Posts tagged Business

Enterprise zones get £100m building boost

Enterprise zone activity gets £100m building boost

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced to increase the Government’s infrastructure investment in enterprise zones by £100 million that will create thousands of local jobs in the trades.

The investment package will help the thirteen enterprise zones to receive more money for 18 projects to build new service roads, car parking and other infrastructure, transforming ‘shovel ready sites into job ready sites’.

The fund, originally £60 million, is designed to help zones reach their real growth potential faster as economic engine rooms of local economies. Following a competitive bidding process the successful proposals will now undergo further testing to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.

Enterprise zones have already created 3,000 new jobs, attracted 126 businesses, generated 105,000 square metres of new commercial floorspace and secured almost £229 million of extra private sector investment.

In addition to this, 5 enterprise zones are also receiving £24 million to tackle traffic bottlenecks and road congestion near their site through Department for Transport funding.

Eric Pickles said: “Enterprise zones are stimulating job creation and economic growth in different parts of the country with their special package of incentives to attractive new business ventures.

“The government is putting its money where its mouth is and making sure enterprise zones have the buildings and infrastructure they need to make sites ready for business to set up in.

“Enterprise zones are proving extremely popular with business – they have already created over 3,000 jobs for local people – a 75% increase in just 5 months – and many more will be coming down the pipeline because of this new support.”

Andy Rose, Chief Executive at the Homes and Communities Agency, which is administering the fund, said: “The response from the enterprise zones to this investment opportunity demonstrates just how crucial upfront infrastructure is to development.

“It is great news that this additional investment means more priority sites can be funded than first thought, creating more jobs in the areas that need them.”

Today’s announcement is just one of range of steps the government has taken to rebalance the economy and support local businesses to grow and create jobs.

The government has reformed the way councils are funded so they have new incentives to go for growth and support local businesses. It has established 39 local enterprise partnerships that along with enterprise zones are able to access millions in government investment to support their local economy, including the £770 million Growing Places Fund and £2.4 billion Regional Growth Fund.

£300m boost for small and medium businesses

£300m boost for small and medium businessesThe Government has announced a £300 million funding boost to help small and medium sized businesses expand and create new jobs in the trades.   

Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) struggling to access finance received a boost today as the Business Secretary Vince Cable launched the first phase of the new business bank set to address long-standing gaps in the SME finance market.

The multi-million investment is the first deployment from the £1 billion of new capital allocated to the business bank in the 2012 Autumn Statement. It will build on the success of the Business Finance Partnership to leverage at least the same amount in private sector investment.

The focus is on promoting greater diversity of debt finance available to SMEs by encouraging the growth of smaller lenders and new entrants in the market. Investments will be made via new and existing lending channels on a commercial basis.

New research by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) highlights that SMEs have been disproportionately affected in their ability to access finance as a result of the contraction in bank lending since 2008.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Small and medium sized businesses are still telling me that access to finance is their number one problem, preventing them from investing and growing. That’s why through the business bank we are developing a range of measures to provide businesses with the power to choose the type of finance that suits them.

“Today’s £300 million boost shows we are serious about increasing competition and diversity in the business lending market. Establishing a lasting business bank institution is a long-term project, but getting this money reaching SMEs as soon as possible is the first step.”

What is your reaction to the announced £300 million funding to help small and medium sized businesses? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Mansell starts work on £12m Euston student block

Mansell awarded £12 million Euston Road student accommodation block

Mansell has been selected for a £12 million seven-storey student accommodation building on London’s Euston road that will pave the way for new trade jobs

The scheme involves demolition of part of the existing building behind a retained façade and construction of a 171-bed accommodation block along with associated external works, services, lifts and ancillary areas.

Once complete, the building will be certified with a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating.

Construction of the seven-storey project at Bentley House will be completed in time for the 2014 student intake, boosting the trades and people in the building construction industry.

