Posts tagged Britain

Inward investment on the rise as Olympics brings £2.5bn to UK economy

Inward investment on the rise as Olympics brings £2.5bn to UK economy

Britain’s Olympics has delivered a £2.5 billion boost in foreign direct investment (FDI) over the past year, bringing with it more than 31,000 jobs, according to preliminary figures published today.

The investment projects generated following the 2012 Olympics’ British Business Embassy programme of global business summits have helped ensure that the UK has again retained its position as the leading European destination for foreign direct investment.

The preliminary data published today at the Global Investment Conference shows that during 2012-13, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) recorded 1,462 projects which brought with them or safeguarded 163,489 jobs. Of these 58,170 are new jobs – beating both the quantity of investment attracted and employment secured in the previous year.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron joined other high profile delegates from 40 countries at the Global Investment Conference, including the German and Canadian finance Ministers, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, global chief executive officers, sovereign wealth funds representatives and corporate investors.

Senior Ministers Chancellor George Osborne, Energy Secretary Ed Davey, Trade Minister Lord Green, Treasury Ministers Greg Clark and Lord Deighton and London Mayor Boris Johnson also spoke to delegates about the UK’s compelling offer as both a hub for global growth and an international investment destination.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “Foreign investment creates hundreds of thousands of jobs and helps to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the UK economy. It’s a vital strand of the Government’s plan for growth.

“The 2012 Olympics were a once in a generation opportunity for the UK to showcase to the world Britain’s compelling investment offer and these preliminary figures are very encouraging. Despite strong competition from our traditional competitors and emerging economies, Britain has retained its position as the leading destination for foreign direct investment in Europe.

“To retain the UK’s enviable position as one of the most attractive global locations of choice, Britain will need to continue to work hard to attract high value foreign investment in the coming year and beyond.“

The preliminary data published today compares favourably with last year’s 1406 recorded projects (4% increase) and 112,659 jobs (45% increase). Of the 163,489 jobs, 58,170 are new jobs and 105,319 safeguarded jobs. UKTI and its partners were involved in delivering nearly 84% of the projects. Full results will be published in July.

Government commits £1bn investment to build 10,000 new homes

Government reveals £1bn build-to-rent fund set to deliver 10,000 new homesHousing Minister Mark Prisk announced today that up to 10,000 new homes could be built by 2015 that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

The minister announced the first 45 projects to be taken forward using the £1 billion Build to Rent Fund which will provide equity finance to house builders and developers.

Mr Prisk said that the innovative new projects, a quarter of which are for London, will be the first step toward creating a more balanced rental market, driven by quality instead of demand.

The Build to Rent Fund is designed to help developers invest in homes built specifically for private rent by reducing the up-front risk in a relatively untested market.

A first round of projects will now receive a share of £700 million government investment package, with a second round of bids for the remaining fund expected to open later this year.

Projects going forward in this round have the potential to deliver between 8,000 and 10,000 homes, and include:

  • Genesis Housing Association, with plans for new rental homes around London
  • Place First, along with Together Housing Group, who will be building across Northern England
  • Crest Nicholson, who intend to bring a significant number of homes to market over many sites across the country

Mr Prisk said that the varied mix of developers, from brand new organisations and small housing providers to long-established developers, will bring new blood into a market currently dominated by small-scale buy-to-let landlords, and will help to give tenants more choice when choosing a home in the future.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This government is determined to get Britain building, and the Build to Rent Fund is set to help us deliver, with up to 10,000 new homes to be built from these projects.

“We’ve seen overwhelming demand for the fund, and it’s become clear that there’s a real appetite for rental investment. We want to support that, which is why we’ve made a £1 billion Budget boost to the fund.

“Now, these new projects will help us map this almost uncharted market, bringing in new blood to improve rental quality and choice, and building the new homes that this country wants and needs.”

