Up to Speed Training & Assessment

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Up to Speed Training & Assessment's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Up to Speed Training & Assessment is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.utstraining.co.uk

13UP TO SPEED TRAINING & ASSESSMENT |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Managing Director AdrianPulham
We train across a number
of skill disciplines for the
highways sector
Now approaching its tenth year of trading, with a history
of steady year-on-year growth, Up To Speed Training
& Assessment Ltd was established in 2009 by current
Managing Director Adrian Pulham. It was born out of a reaction
to the sometimes-poor service provision he experienced as a
health, safety, environment and quality manager in the civil
engineering and construction industry. Adrian elaborates and
tells
The Parliamentary Review
what makes Up To Speed a
proactive, sustainable training provider.
While working in the highways sector with a responsibility for a 90-person
workforce, I recognised that sourcing quality training that delivered the desired
business objectives and support was becoming increasingly difficult. The provision
simply wasn’t there – so, ten years ago, I took the leap to begin supplying it myself.
The state of British highways
Every day, the majority of us use the public highway, whether it be in a motor
vehicle, on a bicycle or walking on the pavements. We expect these to be suitably
maintained, safe and free from congestion to allow undisrupted journeys.
A combination of a continuously increasing population, more vehicles on the road
than ever and serious environmental change, however, is resulting in our highways
becoming more worn more quickly. This has been well publicised in the media with
the ongoing issues of potholes, degraded carriageways and increased congestion
causing unwanted delays.
FACTS ABOUT
UP TO SPEED TRAINING &
ASSESSMENT
»Managing Director:
AdrianPulham
»Established in 2009
»Based in Birmingham
»Services: Training for the
highways sector
»No. of employees: 7 directly,
with 16 subcontractors
»Head office near Gravelly Hill
Interchange, also known as
“Spaghetti Junction”, one
of the UK’s greatest civil
engineering achievements
»Leading National Highways
Sector Scheme 12 training
provider
Up To Speed Training
& Assessment
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
14 | UP TO SPEED TRAINING & ASSESSMENT
The general public, however, expect the
roads that are maintained on their tax
money to be fit for purpose and safe.
Meeting public demand –
making our roads safer
To achieve this, the entire industry
is fighting a continuous battle to
meet public expectations up and
down the UK. Although this is led by
government-appointed departments,
local authorities and organisations such
as Highways England, it cannot be
won alone.
They require the expertise and efforts
of a massive network of specialist
contractors, civil engineers and
subcontractors to work tirelessly, often
in high-risk situations, during unsociable
hours and at all times of the year.
To ensure they’re appropriately
equipped to carry out this work, the
government has National Highways
Sector Schemes: certifications for
working on British highways. Across 20
distinct programmes – at the time of
writing – these schemes cover activities
ranging from fencing, landscaping
and vehicle safety restraints to
road surfacing, marking and traffic
management.
These schemes ensure that work is
carried out to the highest standards
of professionalism by properly trained
staff while also emphasising the
importance of health and safety.
How did we get involved?
Initially, we focused on providing
training in National Highways Sector
Scheme 12, which covered temporary
traffic management operations: the
provision of temporary roadworks to
provide physical segregation between
workers and the travelling public,
ensuring minimum risk for all parties
involved.
Through further consultation, however,
we have grown through diversification
into other areas of the highways
sector and have incorporated other
generic and specific skills required
by highways workers. We now offer
training in National Highways Sector
Scheme 10B for permanent vehicle
restraint systems, first aid, health and
safety, construction and “rural skills”,
which covers the maintenance of
embankments and verges near roads
and pavements.
We have developed a reputation
throughout the industry for our
outstanding focus on safety and
professionalism. Consequently,
we have been commissioned by
some of the country’s largest traffic
management specialists to produce
tailored, specialist training packages
that meet the specific needs of the
client, which may well not be otherwise
covered by an NHSS certification.
A stark change in recruitment
Historically, the recruitment process
for the industry was carried out over
a beer in a pub, or simply by knowing
someone else who worked on the
roads. In modern times, however,
with legislative changes demanding
it, we’ve had to move towards a
We are a leading NHSS
12 training provider
The entire
industry is
fighting a
continuous
battle to meet
public
expectations
up and down
the UK
15UP TO SPEED TRAINING & ASSESSMENT |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
more formal and compliant recruiting
process across the sector.
All operatives now undertake extensive
training and assessment to ensure
they are trained to go out onto the
highways to complete the work
needed. Before they step onto a
road and work for the very first time,
training must be completed – and it
doesn’t stop there.
An ever-changing industry
with public importance
I am exasperated sometimes by the
public perception of roadworks as
being nothing more than a nuisance
– this is also, at times, exacerbated
by TV shows and media coverage.
The general public do need to
recognise that there’s always a
purpose for equipment on the roads,
and that we’re not trying to disrupt
people’sjourneys.
With new challenges on the roads
every day, the highways sector
never stands still, and to this end
continuously embraces the newest
innovations and technology on the
market. As a result, we are presently
developing “live” VR environments
which simulate high-risk environments
and allow learners to experience
them in the safety and security of a
trainingroom.
Developing a certified
apprenticeship scheme
Even though the highways sector
is dedicated to enhancing and
maintaining infrastructure not only for
the public but also for the economic
benefit of the country, it receives
absolutely no support in funded
training of any sort – all training is
paid for by the contractors completing
thework.
Unlike other areas of the construction
and civil engineering sector, there is
no official highways apprenticeship
scheme. Although stakeholders have
come together in the past to try to
create such an approved programme,
as of yet, dishonest investors and a
lack of external support have meant
that this is still in development. Going
forward, however, it’s something we
really do think is necessary.
Continuing to deliver across
the UK
From our well-connected head office in
Birmingham and other training venues
in both the north and the south, we
provide training to contractors up
and down the country. Almost ten
years on, we have firmly established
ourselves as one of the country’s
leading NHSS 12 training providers,
and the future looks bright.
Over the next few years, we want to
continue diversifying by offering more
and more schemes. We would also
like to see support from central and
local government in both changing the
public’s perception of roadworks and
making the highways sector a more
accessible and appealing career path
for younger people with vocational
skillsets to pursue.
We have
developed a
reputation
throughout the
industry for our
outstanding
focus on safety
and
professionalism
The general public’s
perception of the
highways sector needs
to improve

www.utstraining.co.uk

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister