DIY

Green Deal joins forces with Kier to boost the trades

Kier Services is the latest big builder to gain Green Deal accreditation from leading certification body NICEIC paving the way for employment in the trades.

Kier Services is now certified to carry out installer work and improve the energy efficiency of existing domestic and non-domestic buildings.

Green Deal is the Government’s flagship scheme to reduce energy emissions from homes and buildings across the UK. It is forecast to create thousands of new jobs in the building services engineering sector.

Last month the new Energy Company Obligations (ECO) was launched, with the aim of making up to 14 million homes more efficient through insulation, draught proofing, double glazing and other measures which are designed to reduce the energy usage.

Scott Murray, head of energy at Kier, said, “Kier has a great track record in providing repairs and maintenance in the housing sector, maintaining in excess of 300,000 homes – together with success in delivering similar government backed energy efficient and funded schemes such as the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) and CERT.

“As these current initiatives are phased out, Kier aims to be at the forefront of the Government’s new flagship initiative, not only helping to reduce carbon emissions by fitting energy efficiency measures, but by working with customers to consider changes in their behaviours to help combat the challenges of fuel poverty.”

NICEIC offer certification to any business wishing to become a Green Deal installer or advisor. The certification process ensures standards are maintained by any business undertaking Green Deal work for consumers.

Green Deal approval involves checks of all quality procedures within an organisation in addition to an ability to carry out the work. By going through these rigorous checks customers can have confidence in the firm they select to carry out the work.

Green Deal Project Manager at NICEIC, Nick Wright, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Kier on this important initiative. Green Deal installers will be responsible for carrying out the work which will see millions of homes across the UK upgraded to improve energy efficiency.

“It is vital that all firms carrying out this type of work have the correct and appropriate procedures in place. Consumers need to have confidence in the firms they employ to make Green Deal a success.”

 

10-year multi-million maintenance contract to bring new jobs

Outsourcing company Mitie has been awarded a ten-year repair and maintenance contract that will create new trade jobs and boost building sector.

The contract is worth £70 million over ten years with the potential to rise to £120 million if Golding Homes issue additional works. The multi-million scheme will see the housing association’s upkeep of 6,000 properties across Kent.

The deal is expected to benefit customers with more flexible appointment system and a quicker repairs ordering process. It will generate additional opportunities for skills training and employment in the trades.

Peter Stringer, Golding Homes chief executive, said: “We carefully considered a range of models for providing repairs and maintenance services, based on our customers’ priorities.

We concluded that creating a wholly owned subsidiary company as a vehicle for the contract will best help us meet our goals.

“We are confident that selecting Mitie as our partner will bring the professional and innovative approach our customers deserve and we look forward to working closely with them.”

Mitie will work with Golding Homes and its wholly owned subsidiary Golding Services to deliver gas maintenance, responsive repairs, void reinstatements and planned works.

Commenting on the contract award, Peter Griffin, director for social housing at Mitie, said:

“At Mitie we’re passionate about working with our customers to develop strategic partnerships that can provide long-term investment in both service infrastructure and assets. We’re delighted to be working with Golding Homes and Golding Services to deliver this exciting new contract.”

New incentives to drive Green Deal uptake

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has announced the launch of a new project that will kick-start the Green Deal and creates new jobs.  

Speaking alongside climate change minister Greg Barker at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, UKGBC’s chief executive Paul King welcomed the implementation of the scheme and outlined its potential for stimulating economic growth.

Mr King praised the Government’s commitment to the scheme, but warned that it needed adequate support to accelerate the level of uptake and implement its objectives.

He said: “The Green Deal still has the potential to be truly revolutionary in driving mass home retrofit. This new market could, if nurtured properly, create jobs, stimulate economic growth and protect consumers from ever-rising energy prices”.

Among those taking part in the UKGBC task group are Saint-Gobain UK, the Association for the Conservation of Energy, the CBI, Sweett Group, L&Q, Marks & Spencer, Willmott Dixon and Travis Perkins.

Diana Montgomery, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, which is supporting the new project, said that despite the strong industry support for the Green Deal, more needed to be done to encourage households to take it up.