What is your reaction to the new £1bn build-to-rent fund that will deliver 10,000 new homes and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Building trade given £30m boost to get projects off the ground

Building trade given £30m boost to get projects off the groundThe Government has backed a £30 million investment package to help small construction businesses secure credit from B&Q and Screwfix via their TradeUK credit scheme.

The pilot scheme will help small and sole trader construction businesses to secure credit from B&Q and Screwfix stores that will allow them to bid for bigger construction projects in the future.

Customers of B&Q TradePoint and Screwfix, part of the Kingfisher Group, can now apply for a credit account of up to £25,000, where previously they may have struggled to secure credit due to a lack of security or adequate credit history. Existing trade customers will be able to apply to extend their accounts for credit of up to £50,000.

Previously, these viable businesses would only have been eligible for credit of up to £3,000 from Screwfix or B&Q, making it harder for them to take on projects due to being unable to afford the upfront costs of the materials. Kingfisher is able to support the additional lending as a result of it being backed by a government guarantee.

The pilot is the result of work between the government and Kingfisher to adapt the existing Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme to widen access to funding and provide alternatives to bank lending. Business Minister Michael Fallon will now be writing to other companies offering them an opportunity to take part in the pilot scheme and offer their customers access to this new source of finance.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “Builders and tradesmen are experiencing a real bottleneck when it comes to accessing credit, and projects are being held up unnecessarily. This pilot is an innovative attempt to make a real difference for the sector.

“Britain’s builders have a vital role to play in delivering growth in this country and we’re determined to get behind them.”

Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher, said: “By piloting this new scheme we are backing Britain and backing the country’s professional tradesmen.

“Access to credit and control of cashflow is vital for smaller tradesmen, so we are pleased that Screwfix and B&Q will be able to make it easier for more of their trade customers to get credit through this innovative new scheme. By backing Britain’s tradesmen we can boost spending on the home and help get the economy moving again.”

The pilot allows Kingfisher to give credit to trade businesses it would normally have to turn away, by sharing the risk through providing government guarantees of 75 per cent on its lending. As well as allowing Kingfisher to lend to viable businesses outside its present risk profile, the scheme also allows it to lend more to existing businesses.

The pilot has been designed so there is no new administrative burden to Kingfisher. All credit decisions will be made by Kingfisher based on existing processes, and customers and frontline staff will see no difference to the trade credit application.

Advanced manufacturing supply chain fund to create thousands of new jobs

Advanced manufacturing supply chain fund to create thousands of new jobs

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced £213 million of industry investment that will improve UK’s manufacturing supply chain and create 11, 000 new jobs.

In addition to the thousands of new jobs that will be created through the multi-million investment, some 5,000 existing jobs are set to be safeguarded.

Over £73 million has been awarded from Round 2 of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) to 12 national supply chain projects, and a further £140 million will be invested by business.

The scheme was open to bids from all manufacturing sectors as the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced an additional £120 million in the Autumn Statement for two further rounds of AMSCI funding.

Examples of winning bids include the creation of a ‘National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme’ led by the Aerospace Growth Partnership to address skills shortages and improve R&D collaboration in the aerospace sector.

The £35 million project will create nearly 5,000 jobs in the supply chain. Another successful bid, led by David Brown Gear Systems in Huddersfield, will position the UK as a world leader in the creation of large gearboxes for the next generation of offshore wind turbines.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Boosting jobs and growth is my number one priority to build a stronger economy. This investment will secure Britain’s future as a world leader in industries like cars, where we have traditionally taken the lead, and new technologies such as wind turbine gears and semiconductor chips.”

What is your reaction to the investment announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to improve the manufacturing supply chain and create thousands of new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Get Britain Building for Jobs and Growth

A group of British builders and influential trade associations have launched a new campaign to encourage economic growth and create new jobs in the construction industry.

The “Jobs for Growth” programme, which was officially launched today, is now the UK’s biggest coalition of companies making the case for investment in the building of new homes to quickly stimulate growth and generate jobs.