To protect the architectural heritage of the building, bricks removed during demolition will be salvaged, cleaned and reused where possible, with new material matched to the original as closely as possible.

Situated within close proximity to an area of high pedestrian footfall and heavy traffic, sensitive demolition techniques and sophisticated logistics planning will be used throughout the duration of the contract to avoid disruption.

An innovative piling solution, which will complete prior to the start of demolition works, will facilitate the seamless transition between an old and new sub-station.

 

CH2M Hill to create 500 new jobs and invest £65m into UK operations

CH2M Hill has announced to create 500 new trade jobs in a wide range of high-skilled engineering roles and boost the construction industry.

The new jobs will be created across CH2M Hill’s infrastructure divisions including nuclear; transportation, tunneling and earth engineering; water; environmental services and Industrial & Advanced Technology.

Alongside these new jobs, CH2M Hill will also be creating 40 graduate level positions, as well as offering 30 paid internships, bringing its total investment for the UK for 2013 to £65 million.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The creation of 500 new jobs is a considerable investment into the UK market and is a great vote of confidence for the highly skilled engineers here in Britain.

“Building on our strengths in areas like manufacturing, including engineering, will be crucial to our economic success in the years ahead. Today’s announcement supports our aim of ensuring that the UK can compete with other economies at the highest level by raising the numbers of skilled engineers.”

The company is working on some of the most innovative and challenging infrastructure programmes in the UK including, High Speed 2, Crossrail, Thames Tideway Improvements and the decommissioning of Dounreay, the former fast reactor research centre.

Commenting on its UK investment plans, Lee McIntire, Chairman of CH2M Hill said: “Following the acquisition of Halcrow and its integration in to CH2M Hill over the last year, I am delighted to be able to announce this significant investment into the UK’s labour market with the creation of 500 new jobs this year across a range of high skilled engineering and technical roles.

“I am especially proud that we will be playing such a major role developing future British engineering talent with our graduate, apprenticeship and internship programmes.
The UK remains an attractive place to do business and today’s announcement reflects our commitment to the UK. With the British Government’s clear commitment to deliver new infrastructure and renew aging infrastructure, I am hopeful we will be able to build on this investment today in the years ahead.”

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.

CBI: Industrial output to pick up sharply in next three months

Industrial output to pick up sharply in next three months

Manufacturers expect output to accelerate sharply in the next three months that will boost the trades, according to the CBI’s latest monthly Industrial Trends Survey.

The survey of 398 firms found that output growth over the last three months remained steady but subdued.

But the outlook is much brighter for the next quarter, with output volumes expected to rise rapidly – the strongest expectations since April last year – with the anticipated pick-up in variety of markets and mechanical engineering sectors.

Exports orders are also at their highest level for three months, while total orders are broadly flat. Meanwhile expected price inflation has fallen back to levels last seen midway through last year.

Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Analysis, said: “Manufacturers appear more optimistic about the next few months than the official figures and commentary would suggest, with sharp rises in output expected right across the sector.

“Total orders were steady and in line with long-run averages and there was some pickup in exports, possibly helped by the weak pound.

“Price expectations have fallen to the lowest level for six months – driven by inflation expectations plummeting from near-record highs in the food, drink and tobacco sector.”

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.

Enterprise Zone Fund to accelerate growth and create new jobs

Enterprise Zone Fund to accelerate growth and jobs

A £59 million Enterprise Zone Fund to help speed up growth and create thousands of new trade jobs has been launched by the Government.

Enterprise Zones across England can now apply for funding to help them ‘turn shovel ready sites into job ready sites’ by completing key infrastructure projects and boosting the trades.

They reflect the Government’s core belief that economic growth and job creation should be led by the private sector. The Zones are focused on removing barriers to private sector growth with lower tax levels for business and a simplified planning regime and a lighter regulatory and administrative burden.

