A group of construction students have completed work on an abandoned Luton hat factory under a revolutionary training scheme backed by celebrity builder Tommy Walsh.
Engineering Real Results, the largest trades training organisation in the UK, has spent months buying up neglected and derelict properties in a multi-million pound move which gives young tradespeople a way round restrictive Government legislation which forces apprentices to beg for unpaid work for decades.
The scheme allows students to comply with Government rules which demand apprentices carry out 100 hours practical training. The rule has forced apprentices onto the streets begging for unpaid work for decades.
Now they can complete their qualifications in weeks rather than years.
Here Tommy talks about what he sees as a revolution in training for the building trade.
Listen to Philip Sugarman, our CEO, being interviewed on BBC Radio Northampton.
The award-winning St Andrew’s Healthcare, which is the UK’s largest mental health charity, has confirmed it now has the funding package in place to enable a further major investment in brand new facilities at its Northampton base.
St Andrew’s, the largest charity sector provider of NHS care, has agreed a £52.5m funding package with Lloyds TSB, to include funding the construction of a new 90-bed psychiatric hospital. The new facility will provide secure accommodation for a number of new services and will allow expansion of its existing national services.
Professor Philip Sugarman Chief Executive Officer at St Andrew’s said “In the last ten years we have completed a £200m programme of development and refurbishment across four sites, with our new units achieving high levels of occupancy. We have seen continuous growth and a recent sharp rise in market share.”
“We are now ready to plan the next phase of growth, with new facilities for service users placed with us by our NHS customers. These developments will strengthen our position as the UK’s leading provider of specialist secure care and as the country’s only independent national teaching hospital.”
Chief Finance Officer Nigel Alcock says: “Despite challenging financial forecasts for independent mental healthcare providers, St Andrew’s saw turnover increase by over 5% last year, to £169m. As a charity it is essential that any financial agreements we enter into are right for our long-term commitment to care for as many people as possible. We are in a very different position to some private companies, and that’s why we believe that the charitable model offers huge potential for the sector.
“This funding agreement will help St Andrew’s maintain the great results we have achieved by reinvesting in the future of mental healthcare over the last few years. We are delighted to have finalised the deal with Lloyds, who have been fantastic to work with.”
David Hykin, Relationship Director at Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets said: “St Andrew’s Healthcare has delivered a strong track record of growth in recent years, demonstrating the strength of its balance sheet and its future potential. We are working closely with the management team to support the growth ambitions of the charity, which is a well-established and impressive enterprise in the healthcare sector.”
“Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says on TV that the Government’s planning changes are boost to solo traders in the trades”
The government is easing the planning rules on extending homes in England as part of a package to boost housebuilding and stimulate economic growth.
The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have announced a major housing and planning package which is set to build 70,000 new homes and create up to 140,000 construction jobs.
Speaking to BBC News this morning Nick Clegg said that people will be allowed to build up to 8-metre larger extensions to their houses without needing a planning permission. He argued that the relaxation of the planning regulations will create jobs and boost those professionals who are already working in the trades.
Clegg said: “The planning changes mean that people will get the local builder to extend their kitchen or conservatory which will create jobs and stimulate economic activity.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said that the package announced today includes investing hundreds of millions of pounds into building more affordable homes as well as a £40 billion guarantee for infrastructure projects to support the building construction industry.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said in a statement that the Government’s announcement will help people to build new homes and ‘kick-start’ the economy.
Mr Cameron said: “We’re determined to cut through the bureaucracy that holds us back. That starts with getting the planners off our backs, getting behind the businesses that have the ambition to expand and meeting the aspirations of families that want to buy or improve a home.”
- Removing restrictions on house builders to help unlock 75 000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable. Developers who can prove that council’s costly affordable housing requirements make the project unviable will see them removed.
- New legislation for Government guarantees of up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers.
- Up to 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use using new capital funding of £300m and the infrastructure guarantee
- An additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague’s report to Government on boosting the private rented sector
- Thousands of big commercial and residential applications to be directed to a major infrastructure fast track and where councils are poor developers can opt to have their decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate.
- Calling time on poor performing town hall planning departments, putting the worst into ‘special measures’ if they have failed to improve the speed and quality of their work and allowing developers to bypass councils. More applications also will go into a fast track appeal process.
- 16,500 first-time buyers helped with a £280m extension of the successful ‘FirstBuy’ scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a much-needed deposit and a crucial first step on the housing ladder.
- For a time limited period, slashing planning red tape, including sweeping away the rules and bureaucracy that prevent families and businesses from making improvements to their properties, helping tens of thousands of home owners and companies.
The Government is planning to re-write planning rules to boost “nationally significant” infrastructure projects and build new homes, Chancellor George Osborne unveiled yesterday.
The Chancellor said that developers would be allowed to build on the Green Belt around towns and cities if an equivalent area of land is safeguarded elsewhere.
Mr Osborne said: “I think we can speed up planning. It is absolutely ludicrous that it takes years to get planning decisions in this country. The country, in the current economic environment, cannot afford to wait years for development.”
A £10 billion Treasury package will guarantee the debt of housing associations and private developers in bid to create jobs and revive housing market.
The Chancellor said that the Government will do more in order to make it easier for local authorities to grant planning permission for developers in the future.
