some excellent support, internally and externally to Worksmart.

The foregoing has all been a valued contribution in Worksmart`s development throughout Scotland and the UK and which will continue to grow and develop throughout our Kilmarnock, Edinburgh and Manchester Offices and be an important of our Companies continued success in our Turnkey Solutions in Interior Contracting, Fit-Out, Refurbishment and Construction in Multitrade Projects and specialist Glass and Glazing Demountable Partitioning Projects.

Worksmart have had great advice and assistance from East Ayrshire Council and their Economic Development Team, Scottish Enterprise and their Account Managers in Company Growth, The Apprenticeship Officers within CITB Teams working with our HR Team for Ayrshire College, Cardonald College in Glasgow and Sighthill College in Edinburgh.

Also to Skills Development Scotland and Microcom training working with us in our Modern Apprentices.

The FIS which we are proud and active members has also been a great help and encouraged the Interior Market to develop Apprenticeship programmes. We were delighted to have one of our Apprentice win the Scottish Silver medal a few months ago.

Our extended thanks to all above for their continued support and guidance.

Worksmart’s Contribution is not only in our own Staff and Trades in Joinery and Glazed Partitioning, Worksmart encourage all of our Supply Chain to join us in investing in Youth, Apprenticeships, School leavers and Graduate Programmes.

Worksmart continues to support local Schools in helping the local Chambers of Commerce and Local Authorities in helping Schools learn about Business and Construction and will continue to do so and hopefully develop shortly into helping Colleges in their specific Apprenticeship Programmes to help our Interior Contracting Market throughout the UK.

We hope that others in our Industry start looking to contribute more or start contributing at all and help Scotland and the UK regain its Construction Industry again, and soon.




Storage Solutions

The team have had an extremely successful 2016, with orders coming from as far away as Stoke and Aberdeen.  From competitive tenders including PCS, to existing customers, to framework agreements, to prospecting all over the country with our range of branded catalogues, the team have won a number of projects in various industry sectors including manufacturing, healthcare and local councils from far more established rivals and incumbent suppliers.

The storage team have won a number of competitive tenders for local councils including North, South and East Ayrshire, Dundee City, and latterly Fife.

These projects have involved using our vast array of storage products including pallet racking, mobile/static shelving, mezzanine floors, steel/mesh partitioning, library furniture and lockers in forming archive stores, relocating existing mobile shelving, securing areas, creating additional stores, library fit-outs and increasing storage capacity.

Worksmart have also been included on framework agreements for Fife Libraries and YPO (Yorkshire Procurement Office).

The teams’ wealth of experience has meant we have been enlisted by a number of clients to solve storage problems for them.  The likes of Franke/Carron Phoenix, McAlpines, Dietchef and Prestige Leisure have all benefitted from the professional approach, flexibility, industry knowledge and outside the box thinking to provide solutions to these issues.

Stand out projects for the team this year have included:-

Fife Council – box storage incorporating longspan shelving, timber decking, guiderail, mobile shelving relocation and addition of new Rotadex mobile shelving, Ecospace static shelving and Troax mesh partitioning (2 competitive tenders)

Interpak, Maybole – 2no. mezzanine floors with Troax mezz guard and longspan shelving
Creation of a much larger capacity sample room and paper store using Stormor and Longspan shelving

North Ayrshire Council Records Management involved mobile shelving relocation and additions of new Ecospace mobile shelving to gain extra capacity in new store.

Franke Central Services, Stoke – new stores area using static shelving and containers
Carron Phoenix – Pallet Racking to give better access to pallets and clear the floor area
Sigma Aldrich – 2no. mezzanine floors and extending existing pallet racking

The storage teams’ installation schedule for 2017 is already filling up rapidly.

Fife Council Libraries and Museums Store (LAMA) won after a collaborative bid with Rotadex and Ecospace incorporates 2 tier electronic twinspace mobile shelving, pull out picture racking, plan chests etc and will mean over 3 months on site

NHS Ayrshire & Arran mobile shelving relocation
Ardagh Group Steel partitioned workshop with associated electrics and data

Contact the team on 01563 535511 or [email protected] to discuss how the team can help you solve your storage issues. #makeitworksmart