The Fund will help those Zones with real growth potential to put in place the infrastructure required to unlock sites so businesses can set up and take advantage of the offer available in Enterprise Zones, such as business rate discounts, simplified planning and superfast broadband.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles said: “Economic growth is this government’s biggest priority and Enterprise Zones are the engine room of that strategy. They are a fantastic way to attract the jobs and business investment that local areas need. This new £59 million fund will turbo charge that engine by turning shovel ready sites into job ready sites.

“Enterprise Zones have all the raw ingredients and growth incentives – simplified planning, low tax, super fast broadband and inward investment – they need to translate their potential into jobs and growth success. This is an opportunity to lay the infrastructure foundations so they are ‘gift wrapped’ ready to house new businesses.

“It is time for Enterprise Zones to take up the gauntlet of growth. Local Enterprise Partnerships can do more to make zones realise their potential sooner. The government is determined to work flat out with partnerships to clear any roadblocks in their zone’s path so they can forge ahead and deliver the jobs the country’s economy needs.”

The £59 million fund is part of the Government’s Local Infrastructure Fund of £474 million designed for infrastructure investment to support local economic growth, jobs and homes.

What is your reaction to the Enterprise Zone Fund that will support economic growth and create thousands of new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

St Modwen gets £150m Swansea Uni campus deal

Swansea University New Development 1Swansea University has signed a £150 million contract with developer St Modwen to build new campus that will create jobs and boost the trades.

Work on the first building will get underway in April, with Bam Construction, Leadbitter, Vinci and Willmott Dixon in the tender race to build a £23 million innovation hub centre at the site.

Bill Oliver, chief Executive of St. Modwen, said: “This is an incredibly exciting project and one that complements our extensive experience in regenerating complex sites.

“We are very pleased to have agreed terms and look forward to engaging with Swansea University, Neath Port Talbot Council and other stakeholders to progress the delivery of this substantial and strategic development.”

The first phase of this scheme, which received detailed planning permission in December 2012 from Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, will comprise 700,000 sq ft of development including 430,000 sq ft of academic space as well as 900 student apartments.

This will deliver world-leading research, innovation and education facilities for Swansea. St. Modwen expects to start on site in April 2013.

Swansea University New DevelopmentThe project on an old BP refinery site in Neath has already been given a detailed planning permission for 430,000 sq ft of academic buildings and 900 student apartments.

The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Councillor Ali Thomas, said: ‘‘This project will provide a considerable economic boost not just for Neath Port Talbot but for the wider region.

“It will support the growth of highly skilled jobs and knowledge-driven businesses and is an exciting and outstanding example of the major new developments which the Fabian Way Corridor is attracting. I look forward to watching it progress.’’

The University has already secured funding from the European Investment Bank and the Welsh Government while St Modwen has secured the investment sale of 50% of the student accommodation to a major institutional investor.

An outline planning permission is already in place for future development phases which will be in excess of £300 million in value.

Go-ahead for new council houses in Linton

South Cambridshire District CouncilPlans for the first new properties in South Cambridgeshire’s biggest building programme have been approved, paving the way for new jobs and boosting the trades.

The four one-bed semi-detached houses on Chalklands in Linton have been given the go-ahead by South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Planning Committee, and will replace an existing block of ten under-utilised garages owned by the Council.

Work is set to start onsite later this year and is due to be completed in 2014.

Up to 1,000 new council-owned and affordable properties are planned in the district over the next 30 years after a change in government housing funding policy.

Cllr Mark Howell, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “I’m delighted that approval has been granted to build these much-needed homes, marking a great start to our plans to build hundreds of new homes in the district.

“For the first time in years we have the option to invest heavily in new council houses, and we’re committed to listening to local people and parish councils to put them where they’re most needed.”

The latest phase of another Cambridgeshire’s drive to build almost 25, 000 new homes and create thousands of construction jobs has last week gone on display for public consultation.

A new town at Northstowe recently had its first phase approved. The scheme may eventually see thousands of new homes built, making it one of the biggest new towns in Britain since Milton Keynes.