Dr Montgomery said: “Collaborating with the UK-GBC on this Green Deal Task Group project will help us to ensure that we can help Government effectively navigate the options they have available to them for capitalising on that opportunity.”

Incentives to be included:

  • Stamp duty banding/rebates
  • Council tax banding/rebates
  • Energy efficiency feed in tariff
  • Subsidised interest rates for Green Deal
  • Low interest loans (outside Green Deal)/ Green mortgages (underwritten by Government)
  • Lump sum grant/payment (cashback/vouchers)
  • Progressively tightening minimum standards, inc. extending to owner-occupied sector
  • Salary sacrifice (tax free scheme) through work/tax credits
  • VAT cut extension to a wider range of measure

£1bn council housing boost reaches out for new trade jobs

Housing minister Mark Prisk has announced a £1 billion investment package to improve council homes across England that will provide work for thousands of tradesmen.

The new funding could bring over 86,000 homes up to a decent standard, paving the way for new trade jobs in the building construction industry.

It is the latest round of funding under the Decent Homes Programme which aim is to help councils bring their homes up to a decent standard, from fitting new roofs and windows to updating kitchens or heating systems.

Mr Prisk said that this new construction and skilled work would provide a shot in the arm for thousands of local businesses and tradesmen, supporting the Government’s measures to boost British jobs and the economy.

The Minister said that spending money earlier would help boost local employment as early as possible, as well as delivering home improvements for tenants ahead of schedule.

Mr Prisk said: “By improving this country’s council homes we will transform many families’ lives for the better, bringing their living standards up to scratch ensuring that their home is the safe haven it is meant to be.

“But the benefits of the £1 billion I’ve confirmed today reach far beyond tenants themselves and into the local economy.

“With every pound spent on improvements boosting local business, creating new jobs and supporting local spending, I want to see councils realising the benefits of this cash as soon as possible.”

What is your reaction to the newly announced £1 billion investment programme set to improve thousands of council homes, boost the trades and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

UK cities get Green Deal funding boost

Today, seven cities across England are set to receive a share of the £12 million fund which will kick-start the Green Deal and boost the trades.

Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield are the cities which have put proposals to lower their carbon emissions.

The Green Deal is a Government-backed scheme which offers loans to people to help make their homes more energy efficient.

The money will enable professional builders and trade firms to try certain elements of the scheme including assessment and installation of energy efficient measures.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “These cities have really ambitious plans to lower their emissions, reduce energy use and help people save money on their bills.

“This funding will help them get up and running and I look forward to seeing a number of properties across whole communities get the energy efficient improvements they need.”

Earlier in the year, the Government announced that cities would be given greater freedoms, powers and tools to help them go for growth.

The new funding will test elements of the Green Deal framework and provide early feedback for the scheme’s future implementation.

It is expected to deliver around 2,500 retrofits to households and non-domestic properties across the seven major cities, providing support to local supply chains and registered installers.

Government to offer bigger benefits to the wind farm industry

Communities that host onshore wind farms could benefit from reduced electricity bills and investment in local infrastructure, Energy Secretary Edward Davey said today.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has launched a consultation into how communities could benefit from having wind farms near them which could boost the green industry and create new jobs.

The community benefits consultation will seek new information on how wind farms could deliver wider environmental and social benefits to communities.

It is aimed at encouraging participation by local businesses in the economic supply chain for wind projects as well as providing new employment opportunities for the renewable industry.

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “This new call for evidence will look at ways to reward host communities and ensure that wider investment, employment and social benefits are felt locally.

“We must also ensure that our policies are based on the best available evidence, so that consumers are not over-subsidising any one technology. That’s why we are seeking new evidence on the cost of onshore wind.”

Energy Minister John Hayes said that the new consultation is evidence that both parties in the Coalition are alive to the need for fresh thinking about the green economy.

Mr Hayes said: “Appropriately sited onshore wind has a role to play, but if we’re to make this work in a way that garners popular support, we’ve got to see a big improvement in how developers engage with local communities, new ways of ensuring a sense of local ownership and more obvious local economic benefits.”

Citizens Advice signposts consumers to find reliable tradesmen

The Citizens Advice Bureau and TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality body, have joined forces to help homeowners find reputable tradesmen when they are looking to repair or maintain their properties.

Consumers from across the UK will now be able to search and select a TrustMark registered and inspected tradesman from the Citizens Advice website.

Homeowners in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have the assurance that all the firm’s competences and their fair trading practices have been independently inspected and checked.

Stuart Carter, Head of Marketing at TrustMark, said: “We are always looking for better ways to increase visibility for this quality mark so we are delighted that Citizens Advice is now signposting consumers to our TrustMark registered tradesmen.

“It is important that we continue to do more joined-up working with the key agencies, independent third sector organisations, trade bodies and advisory services to help consumers make more informed decisions when hiring tradesmen to improve or repair their homes.”

Gillian Guy, chief executive at Citizens Advice, said: “TrustMark is an excellent example of the kind of creative problem prevention initiatives that we really value at Citizens Advice.”

What is your reaction to the partnership which aim is to help consumers make the right choice when they are looking to repair, maintain or improve their homes. Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Get Britain Building to Create 30,000 Jobs

The Homes and Community Agency (HCA) has approved 105 housing schemes that will receive funding as part of the £570 million Get Britain Building fund set to create 30,000 new jobs.

The Government’s fund is set to build around 16,000 new homes and provide financial support for housebuilders on stalled sites across the country, paving the way for employment opportunities in the trades.

The HCA has estimated that the shortlisted schemes could unlock the building of 7,000 homes and create thousands of new jobs in the building construction sector.

HCA chief executive Pat Ritchie said: “The Get Britain Building programme is offering housebuilders the financial support to get stalled developments back on track, and I’m pleased that more than 100 projects can move forward to the due diligence phase.

“We listened to feedback from the sector and reduced the minimum scheme size to 15, and I’m therefore especially pleased that 20 smaller projects have come forward and the majority of bids have come from SMEs.

“These projects must now prove that they can be delivered quickly, provide value for money for the taxpayer and fit with local priorities. As well as building much-needed new homes, the work will create or protect jobs, and boost local economies.”

Around £300 million of recoverable investment has been allocated to more than 130 projects through the first round of the scheme expected to be completed by December 2014. Round two of the scheme, which was announced last week, will continue until March 2015.

Major transformation in St James’s area to create new jobs

The Crown Estate has submitted four planning applications as part of a £450 million redevelopment plan that will transform the St James’s area in central London and create new jobs.

A major part of St James’s will be rebuilt to create nearly 340,000 sq ft of mixed-use accommodation between Regent Street and Haymarket.

The lead scheme, known as St James’s Market, will see the building of a commercial redevelopment which will create offices, retail and restaurant space behind preserved historic facades in central London.

The proposals mark the next stage of the Crown Estate investment programme for St James which comprises nearly 50 per cent of the buildings in the area.

James Cooksey, Head of St James’s Portfolio said: “Our investment in St James’s builds on the area’s status by providing a first rate destination amenity space for those living, working and visiting the area.

“Together with our Gateway scheme and investment in Trafalgar House and British Columbia House, it demonstrates the major progress we’re making in delivering on our St James’s strategy.”

Commenting on the proposals, Alastair Smart, Head of Development said: “St James’s Market is perhaps the most significant development we have ever undertaken and builds on the two schemes currently on site as part of our investment in St James’s and Regent Street to provide modern space for global businesses.”

The St James’s Market proposals also include three associated private residential and affordable housing schemes. These will create new homes totalling 60,000 ft2, ranging from one bedroom apartments to four bedroom family homes.

In March 2012 The Crown Estate consulted the local community and received strong levels of positive feedback on the proposals, particularly in relation to the improvements to the accommodation and quality of the public areas in St James’s.

Cable Unveils Business Growth Plan to Boost the Trades

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has confirmed plans to create government backed ‘business bank’ which will help companies to invest and create new trade jobs.

Vince Cable’s new institution includes a series of collaborative strategies between businesses and government that are forecast to advance manufacturing and boost the trade industry.

Cable outlined his plans, committing to a long term, strategic partnership that will give businesses clarity about where the Government will be concentrating its efforts.

Speaking at Imperial College, London, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Our first part of that plan is lifting the barrier that poor access to finance puts on growth. By helping firms to invest capital, businesses expand, and create jobs.

“But I am also setting out a clear and ambitious vision, a commitment far beyond the usual political timescale that will continue to bear fruit decades later.

“It will give our businesses certainty, allow them to make their own plans, and know that the full weight of Government is behind them. We will work in a strategic partnership with industry, focusing our support on specific sectors. This is our commitment to growth in action.” 

The speech sets out a number of other actions including:

  • Creating a new institution to help companies invest in capital and drive their expansion. The scale and modus operandi of the institution are still under discussion, but it could operate through alternative providers such as the new challenger banks and non-bank lenders. Not only would this boost their lending capacity, but would also corral existing provision such as co-investment and guarantees to support business expansion.
  • Developing a series of collaborative but challenging sector strategies in advanced manufacturing, knowledge-intensive traded industries, and the enabling industries. This will include building strategic partnerships with industries and targeting support for them to help realise their substantial growth prospects.
  • The Business Secretary announced that 34 bids had been successful in the first round of the Employer Ownership pilot scheme securing £67 million of public funding and generating £98 million in private investment, making sure that employers can access exactly the sort of skills they need. Ensuring our world class skills policy is linked closely to the industrial strategy, in order that industry gets the skills they need to continue growing. This objective underpins the employer ownership pilot scheme where employers have been putting together radical plans to develop their own training programme.
  • Accelerating the journey from pure academic research to a commercial product being brought to market to help boost ground-breaking technologies of the future. The Government has already made £180 million available to support the commercialisation of innovations in the life sciences sector and building on this new approach, there will now be a new Innovation and Knowledge centre in Synthetic biology to explore the opportunities this sector presents.
  • Recognising Government’s role as a customer and developing a more intelligent partnership with its own supply chain by reforming procurement to make sure that businesses have confidence to take long-term investment decisions.

What is your reaction to the government’s plan to create ‘business bank’ which will help companies to invest and create new trade jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Historic town hall work to bring new trade jobs

Ealing Council has appointed Willmott Dixon to carry out a £16.5 million refurbishment contract that will improve the historic Acton Town Hall and create new trade jobs.

The Acton Town Hall regeneration project will provide new and improved leisure, library, community and civic facilities which will benefit communities and boost the local economy.

The town hall complex was built at the beginning of the last century to serve Acton’s growing population. According to the council, these buildings now need significant repairs and have high maintenance costs.

Ealing Council said that the regeneration of the site will provide new facilities whilst considering the heritage assets of the building as well as preserving the environment.

The project also includes the demolition of Acton’s former baths which will be replaced by a new three-storey building housing-a 25 metre swimming pool and a trainer pool, along with fitness and leisure facilities.

Part of the Town Hall will also be kept and refurbished to create a new library and council offices and the Town Hall’s iconic frontage and the baths chimney, listed Grade II, will also be restored.

Chris Tredget, managing director for Willmott Dixon in North London, said the company was delighted to be working with Ealing.

Mr Tredget said: “We are delighted to be working with Ealing Council to regenerate another part of Acton by redeveloping the Town Hall.

“We have a long track record in Ealing and are looking forward to adding to that with the improved Acton Town Hall that will be a new focal point on the main high street.”

What is your reaction to the multi-million regeneration project in Ealing that will benefit local communities and pave the way for new jobs in the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Babatunde Ayodele talks about electrical training with T4TS

Babatunde Ayodele is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Babatunde to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Babatunde via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills  

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New Trade Jobs as Cameron and Clegg Boost Planning Reform

“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.”

Housing stimulus package includes:

  • 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.

 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: George Rees talks about electrical training with T4TS

George Rees  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed George to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with George via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills  

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Jonathan Walker talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Jonathan Walker  is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Jonathan to find out how his plumbing  course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Jonathan via AudioBoo at:www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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PLANNING MAJOR CHANGES TO CREATE NEW JOBS

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.