The organisation is targeting specific areas in the UK construction sector, reaffirming that there are significant benefits for investing in housebuilding and infrastructure projects.

For example, every £1 spent in construction generates £2.84 in economic activity, whilst 92% of the investment is retained in the UK, supporting manufacturing and the skills which the country needs.

Jobs for Growth founder Mike Leonard said: “The UK needs jobs and growth, and building our way out of recession is now the only solution left to Government.

“After a golden summer of sporting achievement, we need to capture some of that Olympic spirit, positivity and determination and go for gold in Jobs and Growth.”

Mr Leonard said: “Over the coming months we will work closely with all our local and national politicians, banks and other decision influencers to build the case for Jobs and Growth.

“We have the demand, the will, the land, the materials and the skills to make this happen. With the same level of focus, commitment and pride demonstrated by our athletes this summer, the building industry can lead Britain out of recession.”

What is your reaction to the new “Jobs and Growth” campaign promoting construction led recovery? 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.

Olympic Investment Event to Create Jobs and Bring Economic Boost to Britain

Speaking today at the largest trade and investment event ever held in Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron said that the £8 billion development of the Battersea Power Station in South West London will create 20, 000 jobs during its construction.

The mixed development will contain homes, office space, a hotel and retail space and will see the Northern Line extended with a new transportation hub at the Power Station site.

The Global Investment Conference, launched by the Prime Minister, is the first of a series of global business summits being held in London to showcase the UK during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The event is expected to generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs for people in the trades.

The conference kicks off the largest and most ambitious set of trade events held in Britain. During the six weeks of the Games, the British Business Embassy will host 17 global business summits that will bring over £1 billion of deals and projects.

These events will allow more than 4,000 business leaders and politicians to exchange views and ideas, discuss local and international economic challenges as well as develop strong global partnerships for future growth and showcase the best of British business to the world.

Chancellor George Osborne said: “Britain has always been a country that is open to the world. In hosting the Olympic Games, we are showcasing that openness. As we welcome the world’s best athletes, we also welcome the world’s best companies – so that they can succeed, invest, and create jobs in Britain.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Tomorrow we welcome the world to London as the 2012 Olympic Games get underway. This summer is more than just a great sporting spectacle – it is an unrivalled opportunity to promote the best of British industry and make the most of our openness to foreign trade and investment.”

This month, the UN’s World Investment Report showed that the UK had retained its place as the number one destination in Europe for inward investment. The report showed that there were almost 60,000 new jobs created last year as a result of inward investment.

 

What is your reaction to the Global Investment Conference that could bring billions of pounds to the UK economy?  How much of an impact will the Olympics have on your business? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

The Olympic Venue is an Excellent Showcase for British Construction Industry

As London is about to host the 2012 Olympic Games next month, the UK’s construction sector could benefit from this summer’s excellent completion of the Olympic venue and one of the greatest showcases on the Earth to bid for major international project in the future.

The opening of the Olympic Games will signal to the world, and future host cities of sport events, Britain’s success in delivering seven billion pound worth of Olympic infrastructure on time and budget.

John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) explained the success of London 2012 will reinforce Britain’s building construction credentials in overseas markets.

Mr Armitt also commented that the Olympics are an opportunity to build Britain’s self-confidence as a country. British businesses and trade professional could benefit from major projects in some of the world fastest growing economy, including Qatar.

Over the next decade the Gulf state will develop US $140 billion worth of major projects in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. British companies will be able to benefit from these commercial opportunities and pursue the investment potential which their businesses need.

Do you agree the building construction industry will benefit from the Olympic legacy and widen its international operations? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice in our Facebook page.

A Multi Million Private Investment to Create New Jobs

 

The Halite Energy Group is planning to develop an underground gas storage facility in Lancashire that will create thousands of new jobs in the construction engineering industry, a report by economic development and regeneration consultants says.