CRC simplified to save businesses millions of pounds and create new jobs

Energy Efficiency SchemeCRC Energy Efficiency Scheme will be dramatically simplified in order to help businesses save millions of pounds and create new jobs, the DECC announced today.

The reforms to the scheme are set to deliver 55 per cent cost reduction and a total of £272 million worth of savings for participants in the in the scheme.

The simplification of the CRC programme will make it easier for businesses to feel the benefits of using less energy, and will also support jobs in the energy savings industry.

The changes are expected to increase demand for energy efficient products and services.

Minister of State Gregory Barker said: “Energy efficiency increases productivity and is good for growth so it is important that we continue to incentivise this through the CRC.

“We have listened to the concerns of business and radically simplified the scheme in order to cut down on administrative costs and red tape. And we will consider how to encourage new renewable on-site generation through the CRC scheme.

“The scheme will now be more flexible and light-touch, saving participants money and helping them to save energy”.


Reforms to the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme include:

  • Reducing the number of fuels that participants have to report against from 29 to 2 (electricity and gas for heating).
  • Reducing scheme complexity by removing the 90% rule and Climate Change Agreements (CCA) exemption rule.
  • Abolishing the Performance League Table but continuing to publish participants aggregated energy use and emission data.
  • Reducing overlap with other climate change legislation.
  • Withdrawing all state-funded schools in England from the scheme.
  • Government will consider how the CRC can incentivise the uptake of new onsite renewable self-supplied electricity.

Nuclear plan to create jobs and boost economic growth

Sellafield nuclear siteThe nuclear industry will play a major role in driving economic growth, securing the nation’s energy suppliers and creating new jobs, Energy Minister John Hayes announced today.

The comments come as a campaign is launched to fill around 500 skilled jobs at the Sellafield nuclear site in West Cumbria.

The roles will include operations and maintenance staff, engineers, project managers and back-office functions.

They will be filled by a mixture of apprentices, graduates, and trainees and ex-military personnel will be specifically targeted in the recruitment process.

Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon confirmed the Government’s commitment to expand its global nuclear market as part of the published Nuclear Supply Chain Action Plan.

He said: “This action plan is an important part of our work with industry to shape a vibrant UK nuclear industry, and to ensure the UK exploits the commercial opportunities that exist and is a leading player in the expanding global nuclear market.

“We are determined to exploit our strengths and believe this is a sector where a partnership between government and industry can help give the UK a competitive edge in the global race. It’s a key sector in our industrial strategy.”

John Hayes, Energy Minister, said: “Energy is central to our economic future and at the heart of all we do as a nation.

“Just as atoms collide in a nuclear reactor, the economic benefits of our nuclear renaissance will reverberate far and wide across the country.

“The announcement of 500 jobs at Sellafield today shows the immense contribution of the nuclear sector to the UK economy, in particular that of West Cumbria.

“Our Action Plan for the nuclear supply chain will set out how the UK can make the most of future opportunities presented by around £60bn of new investment.”

George Osborne set to announce £5bn construction boost

HM Treasury G. OsbourneChancellor George Osborne is expected to announce tomorrow an extra £5bn of investment for capital projects in the construction industry that will boost the trades and create new jobs.  

In the Autumn Statement, set to be announced tomorrow at 12:30 GMT in the House of Commons, the Chancellor will demand departmental savings of 1% next year and 2% in 2014/15 to raise extra cash for construction projects across the country.

The Statement provides an update on the Government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. These forecasts are published alongside the Autumn Statement on 5 December.

At least £1bn of this is understood to have been earmarked to build an extra 100 new free schools and academies, but the move raises hope that there will be extra cash for housing as well as transport schemes.

Health, education, HM Revenue and Customs and nuclear decommissioning will escape his latest spending cut as well as frontline staff. Mostly savings will come from administration and back office staff.

Treasury sources say £1bn will go towards building 100 new free schools and academies, creating an additional 50,000 new school places.