What are your thoughts about George Osborne’s announcement? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Justin Hancock talks about electrical training with T4TS

Justin Hancock  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Justin to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Justin via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills  

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Danny Hardwick talks about electrical training with T4TS

Danny Hardwick  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Danny to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Danny via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills  

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Gary Slater talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Gary Slater  is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Gary to find out how his plumbing  course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Gary via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Lincoln Bradstock talks about electrical training with T4TS Part 2

Lincoln Bradstock  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Lincoln to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Lincoln via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills  

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Lincoln Bradstock talks about electrical training with T4TS

Lincoln Bradstock  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Lincoln to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Lincoln via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills  

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Daily Mirror Boost for ATL as Prof Trades Up to Success

“The Man who Swapped Science for Plumbing”

A redundant scientist  is earning ‘top’ money in the plumbing industry after taking a training course with  top trades’ school ATL, the Daily Mirror has revealed.  

Leading trade skills provider ATL made news across the country today after laboratory scientist Steve Banks hung up his test tubes and went looking for a way to turn his life round.

And Steve, aged 43, who has two sons, Mathew and Daniel, as well as a three-year old girl Ruby and lives with his wife, Naomi, said he wished he had taken the plunge years ago.

Steve told the Daily Mirror: “I started looking around for courses I could do in my own time while carrying on working and asking people for recommendations and found that ATL had a very good reputation.”

When Steve was made redundant in 2009, he had almost completed his plumbing course and was about to set up his own business… Now he earns about £45,000 a year, much more than in his previous job.

Steve said: “It was great really, I got so much confidence from the course that my business grew through word of mouth.”

Altogether, Steve from Letchworth, Herts, spent about £6,500 from his redundancy money on his training. “This was a lifetime investment for me and it is paying off.”

Steve says that he is a very practical person who always enjoys doing things with his hands. He used to help his father who was working in the building trades before he retired.

Like every new thing, Steve admits that his business was slow to start with, but soon people began to ring him, saying that a friend had recommended his services. Now he is thinking of employing extra people to help him.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Bernard Gunga talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Bernard Gunga is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Bernard to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Bernard via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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A social way to raise £4.5bn 340,000 New Trade Jobs

Many Victorian homes across England which were used for social housing in the slump are to be sold off to raise a £4.5 billion investment to fund the largest social house building programme in England since the 1970s.

Selling social houses worth more than £177,000, the median house price in England, will raise billions of pounds that could be used to build  more than 100,000 new  homes every year, creating up to 340,000 new jobs in the building engineering industry, a new report by the UK’s leading think tank, Policy Exchange, revealed today.

The think tank says that selling off social housing worth more than the average property in each region* could create an unprecedented housing building scheme which will generate thousands of jobs for trade professionals, including electricians, plumbers and gas-engineers.

According to the report, named “Ending Expensive Social Tenancies”, urging the sale of social housing in more expensive areas and the reinvestment of funds to build more homes will bring economic growth and raise significant financial investment each year.

The scheme is set to reduce the housing waiting list by between 250,000 to 600,000 households in five years.

The report found:

  • Expensive social housing accounts for over a fifth (21.8%) of the total social housing stock in the UK.  This equates to 816,000 out of a total of 3.78 million properties.
  • London has the highest proportion of stock (30.7%) and the North East contains the lowest (14.8%)*
  • The total value of expensive social housing is £159 billion. London contains social housing worth £71.9bn while the North East has £4.4bn worth of expensive social housing stock
  • Approximately 3.5% of this stock becomes vacant a year due to people moving out or dying. This means that the government could sell a total of 28,500 properties on the open market each year. This raises £5.5 billion a year.
  • After paying off the debt held against the stock, the total figure raised is £4.5billion.