The Preesall Gas Storage Economic Impact Report  shows that the £660 million investment at Preessall, Lancashire, could create over 3,000 jobs at its peak and support additional employment across the UK. Building the proposed gas storage facility, which will almost double UK’s storage capacity, is expected create 1200 jobs every year with total duration of construction work of 8 years.

Halite Energy Group is seeking permission by the Planning Inspectorate to build 19 caverns for the storage of natural gas as the final decision is expected to be made by the Secretary of State early next year.

Commenting on the report Dr John Roberts CBE, chairman of Halite said: “There is an urgent need to bring forward major infrastructure schemes such as the one we are proposing to stimulate growth and provide much needed jobs in the UK.”

Tony Attard OBE, Chairman of the Institute of Directors for the North West, said: “This project will improve our energy security, create jobs and provide a boost to businesses in Lancashire and the North West. Britain needs more gas storage, and it’s essential that projects such as these go ahead at full speed to reduce the likelihood of damaging gas price spikes. We simply can’t take risks with the security of our energy supplies.”

What is your opinion about the new gas storage facility in Lancashire that will create more jobs in the engineering industry? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or adding your voice on our Facebook Page

Masterplan for 5000 New Homes Will Boost the Building Construction Industry

The London Borough of Enfield has launched a consultation on the Masterplan for Meridian Water that could see 5,000 new homes build and create 3,000 new jobs.

The new development, which has the potential to become one of the largest eco-developments in Britain, has been designed to create new opportunities for canal and riverside homes in North London.

The £1.3 billion development will pave the way for building construction work, creating new jobs for trade professionals in the building construction industry.

Enfield Council has launched a public consultation on the 82 hectares site in Edmonton, currently occupied by a former industrial building, Construction News Reported today.

The council is looking for public input about the project and the consultation will run until the beginning of August 2012, seeking the opinions of investors, stakeholders, residents and local businesses. The Council said it was planning to work closely with potential developers in order to share the future vision of the area.

The current proposals aim to set ambitious targets for sustainability, including plans for a comprehensive district heating network. Meridian Water will also deliver improvements to public transport including improved rail services on the line connecting the area to Liverpool Street and Stratford.

The Local Authority member for Business and Regeneration, Councillor Del Goddard said:  “Meridian Water is the most significant contribution to the transformation of Edmonton and it will play a significant role in driving the expansion of north London for decades to come.”

Under the masterplan written by the London Development Agency (LDA) the projects will be a significant boost for the local economy and diverse sectors of employment.

The LDA Design’s director of urban design Colin James said: “This masterplan is the first step towards bringing forward Enfield council’s vision for creating new high quality, energy efficient housing and breathing new life into employment areas. ”

What is your view of the Meridian Water Masterplan that could build 5,000 new homes and create 3,000 new jobs? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or on our Facebook page: 

The Growth of Green Industry is Vital for UK’s Economic Recovery

“Green Investment should play a key role in the UK’s economic recovery” states a new report by the Environment Audit Committee published today.

The new report, “A Green Economy” reinforces calls by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) for the Government to put renewable energy at the heart of its economic recovery and employment strategy.

The Report on employment and skills in the UK renewable energy published last month showed that there were over 100,000 people employed in renewable sector across Britain, generating a turnover of £12.5 billion last year alone.

However, the REA is warning that there is a danger for Britain not to fulfil its full potential because of serious skills shortages and uncertainties in the policy framework.

The organisation which represents renewable energy producers in the UK, says that 400,000 people will be needed in the sector by 2020 to meet binding EU targets, suggesting that the renewable industry will need a skilful workforce to deal with continually increasing demand.

Chief Executive of the REA, Gaynor Hartnell, said that the government needs to understand the potential benefits of renewable energy investment.

Ms Hartnell said: “Several countries, from America to Japan to Germany, have realised that taking the long-term view and investing in renewables is a significant step on the route out of economic malaise. The UK renewables industry wants to work with the Coalition Government to realise the huge contribution our sector can make to jobs, growth and prosperity.”