The new cash for school will be in addition to the new PF2 schools programme that the industry has been eagerly awaiting, which will see £1.75bn spent on building and refurbishing 219 schools.

Green Deal energy contract gets signed

Carillion has signed a contract with the Birmingham Energy Savers (BES) scheme to deliver energy services as part of the Green Deal and create new jobs.

Carillion has committed to create and sustain at least 360 jobs and also encourage its business partners to invest locally in a range of new green energy projects.

Under the BES scheme, Carillion will work with Birmingham City Council as its exclusive delivery partner to improve the energy and carbon efficiency of up to 60,000 households across the city, together with schools and other non-domestic council properties.

The scheme will give households affordable ways of improving their properties by fitting energy efficiency measures, such as insulation and new boilers, under the Government’s Green Deal.

The eight-year contract is estimated to be initially worth up to £600 million, but has the potential to be extended to the wider West Midlands area under a framework agreement worth up to £1.5 billion over eight years.

Now that the contract has been finalised, Carillion is embarking on a recruitment programme to hire locally-based energy assessors, who will evaluate properties and provide advice on the energy efficiency improvements they require.

Commenting on the newly signed deal, Carillion’s Chief Executive Richard Howson, said:”Birmingham Energy Savers is a genuinely ground-breaking scheme and we are delighted to have agreed this contract with Birmingham City Council.

“We believe that in order to reach its full potential, the programme must fully engage with the community and this is why the next stage will focus on recruiting local people and businesses to deliver the scheme.”

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart city at Birmingham City Council, added: “This programme represents a major milestone in Birmingham’s green ambitions, and demonstrates that the social justice and environmental agendas go hand-in-hand with each other.

“It will reduce energy bills for citizens by up to £300 per year – taking up to 40,000 people out of fuel poverty by 2015 – create jobs in the technology supply chain and ensure that there are less carbon emissions from the city.”

 

Independent suppliers’ summit to boost the trades

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey is to chair a summit for independent energy suppliers that could generate investment in the energy industry and create new jobs.

Mr Davey will host the meeting at the Department of Energy and Climate Change with representatives expected to attend from Co-operative Energy, Cornwall Energy Associates, Ecotricity, First Utility, Good Energy, Haven Power, Loco2 Energy, Opus Energy, Smartest Energy, Spark Energy, Utilita, and Ofgem.

Edward Davey said: “I want our energy market to be as competitive as possible. That is central to ensuring that our households and businesses can get the best deals for their gas and electricity,

“And that’s why I want to be sure that we make it as easy as possible for new players to break into the UK market, and that if there are any barriers to that, we do everything we can to remove them.

“As a long-time proponent of collective purchasing, I am delighted to see some of the smaller suppliers already winning customers through early collective switching initiatives, and that such schemes are helping them grow their customer base more rapidly.”

Areas of discussion are likely to focus on the obstacles facing independent suppliers to breaking into the UK energy market and growing their market share.

The Secretary of State also wants to take the opportunity to sound out independent suppliers on the Department’s proposals to reform the electricity market and proposals to legislate in the Energy Bill to ensure customers are on the cheapest tariffs.

On 23 November 2012 the Government announced, ahead of publication of the Energy Bill later this week, a landmark agreement on energy policy that will deliver a clear, durable signal to investors .

£1 billion growth fund reaches out for new trade jobs

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Cleg has announced an investment of £1 billion under the Regional Growth Fund which will kick-start 130 projects across England.

The Government has estimated that today’s latest round of spending could create 240,000 jobs, many of those in the building construction industry.

The fund will help manufacturing firms, small businesses and local partnerships to expand their operations, create new jobs and stimulate economic growth.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: “This £1 billion boost for growth in towns and cities across England is creating jobs that will last in the parts of the country that need it most.

“In tough economic times the Regional Growth Fund is good value for taxpayers’ money – this £1 billion round of the fund is pulling in £6 billion of private sector investment.”