*The percentage of expensive social housing above the median value varies by region (adjusted by bedroom size)

Region Total Number Percentage Value of properties above median
North East 40,552 14.8 £4.44bn
East Midlands 43,924 15.8 £5.4bn
West Midlands 70,290 16.5 £9.73bn
North West 103,044 18.6 £11.8bn
Yorkshire and the Humber 79,516 19.3 £9.23bn
South West 56,883 20.1 £8.83bn
South East 97,019 22.1 £19.bn
East of England 97,760 26.0 £17.bn
London 227,794 30.7 £71.97bn
Total 816,000 21.6 £159.3bn

What is your reaction to the new proposals to sell off expensive social housing and build hundreds of thousands new homes every year? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Mobolaji Okikiolu talks about plumbing training with T4TS Part 2

Mobolaji Okikiolu is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Mobolaji to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Mobolaji via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Mobolaji Okikiolu talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Mobolaji Okikiolu is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Mobolaji to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Mobolaji via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Jayson Singh talks about plumbing training with T4TS Part 2

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You can listen to the full interview with Jayson via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Jayson Singh talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Jayson Singh is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Jayson to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Jayson via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Colin Masterson talks about electrical training with T4TS Part 2

Colin Masterson is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Colin to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Colin via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Train4TradeSkills Radio: Colin Masterson talks about electrical training with T4TS

Colin Masterson is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Colin to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Colin via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=102531396 key=key-25m65sojwg1s38iym8xs mode=list]

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Simon Fiddyment talks about electrical training with T4TS Part 2

Simon Fiddyment  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Simon to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Simon via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Good News for the Trades: Millions of Funding to Create New Jobs

“Hundreds of plumbers, electricians and gas engineers to benefit from the investment”

Millions of funding to get low carbon heating into peoples’ homes, including into hundreds of social houses across the nation, is still up for grabs according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Local authorities, housing associations and registered providers of social housing are being urged to benefit from the millions of pounds available from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP).

The scheme will replace more renewable heating systems, including biomass boilers, solar hot water panels and heat pumps, creating new employment opportunities for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

The RHPP has reopened thanks to the high value for money of projects already allocated funding under the scheme which will make tenants’ homes warmer, cosier and far more energy efficient.

Today, the DECC announced that up to £2.5 million of additional funding will be allocated under this element of the scheme.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “We have already awarded nearly £5 million to 72 projects under this year’s scheme, helping householders stay warm this winter and move away from expensive old heating systems to new clean renewable ones.

“But the high value for money of the bids we have received to date means that there is still money up for grabs and I would urge social landlords across the nation to apply and take advantage of all this scheme has to offer.”

The closing date for applications is 9 October 2012 and successful bidders will be announced shortly afterwards. You can find out more about the scheme and how to apply from here.

What is your reaction to the reopening the of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme which will bring financial investment to the trades and create new jobs in the industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Simon Fiddyment talks about electrical training with T4TS

Simon Fiddyment  is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Simon to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Simon via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=102344818 key=key-wwl15k6geg1b1fecsu0 mode=list]

New Leak Testing System to Save Plumbers Money and Time

A new leak detection system which will enable plumbers to accurately identify damaged water pipes has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield.

The ground-breaking invention in the plumbing industry is set to significantly improve leak detection, reduce wasted water supply and help plumbers save both, time and money in carrying out repairs.

The new pipes testing system works by transmitting pressure waves along them and sends back a signal if it passes any leaks or cracks in the pipes’ surface. The strength of that signal can then be analysed to determine the location and the size of the leak.

According to the Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT) as much as 40 per cent of water supply is being lost through leaky pipes each year. The invention has been developed in partnership with the University’s Department of Civil Structural Engineering (DCSE) and Yorkshire Water

The device has now been trialled at Yorkshire Water’s field operators training site in Bradford and results show that it offers a reliable and accurate method of leak testing. Leaks in cast iron pipes were located accurately to within one metre, while leaks in plastic pipes were located even more precisely, to within 20cm, the University said in a statement today.

Commenting on the invention, Dr James Shucksmith, who led the trial at the DCSE, said: “We are very excited by the results we’ve achieved so far: we are able to identify the location of leaks much more accurately and rapidly than existing systems are able to, meaning water companies will be able to save both time and money in carrying out repairs.”