Do you agree that renewable energy investment is a key factor that will pave the way for more jobs and an economic recovery? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or adding your voice on our Facebook Page

Hague Urges Ministers to Boost Green Growth

William Hague has told ministers that the government should do more to help green industries in order to boost economic growth in Britain, the Guardian Newspaper reported today.

The Guardian has seen a private letter to the Prime Minister in which the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, called upon his cabinet colleagues to place a “stronger political emphasis” and show global leadership on the low carbon economy that will deliver green growth and create new jobs.

The letter argues that government ministers should keep a greater focus on environmental issues, boost the renewable industry which will boost economic growth and deliver modern infrastructure.

Mr Hague said: “I believe we should reframe our response to climate change as an imperative for growth rather than merely being a way of being green or meeting environmental commitments.

“The low carbon economy is at the leading edge of a structural shift now taking place globally, we need to stay abreast of this, given our need for an export-led recovery and for inward investment in modern infrastructure and advanced manufacturing.” added the Foreign Secretary.

He said: “We will not secure a binding agreement in 2015 unless the idea of low carbon growth becomes dominant across the major economies before then,” but the foreign secretary adds that “We can leverage this. But our diplomacy will only succeed if it is rooted in our own domestic narrative.”

According to the Guardian, the letter does not specifically criticise the coalition’s green agenda, and actively praises policies such as the Green Investment Bank and imminent electricity market reforms.

What is your reaction to the letter by Foreign Secretary, William Hague to help green industries boost Britain’s economy? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

UK-GBC Urges the Government to Stimulate Green Growth

The UK’s Green Business Building Council (UK-GBC) has urged the government to show renewed leadership on green issues which will create more jobs and encourage economic growth.  

Appropriate government intervention in energy schemes, more incentives for the development of green infrastructure and strong support for businesses across Britain should be the key priorities for the government to get Britain’s economy back on track, according to the Chief Executive of UK-GBC, Paul King.

The CEO thinks that despite the current economic difficulties in the construction industry, the government could do more to help economic recovery by making sustainable investment into the green economy.

He said: “The construction sector is suffering at the moment but it could play a key role in getting the UK’s economy back on track – with energy efficiency and green infrastructure central to economic recovery. Unfortunately, deregulation is not a miracle cure – in fact we probably need greater intervention from Government – for example bringing in incentives like reduced Stamp Duty to encourage households to take up the Green Deal, and helping the commercial sector cut energy use.”

Responding to the Queen’s Speech to Parliament, Mr King said: “We really need to see the Energy Bill announced today provide a vehicle for the long-awaited roll-out of Display Energy Certificates, which would help UK businesses save money.”

Do you think the government could do more to help the growth of Britain’s economy? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:   


The Government Will Ease Building of New Homes

A new report published today by MPs has identified enough public land, such as empty offices, unused storage and empty public service buildings, to build more than 100,000 homes.

The report which was prepared by the Commons Communities Select Committee has found that 230,000 households are forming each year, but in 2011 only 110,000 new homes were built, showing that demand had outstripped supply of newly built houses.

Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, welcomed the findings of the committee and agreed that the government needs to take decisive action to support the building of more new homes over the next coming years.

The Conservative Minister commented that the government is the biggest public sector owner of public land and as such, it is fair to make the best use of its assets to help the building of more homes across Britain.

Mr Shapps said: “We’re already on track to smash the Prime Minister’s ambition to release previously-used public land for housing: enough land has already been identified to support more than 102,000 homes. But we’re not stopping there – I’m determined to continue looking for more sites suitable for housebuilding.”

To help developers make the most of the sites on offer, Mr Shapps will also look to extend the use of the innovative “Build Now, Pay Later” deal to as many previously-used sites as possible, allowing them to start work on thousands of new homes without the initial expense of buying the land, the Deportment for Communities and Local Government said today.

The report also states that ministers are committed to make information about surplus public land freely available and help local people see the opportunities which exist in their area.