CBI chief policy director Katja Hall said: “The Regional Growth Fund is helping to meet businesses’ needs for growth capital up and down the country, enabling the successful companies to get projects off the ground.”

Commenting on the new initiative, business minister Michael Fallon, said that this is a significant investment which will help different sectors and provide strong economic boost for businesses across the country.

Mr Fallon said: “The selection process has been very fast – from companies applying to allocating funds in only five months.

“So we are keen to get a move on which is why this time, those selected have now only three months to agree final offers, and three months to complete due diligence. We want to ensure good value for the taxpayer and to get these projects started as soon as possible.”

£33m Essex College Scheme to Boost the Trades

South Essex College has signed a £33 million contract with Skanska which will see the building of a new 2,500 place student campus in Essex.

Construction of the scheme is set to start immediately with the new learning campus being ready to open in the summer of 2014.

Skanska will be responsible for the construction of three and four storey buildings covering around 150,000 sq ft. It has the target of achieving BREEAM excellent rating and the facility will incorporate rainwater harvesting, air source heat pumps and roof level PV installations.

The project is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the construction sector.

The new college aims to boost local construction skills and will teach welding, brickwork, carpentry, engineering, mechanical, electrical and plumbing skills.

Following the completion of the new facility, Skanska will undertake landscaping and associated works which will include car parking, cycle storage and external landscaping.

Paul Heather, Managing Director of Skanska for London and the South East said: “We have successfully delivered a number of world-class education facilities across Essex in recent years and this has enabled to bring together a wealth of experience, skills and expertise to this project.

“The development of the new Thurrock Campus will provide excellent facilities for the students, teaching staff and the wider community and we are proud to be part of creating this key learning environment”.

Clean Energy of Northern Seas to Boost the Renewable Industry

Over forty organisations have today joined forces to set out a long-term vision for the development of offshore wind in the northern seas that will boost the green economy and create new jobs.

The new network, called Norstec, includes world leading manufacturers, cutting-edge developers, supply chain firms as well as industry bodies representing the trades.

Its mission is to maximise the energy potential generated across the northern sea region which will benefit businesses in the renewable industry and boost the trades.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who first introduced Norstec at the Clean Energy Ministerial in April, emphasised on the benefits offered by the production of clean energy and encouraged the use of renewable resources.

Mr Cameron said: “I continue to be strongly supportive of the UK offshore renewables sector and am delighted to see Norstec rising from the waves.

“As I said, when I launched this network last April, we are on the cusp of a second, clean energy revolution in the North Sea. Close collaboration between industry and government will be critical to making this happen.”

Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, said: “The offshore wind industry represents a massive growth opportunity for the UK and our neighbours around the northern seas, bringing jobs and re-energising once thriving industrial heartlands on the East Coast and beyond.

Mr Davey said that the Government is determined to work closely with businesses in order to make the most from offshore renewable resources.

He said: “Norstec will help the offshore wind industry in the northern seas to grow and create a new industrial revolution, driving economic growth across this part of Europe. I’m delighted to see the potential for offshore wind deployment in the northern seas set out so clearly and vividly.”

 

Solent Enterprise Zone Reaches Out For New Trade Jobs

Plans to invest £25 million in the Solent Enterprise Zone that will create 1,200 new jobs have been finalised by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.  

The proposed investment would also support the development of a new 25,000 sq ft manufacturing business centre which will pave the way for new employment in the trades.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles, who visited the Enterprise Zone at Daedalus yesterday, revealed that £15 million of the investment will be used for building new homes and a community centre.

Hampshire County Council and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which are funding the project, have forecast that the development could create 1,182 jobs, of which 828 will be permanent.

Secretary of State Eric Pickles said: “This over £25m boost for the Solent Enterprise Zone will unlock its huge potential to deliver growth, homes and jobs and make a real difference to Gosport.