Dr Shucksmith explained that the system has already delivered very promising results at Yorkshire Water and that they look forward to find an industrial partner to develop the device to the point where it can be manufactured commercially.

What is your reaction to the leak detention system that will help plumbers identify pipe leaks quicker and more accurately? Share your thoughts about the environmental effects of the new invention by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Funding for Lending to Boost Businesses and Create Jobs in the Trades

The Treasury has officially opened the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) which will enable businesses to grow and borrow money at a cheaper interest rate for up to four years.

The scheme will deliver economic growth and increase infrastructure investment to the UK which will create jobs for trade professionals including electricians, plumbers and gas engineers.

Commenting on the FLS Chancellor George Osborne said that the scheme will provide lasting benefits for thousands of people in Britain and boost the economy.

Mr Osborne 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.”

It is expected that banks currently offering loans through the National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS) will continue to offer their NLGS branded product.

The Chancellor said: “The NLGS has made a real difference, with over 16,000 cheaper loans worth over £2.5bn already offered to businesses across the UK. In many cases, the money saved has meant an extra person employed who otherwise still might be looking for work.

“The more generous FLS has officially opened for business and will in time effectively take over from the NLGS, delivering credit easing to the whole economy.”

Do your predictions correspond to Chancellor’s indications for economic growth and more jobs? What do you think about the FLS? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Colin Glover talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Colin Glover is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Colin to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Colin via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=101839339 key=key-11odjv1wnf4kxk43vpyw mode=list]

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Ahmad Shahraei talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Ahmad Shahraei is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Ahmad to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Ahmad via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=101630252 key=key-ly0xl3nup5rxl5zlcc4 mode=list]

£82 million refurbishment Scheme, Vale of Glamorgan, to Create New Trade Jobs

“Electricians, gas engineers and trade professionals to benefit from the housing scheme”

Thousands of homes in the Vale of Glamorgan will be renovated as the Council appoints four building contractors to deliver £82 million refurbishment scheme that will create new jobs for plumbers, electricians and trade professionals.

Work on the multi-million scheme will include renewal of kitchens, bathrooms, rewiring, heating systems, windows, doors and roof systems.

The four-and-a-half year programme, which is due to start in September 2012, will see all council homes in the Vale brought up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standar (WHQS).

The winning contractors, Lovell Partnerships, Ian Williams, Apollo Property Services and SMK Building & Maintenance, were appointed after an extensive procurement exercise, the Council said in a statement.

Leader of the Council, Neil Moore, welcomed the appointment of the four contractors, emphasising the wider economic benefits to the local economy, paving the way for more employment opportunities in the trades and the creation of new jobs.

Mr Moore said: “We have appointed experienced contractors to deliver this programme and I am confident that tenants will be pleased with the work that is carried out.

“Not only will all council properties be upgraded, but there will be wider benefits delivered by increasing local jobs and apprenticeships in the area and spending the local pound within the Vale. This is good news for the local economy.”

The Vale of Glamorgan Council said that some of the refurbishment work will be undertaken by its own building services department, mainly on sheltered housing accommodation across the Vale.

What is your reaction to the £82 million renovation scheme which will improve living standards and bring more employment opportunities for people in the trades? Let us know what you think by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Robert Searle talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Robert Searle is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Robert to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Robert via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=101517032 key=key-1ta3v1dvr3bngm79gpmf mode=list]

 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Mick Mills talks about renewable energy training with T4TS Part 2

Mick Mills is training to become an engineer with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Mick to find out how his renewable energy course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Mick via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=100814233 key=key-2by76dvtlbkwqi04khzv mode=list]

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Mick Mills talks about renewable energy training with T4TS

Mick Mills is training to become an engineer with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Mick to find out how his renewable energy course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Mick via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=100588986 key=key-2598v5zpt8bl0chvdcdm mode=list]

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Simon Keyte talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Simon Keyte is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Simon to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Simon via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=100424079 key=key-1h6tr2tve2zf4o211oeg mode=list]

 

 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Philip Grisman talks about plumbing training with T4TS Part 2

Philip Grisman is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Philip to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Philip via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=99983270 key=key-1bcvarhmyra6m4bqbqx8 mode=list]

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Philip Grisman talks about plumbing training with T4TS Part 1

Philip Grisman is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Philip to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Philip via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=99898383 key=key-25g7xedqre9lc56g60wh mode=list]

Support for Self-Build Homes Will Help Builders

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has given the green light to a £30 million investment programme which will enable aspiring builders to build their own homes, offering exclusive access to funding and Government-owned land in seven locations across England.