What is your reaction to the government’s commitment to help the building of more homes across Britain? How would you or your business benefit from these proposals? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Prime Minister Cameron supports the Renewable Energy Sector

Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed a £350 million investment for energy projects which will create hundreds of new jobs across the UK, the official website of Number 10 Downing Street announced today.

The Prime Minister, who attended Clean Energy Ministerial Conference in London, told ministers from the world’s most polluting countries that he passionately believed in the rapid growth of renewable energy.

Mr Cameron emphasised the contribution that Britain has already made in the renewable energy sector, Britain has invested a total value of £4.7 billion and supported 15,000 jobs in the UK’s renewable industry

He said: “Renewables are now the fastest growing energy source on the planet. And I am proud that Britain has played a leading role at the forefront of this green energy revolution.

“Britain has gone from virtually no capacity for renewables, to seeing them provide almost 10 per cent of our total electricity needs last year. And we’ve added more capacity for renewables in the last two years than at any time in the last decade.”

The Prime Minister said: “Our commitment and investment in renewable energy has helped to make renewable energy possible. Now we have a different challenge. We need to make it financially sustainable.”

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) welcomed the acknowledgment by the Prime Minister today that the renewables are the fastest growing energy sector in the world, but said that the government should understand better the benefits of renewable energy investment, including the creation of more jobs.

The Chairman at REA, Martin Wright, said:  “There is a tendency to focus on the costs of renewables as opposed to the benefits. Renewables give us energy independence, they are totally sustainable, there is no waste, and in the long term they will provide low cost energy and, above all, price stability.”

What is your reaction to the address by David Cameron to the renewable energy sector? Do you feel more optimistic about the future of renewables in the UK? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

Higher Education a Major Source of Work for the Construction Industry

Britain’s largest privately owned Housebuilding and Construction Company, Miller, has won building contracts worth £51 million at Bangor and Durham universities. Building and construction work at Bangor University will begin in May this year, continuing until 2014, whilst work in Durham will begin this month and is expected to be completed by September 2013.

Miller will build a £40 million art centre at Bangor University and carry out extension work at Durham University’s Business School.  As part of the £40 million investment at Bangor University, the construction firm will also build a studio theatre, cinema, restaurant, bars, a new students’ union building as well as additional learning and teaching space.

Chris Webster, Chief Executive of Miller Construction, told Construction News: “We are building a strong portfolio of projects in Higher Education and the contracts at Bangor University and Durham University provide us with the opportunity to reinforce our expertise and skills in this market.”

Research by the building firm Wates revealed last week that 79% of UK universities are planning to expand or make significant improvements to their existing buildings. Two thirds of universities are willing to spend more than £5 million on construction work in the future; the Higher Education Sector will be a major source of work for trade professionals and building contractors.

What’s your reaction to the expanding university infrastructure across the UK? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

 

Nick Clegg Announces Energy Saving Scheme

Today, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will announce that energy companies in Britain will be required to promote the cheapest available tariff to customers. Mr Clegg will say that under the current system 7 out of 10 people are paying more than they need to in energy bills due to little transparency in the formation of their bills or confusing regime of energy tariffs.    

Announcing the new scheme in Canary Wharf, London, the Deputy Prime Minister will enforce energy companies in Britain to inform their customers how to save up to £100 every year from their energy bills.

The energy industry regulator Ofgem published a review last year which concluded that the energy market works against consumers’ interest because it’s too complex.

Mr Clegg has secured the backing of the 6 major energy firms, EDF, E.ON, British Gas, Southern Energy, Scottish Power and Npower that supply 99% of British homes with energy. He will state the scheme will help millions of customers to make significant savings on their annual energy bills.

Deputy Prime Minister Clegg will say: “There are currently over 120 different tariffs, making it very difficult to know where to start. That is going to change.

“As of this autumn, your supplier will have to contact you with the best tariff for your needs – and if you call them, they’ll have to offer you the best deal too.”