Mr Osborne announced a Small Business Bank to bring together what he called an “alphabet soup” of Government schemes to help small firms and encourage economic growth.
Thousands of new trade jobs could be created as the Prime Minister, David Cameron, encouraged officials to reconsider plans to build a £30 billion barrage across the Severn estuary between England and Wales.
After a meeting with Peter Hain, who left his post as shadow Welsh Secretary in 2010 to back the project, David Cameron has asked ministers to take another look at the multi-million scheme which will create 20, 000 construction jobs and diversify the country’s energy supply.
It has been estimated that the 10-mile barrage from the Vale of Glamorgan to Somerset would provide 5% of the UK’s electricity demand, creating tens of thousands of additional jobs in activity around the barrage.
Hain told BBC Wales that it was a “more productive meeting than might have been expected”, revealing that “Number 10 are taking the barrage much more seriously than has been the case over the last few years”.
It is understood that much of the funding for the scheme would come from global private investors and taxpayers’ money will not be spent. According to Mr Hain, ‘several’ sovereign wealth funds have already come forward to finance the project, including investors from Kuwait and Qatar.
Mr Hain said: “Government support is an absolute pre-requisite for getting the whole project underway.
“Not a penny of taxpayers’ money would be needed for this £30bn investment, which would be transformative for Wales.
“It would create 20,000 jobs in construction and another 30,000 in activity around the barrage.”
What is your reaction to the Prime Minister’s support to urge ministers to reconsider building plans for the £30 billion barrage that will create thousands of new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.
Building work on Manchester City’s new £100 million training academy has been given the green light by the government, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction industry.
After clearing objections by previous landlords who refused to sell their plots to the football club, now the Secretary of State has granted a compulsory purchase order, allowing building work to start.
The scheme, which involves building a 7, 000 seat-stadium and 15 small pitches will create new jobs and help the local economy.
Eddie Smith, Chief Executive of urban regeneration company New East Manchester, told the BBC that this development will benefit the people in Manchester and create new jobs
Mr Smith said “Manchester City Football Club’s plans in east Manchester are a hugely important ingredient of the ongoing regeneration of the area, which will see not only world-class leisure and educational facilities for the community, but also jobs for local people.
“We worked with the club to help relocate existing business and sustain existing jobs and are pleased that the Secretary of State has reached a decision in the public interest which will enable this ambitious scheme to move forwards.”
BAM Construction has won the main contract after holding off competition with other firms.
Plans at the site on land next to the Etihad stadium include:
- A home for up to 400 young players who will train and study alongside senior players, with a clear development pathway to the first team
- One half size and 11 full size youth development pitches
- One half size and 4 full size first team pitches
- On site sleeping accommodation and classroom facility for 40 young players to allow them to train and study in a safe and secure environment
- A carefully planned first team building with changing rooms, gym, refectory and injury and rehab centre
- A 7,000 capacity stadium for youth matches
- Staff offices and a dedicated media centre
- A bridge linking the site to the Etihad Stadium and the rest of the Etihad Campus
The Government will enable businesses across Britain to access more and cheaper loans which will boost the economy and create new jobs, the BBC has reported.
Chancellor George Osborne announced the new £ 80 billion scheme, describing it as “a huge help for the British economy” which will give businesses the confidence to grow.
Under the Funding for Lending Scheme British banks will be able to lend money to businesses at a low interest rate, enabling the expansion of smaller businesses and the creation of new employment opportunities.
The Chancellor said: “Today’s announcement aims to make mortgages and loans cheaper and more easily available, providing welcome support to businesses that want to expand and families aspiring to own their home.”
Mr Osborne added the initiative would “inject new confidence into our financial system and support the flow of credit to where it is needed in the real economy – showing that we are not powerless to act in the face of the Eurozone debt storm”.
Welcoming the government’s announcement Director-General at the CBI, John Cridland, said: “This new scheme should provide a real incentive for banks and building societies to increase their lending to businesses and individuals, if possible at lower rates of interest.”
What is your reaction to the Funding for Lending scheme and how do you think you will be able to benefit from the £80 billion investment? Let us know what you think by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.
Nick Clegg has announced plans to give some of England’s biggest cities new powers and extra cash in an attempt to boost employment and restore economic growth, the BBC reported today.
During a visit to Yorkshire, the Deputy Prime Minister revealed the government will transfer more economic controls to local authorities under city schemes which he called ‘groundbreaking deals… freeing cities from Whitehall control’.
Extra powers will be given to the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds, Nottingham and Sheffield as deals for Liverpool and Manchester were already agreed earlier this year.
Deputy Prime Minister Clegg said: “Everyone in these eight core cities will feel the benefits – from young people looking for jobs, to businesses looking to expand.”
Under the current system, councils running England’s major cities have to lobby central governments if they want additional investment to fund major infrastructure projects.
However, under the new city deals, guaranteed funding will be provided for the city authorities to spend as they choose. This is expected to will cut red tape and make it easier for businesses to deliver major development projects in the future.
Hilary Benn, Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, said: “Labour strongly supports local communities being given more powers – indeed I have been calling for this for some time.
“These city deals represent an important victory for local people and local government. And many people think that local government will do a better job at looking after their local economies and boosting skills than the Tory-led government is doing nationally.”
If you live in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham or Sheffield, how do you think the new deals could help you/ your business? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raining your voice on our Facebook page.