The announcement is an attempt by the government to tackle country’s housing crisis and boost economic growth. The £30 million scheme will offer short-term loans and funding to builders, community groups and other small organisations looking to start self-build projects.

Commenting on the building investment programme, Housing Minister Shapps said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce the first seven sites with plots available exclusively for self-builders, as well as £30 million to offer short-term loans to help communities get their projects off the ground.

“This first-ever package of self-build support will help to achieve our goal to double the size of the industry over the next few years, but I want us to go further still. The new national planning rules require councils to consider the needs of self-builders in their area, and I would urge authorities across the country to look to Cherwell and the innovative work there as an exciting example of how this can be achieved.”

Public sector land for up to 60 homes will be made available in Cornwall – making it the nation’s first-ever large-scale self-build plot.

Mr Shapps praised the work of councils across the country that are looking to give as many local people as possible the opportunity to build their own homes – including on dedicated sites.

The Planning Minister also confirmed the rest of the sites which will be made available for builders to bid. They are:

  • Kingsweir and Torpoint, Bristol
  • Spencers Park, Hemel Hempstead
  • Pleasley Colliery, Bolsover
  • Upper Tuesley Milford, Surrey
  • Wilson Road, Hanford, Stoke-on-Trent
  • Chase Avenue, Walton Park, Milton Keynes

What is your reaction on the £30 million investment programme which will enable builders to build their own building projects? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page:

Green Deal to Improve Energy Efficiency and Create New Jobs

 

As part of the Green Deal, the Government has set out a new legislation which will help the energy industry enhance customer protection and improve energy efficiency in the UK, the Department of Energy and Climate Change revealed this week. 

The rising cost of gas and electricity as well as millions of energy inefficient homes across the UK have urged the Government to bring the second phase of the Green Deal into operation, boosting the low carbon economy and supporting up to 60, 000 jobs in the insulation industry.

An additional investment of £1.3 billion a year to develop heating measures across the UK is expected to be announced by Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, later this week.

Commenting on the new legislation Mr Davey said: “I am determined to make sure that, in addition to creating huge opportunities for Green Deal providers and businesses along with thousands of new jobs, this new market in energy efficiency will deliver the very best deal for consumers.”

He explained that the new legislation will allow the energy industry to implement the Green Deal and improve energy efficiency, making sure that the most vulnerable homes are benefiting from the scheme.

The Energy and Climate Change Secretary said: “We have listened very carefully to what industry, consumer groups, and other organisations have told us. Broad support for a managed, tested and careful introduction of the Green Deal fits exactly with our objective to provide an excellent customer experience from day one and a market where a range of new players can readily participate.”

What is your reaction to the new legislation of the Green Dean that will improve energy efficiency and boost employment across the UK? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page. 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Aqual Khaira talks about plumbing training with T4TS Part 2

Aqual Khaira is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Aqual to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Aqual via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=96803766 key=key-8rkgx3gte7zrclgqzyc mode=list]

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Allan Evans talks about electrical training with T4TS Part 1

Allan Evans is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Allan to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Allan via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills   

[scribd id=94783338 key=key-1k9yuau8ni7225ufy4lo mode=list]

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Louis Blache talks about plumbing training with T4TS, Part 2

Louis Blache is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Louis to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to Louis’s Interview from Train4TradeSkills Radio via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills    

[scribd id=90996484 key=key-21ve8r9p3oq2hbnzkx2p mode=list]

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Louis Blache talks about plumbing training with T4TS, Part 1

Louis Blache is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Louis to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to Louis’s Interview from Train4TradeSkills Radio via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills    

[scribd id=90774090 key=key-14tfmbjk56zn1hiimqx2 mode=list]

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