What’s your opinion to the new scheme which will be launched today by Deputy Prime Minister Clegg to help customers save from their energy bills? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages: 

MP Mark Garnier: Training is Vital for Economic Prosperity in England

Member of Parliament (MP) Mark Garnier has been helping businesses across the West Midlands and his constituency of the Wyre Forest to bring more economic prosperity and create new jobs.

The latest event, organised by MP Garnier, was held in Kidderminster last week. The Wyre Forest Jobs Fair helped hundreds of people attending to connect with potential employers and find a job.  Mr Garnier, who entered politics because of his desire to contribute to peoples’ lives, explained that this event will make a significant difference to his constituency and boost economic growth.

Speaking at the event, Mr Garnier emphasised on the importance of having a skilful workforce that meets the demands and the expectations of private business investors. He described training as ‘vital’ for the future economic prosperity across Britain and its ability to compete with countries from the rest of the world, including Europe.

Mr Garnier said: “I think that the single most important thing we need to do is upskill the whole of our country. Our engineering legacy in this country is absolutely second to none. We have a fantastic legacy, but we have to recognise the fact that our competitors around the world are becoming to surpass us. Particularly in China, their engineering expertise is becoming far greater than ours which is a significant event in terms of our country’s development.”

Speaking about the manufacturing industry, which currently represents only 12% of country’s Gross Domestic Product, Mr Garnier said that there needs to be more training in order to equip people with the necessary skills and help the industry’s sustainable development.

He said: “Any successful economy will have a workforce that its training level meets the expectation of these private sector investors. Those private sector investors who are making the financial commitment, it is vital that when they make this financial commitment to their businesses, that the people who are employing are skilled enough in order to make that mix of capital skill work. ”

What the government could do to encourage people to train and upgrade their existing qualification in order to be more skilful and employable? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

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

London Heathrow Expansion Could Go Ahead

Plans to increase airport capacity in Britain and build a third runway at London Heathrow are likely to be supported by the government despite environmentalists’ concerns.

Both David Cameron and George Osborne, have reviewed their initial decision to rule out future expansion for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. It will deal with increased trade capacity and high volume of extra passengers –the Guardian reported yesterday.

Business leaders have expressed concerns that if a third runway at London Heathrow is not built, trade might move elsewhere in Europe which could have a negative effect on future economic growth in Britain.

Expansion in some of Britain’s largest airports would create work opportunities for thousands of people in the building construction industry, creating new jobs and boosting civil engineering recruitment.

In the Budget Statement last Wednesday, Chancellor George Osborne, said the government will optimise air capacity. It is expected a report on aviation policy to be published, aiming to help businesses to trade better and make further improvement into airport capacity.

Tim Yeo, the Tory Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, told the Guardian that he had “completely changed” his mind on the Heathrow expansion plans and now believed there was no option but to build a third runway; this will ensure that the south of England will remain a worldwide aviation hub.

The Prime Minister said that he recognises the need for expanding airport capacity in Britain and that the government is looking at ways of helping businesses to make the most of country’s aviation capacity.

Mr Cameron said: “I’m not blind to the need to increase airport capacity, particularly in the South-East” adding, “Gatwick is emerging as a business airport for London under a new owner, competing with Heathrow.”

What is your reaction to the expansion of airport capacity at London Heathrow? Do you think construction work at Britain’s major airports will help your business? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Cameron Supports the Renewable Industry

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has written to 100 Conservative MPs, who recently complained about wind farm subsidies and demanded cuts to the £500 million a year, paid to the wind power industry.

The 100 MPs, who wrote to the Prime Minister last month, expressed concerns that wind farm proposals are not welcomed by local residents and that they might damage the natural landscape of Britain.

The Prime Minister shared a robust defence of the government’s plans to continue with its commitment to support renewable energy projects across the UK. Mr Cameron echoed strong support for wind farm subsidies, describing them as vital investment for the creation of green jobs and reducing carbon emissions.

