Debate Event: Affordable Housing

Debate Event: Affordable Housing

Demand for a significant increase in the supply of affordable homes in tackling Scotland’s housing crisis has been the subject of much debate for years. In 2016, The Scottish Government committed to building 50,000 affordable homes before 2021 – the largest housing programme of its kind in Scotland since the 1970s. With such an ambitious target, it is delivery that will count – and that involves a lot of market players! Critics, particularly those within the construction industry, have highlighted…

A happy new year for general building?

The construction market topography in Scotland changed significantly in 2017: The list of key contractors is now almost unbelievable compared with previous years.  Strong former players such as Lend Lease and Laing O’Rourke, no longer exist in effective competitor terms; Morgan Sindall has been shrunk to a third of its former might; and Sir Robert McAlpine has been beset with project problems that has seen its headquarters retrench across the border to Newcastle.  Changed days indeed. Added to this, within…

Quantity Surveying: private practice versus contractor – could the grass be greener?

Quantity Surveying: private practice versus contractor – could the grass be greener?  This was the question that kicked off our debate last month when, together with RICS Matrics and CIOB Novus, we gathered a room full of quantity surveyors, who work across the industry, to discuss the differences and similarities in their roles. After a great deal of discussion and debate (and some disagreement from both sides of the fence!), we can conclude that it’s less about the colour of the…

Debate Event: Quantity Surveying

The world of surveying is diverse and can take you in many directions; having chosen to become a Quantity Surveyor, your choice of employer will determine and define the role you perform. Whether you work in private practice or as part of a contractor’s in-house team the role of Quantity Surveyor may look similar from the outside, but it is distinctly different. If you started your career on one path, you may know little about what ACTUALLY happens on the…

How to leave a job on good terms

At Mackenzie England we believe in the saying “the best beginning to your new job is a good ending with your current employer”.  It’s essential to ensure that you depart on a positive, professional note to guarantee that you leave doors open and can rely upon old colleagues for advice and valuable references. After all a strong business network is invaluable in developing your future career! So how do you ensure that you leave a job on good terms? Believe…

International Women in Engineering Day 2017

Of the 2.3 million people working in the construction industry at the end of December last year, only 296,000 were women (according to the Office for National Statistics). That’s roughly 13%. So, on the day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in engineering and technical roles, I find myself chewing over why the construction industry is still failing to attract more women? Skills shortage   The construction industry is desperate to attract new recruits’ due to a major skills shortage.…

Top Tips for Strategic Recruitment (Part 2): Embracing the head-hunter relationship for best business results

For many businesses, the most efficient way to manage strategic recruitment is to use the services of an experienced, external agency.  But how do you ensure that you maximise this relationship to get the most out of your investment? 1. Welcome us in to your business At Mackenzie England, relationships are important to us; you could say we’re driven by them. By inviting us to meet with your senior team, we can learn what is required from the role and…

Why networking is good and how to get it right

It’s the dawn of a new year and I expect, for many of you reading this, a raft of new resolutions on how you’re going to grow your business in 2017. If, like me, you’re reflecting on the accomplishments and hurdles of the last year, then you’re bound to hit upon something that you’d like to do more actively this year.  For me, it’s the same as always, quite simply meeting more people and making meaningful and credible connections. As…

When a team is more important than a hire

At Mackenzie England, we have noticed a definite change in employee attitudes over the past few years; attracting and retaining talent is not simply about “top salaries” and “great benefits packages” (of course they do need to be up there too!).  But today, recruiting and retaining staff are much more about “what”, “who” and “we” and sometimes an effective team is more important than a hire. I know that personally, I’m more energised and effective if I work within a…

Brexit: Where now for an already unstable construction industry?

Over 30 million Britons voted last month in a Brexit election that has resulted in what can only be described as a momentous turning point in our history. With the results came the anticipated plunge in the financial markets; the pound has dropped to its lowest level against the US dollar in over 30 years.  And to add insult to injury Prime Minster, David Cameron, has resigned; announcing plans to step down in as few as two months. Are we…