Hansom: Coming of age

first_imgAge concernIn the same week Mark Farmer’s industry report predicts that 700,000 new recruits will be needed in the next five years to replace those who are retiring comes another piece of news that industry bigwigs might prefer to avoid. “Britain’s Most Ageing Jobs: Construction Workers Are Likely To Age Before Their Time” is the headline they really don’t want to see on a press release. Research by cosmetics firm Remescar – one of its products is, yep, an anti-ageing cream – says that construction ages its employees prematurely, by a whole nine years in fact. This is second only to table-topper healthcare, whose workers look 11 years older than they actually are. Good luck with that industry recruitment campaign, then, everyone.Home from homeGreat Portland Estates’ James Pellatt had an awkward moment last week after a visit to Building’s office at 240 Blackfriars Road. The developer’s head of projects had been helping us out with a video interview but when he tried to leave he found that his visitor pass wouldn’t let him out of the building. Eventually, and to the relief of all, he made it out. Though the delay was no great incovenience, the technology fail was slightly uncomfortable – the owner of 240 Blackfriars Road is none other than Great Portland Estates.Getting a pastingYou can get a world record in anything these days it seems. Hanging wallpaper is a new one on me but if you’re not blessed with the athletic talents of Usain Bolt perhaps it’s one to have a go at and then try and impress your friends with. Imagine, then, being Dulux decorators Simon Medlin and John Green who “smashed” the record for hanging three sheets of wallpaper, romping home in a time of one minute and 14.93 seconds – a whole second and a half ahead of the previous record holders. Their joy was shortlived, though, when the judges ruled it invalid because of a couple of air bubbles. Happens to us all.From a few bricks…As part of a fundraising initiative for youth homeless charity LandAid, Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds promised to reveal what he had wanted to be when he was growing up. He invited friends and colleagues to guess and suggestions that came in included Batman, a racing driver, Flipper the dolphin, Watford manager – “I’d have been sacked too many times” – and, rather oddly, Scottish. None of these, it turns out, was the genuine career ambition of the Mace supremo. No, what Reynolds really wanted to be was a Lego builder – of course. Still, all that top-level guesswork has been for a good cause – Reynolds managed to raise nearly £3,000 for LandAid.Bonus heavenI see that profit at architect Benoy fell last year. Why do I mention this? Well, despite a rather steep drop – more than 40% – the firm still shelled out on a profit share. The £1.9m it handed back was 27% of the firm’s profit, the same proportion as 2014, when it handed staff a £3m bonus. They shared a £4m bonus the year before as well. I don’t know about you but that’s the sort of company I wouldn’t mind working for.Children crossingA colleague was at the Institution of Civil Engineers headquarters in London recently and was rather taken aback to see a giant bridge made out of Lego in one of the dining halls. In fact, a total of 262,500 plastic bricks were used in thestructure, which has a span of 34m – eclipsing the previous best of 14m in Germany. The widest free span extends to more than 16m and the bridge at its tallest is 3.2m high. It’s all part of the ICE’s attempt to get children interested in civil engineering. But with all those bricks, let’s hope no unfortunate youngster accidentally bumps into it …Send any juicy industry gossip to [email protected]last_img