Mr Cameron said: “On-shore wind plays a role in a balanced UK electricity mix, alongside gas, nuclear, cleaner coal and other forms of renewable energy, a portfolio of different supplies enhances energy security and prevents the UK from becoming over-reliant on gas imports.”

However, Mr Cameron said he sympathised with local residents’ concerns but the national interest of Britain had to be considered in order to fulfil its commitment to meet targets for renewable energy and to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

 

What is your reaction to the Prime Minister’s support for the renewable industry? Are you more optimistic about the future of wind farms after Cameron’s backing?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Thousands of solar jobs have been saved today as the government lost its case to cut solar funding

Today, the solar industry has won an appeal against the government’s attempt to cut subsidies for solar panels in the UK.

Three judges today rejected the government’s decision to reduce renewable energy tariffs through which people in Britain are paid for the electricity they generate.

The Solar industry welcomed the news as a positive outcome for the entire renewable energy sector in Britain.

Ben Warren, a partner at Ernst and Young, told the BBC this morning that the decision from the court was a big breakthrough for the entire renewable sector across the country.

Mr Warren said: “This decision has very important implications for the whole renewable energy sector in the UK.”

The government proposed a new tariff of 21p per kilowatt-hour opposed to a previous tariff of 43p per Kilowatt-hour which sparked anger from environmental groups and installers across the country. The new changes were expected to come into effect from 1 April this year.

As the High Court ruled today that changing the tariffs in this way was “legally flawed”, the government should now re-consider its approach to providing funding for the renewable energy sector.

The proposed change to significantly cut solar subsidies had disappointed industry as it affected projects which have already been commissioned but not installed – costing businesses millions of pounds and thousands of jobs for people in the renewable industry.

Jeremy Leggett, chairman of Solarcentury, the UK’s leading solar energy company, expressed optimism about the court ruling said the news was a positive outcome for the entire renewable energy sector.

Mr Leggett said: “Today we have reminded government that it will be held to account when it acts illegally and tries to push through unlawful policy changes.

“We would much prefer not to have taken this path but ministers gave us no choice. Our hope now is that we can work together again to restore the thriving jobs-rich solar sector that has been so badly undermined by government actions since October.”

What is your opinion on the government’s attempt to reduce solar subsidies for the renewable energy sector? What would have been the drawback of such decision if the High Court had not recognised the issue in its ruling today? Share your thoughts be commenting below:

Business Leaders United for Infrastructure Projects in Britain

More than 100 business leaders, economists and MPs from all parties are pressing the government for more investment in infrastructure projects which will create hundreds of thousands jobs in the construction sector.

Letters to national newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Financial Times, call for a £17bn investment in High Speed 2 (HS2) between London and Birmingham which will create one million long-term British jobs.

A letter to the Daily Telegraph, which was signed by more than 100 business leader, states “We call on the government to approve plans for HS2 and to push ahead with its construction as soon as possible”.

The signatories come from a wide range of business interests including the likes of Simon Carr of Henry Boot, Naomi Connell of VolkerWessels, Paul Cook of Galliford Try, Chris Webster of Miller Construction and John Wood of Tolent Construction.

A letter in the Financial Times goes on to suggest that if Britain does not invest more into the infrastructure it will be left behind from other European countries.   The letter states: “The absence of a high-speed rail line connecting the north of England to London and the rest of the European Union is a continuous embarrassment to British businesses promoting UK plc overseas.”

The letter suggests that a high-speed rail, along with other major infrastructure projects in Britain, is crucial for giving confidence to businesses and stimulating economic growth in time of recession. It says: “Economic studies show that effective modes of transport, including high-speed rail, enable entrepreneurs to get their goods and services to market in a secure and timely manner and facilitate the movement of workers to the most suitable jobs.”

The group of businesses and economists urging the government to approve the rail link argue that it would be a boost for business, especially across the north of England, and will create jobs and ease transport overcrowding.

What is your reaction to business leaders pushing the government to approve plans for HS2 and its construction? Do you welcome the HS2 as an opportunity for you and your business? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below:

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