“It is local business and commerce that creates the growth and jobs this country needs and it’s this Government’s job to foster the conditions for those businesses to thrive.

“That is why through the Government’s Growing Places Fund and the setting up of Enterprise Zones, we have empowered local enterprise partnerships to drive forward their own local economic development.”

Colin Molton from the Homes and Communities Agency said: “This package of investment is great news for the local economy, which stands to benefit significantly from the ripple effect of new jobs and businesses coming to the Solent Enterprise Zone.

“This has been the result of partners working closely together to devise an innovative package which will maximise the use of the funds available to have a real positive impact on the ground.”

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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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: 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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Multi-million ‘village green’ homes plan would create new trade jobs

A multi-million planning application to build 5,750 new homes and create thousands of new trade jobs has been submitted to Ashford Borough Council.

The major development programme will take place at the 415 hectare site at Chilmington Green, building thousands of new homes arranged in three distinctive neighbourhoods with a high street, a secondary school, four primary schools, a park and extensive areas of green space.

The planning application has been prepared for the developer consortium, Hodson Developments, Jarvis Homes, Pentland Homes and Ward Home, to deal with UK’s current housing shortage.

Project manager for the consortium, Ian Bull, said that as one of the largest developments in Ashford, the housing scheme will set benchmark for new communities and increase employment opportunities in the area.

Mr Bull said: “Those well-designed places offer communities a lifestyle of wellbeing through a range of employment opportunities, cultural facilities and services, a mix of housing tenures including affordable housing, well-connected and walkable neighbourhoods, and the chance for people to connect with nature through carefully landscaped streets, parks, private gardens and allotments.”

Richard Hutchings, project director at engineering consultancy WSP, who prepared all the engineering and environmental designs and documentation to support the application, said that that developing effective transport, utilities and drainage strategies to ensure efficient delivery of the major urban extension have been the biggest challenges of the project

Mr Hutchings said: “Perhaps most significant was the development of a sustainable transport strategy that resolved existing capacity problems on the A28 corridor by reducing reliance on private vehicle travel and promoting alternative options such as walking, cycling and public transport.”

What is your reaction on the major housing scheme in Ashford that will pave the way for jobs on the building engineering industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

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.

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.

Private Housing Starts to Boost Employment and Create New Jobs

Increased demand from first-time buyers coupled with the government’s increased investment in the housing market are driving new private housebuilding projects to grow by 40 per cent in the second quarter of 2012, resulting in more employment opportunities for people in the trades.  

New data published by construction industry analyst Glenigan has revealed significant year-on-year growth in the underlying value of new private housing project starts in the first two quarters of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011.

Glenigan forecasts indicate that the underlying value of project starts will increase by 29% over 2012 providing further employment opportunities for builders and trade professionals, including electricians, plumbers and gas engineers.

Glenigan said the findings are giving a strong indication that confidence is returning to the private housebuilding market, paving the way for more jobs in the building construction industry.

Economics Director at Glenigan, Allan Wilén, said that despite weak economic conditions and a fragile banking sector, housing developers have seen an increased demand from first-time buyers and the government’s incentive schemes which have helped them to make a swift economic recovery.

Commenting on the sector’s future performance Mr Wilén said:“While the threat of an increase in interest rates and the end of the stamp duty holiday have stymied the market to a certain extent, we expect the sector to continue to grow through 2012 and 2013 as the wider economy begins to recover once more.”

The figures from Glenigan, compiled through comprehensive data collation and exhaustive research, reveal that London and the South East continue to dominate the market having accounted for almost a third of the value of all new private housing schemes starting on site in the first half of 2012.

Do you welcome the figures by an industry expert Glenigan indicating significant house-building activity in the second quarter of 2012? Let us know what the implications might be for you or your business by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Osborne Unveils £80bn Scheme to Boost Businesses and Create New Jobs

The Government will enable businesses across Britain to access more and cheaper loans which will boost the economy and create new jobs, the BBC has reported.

Chancellor George Osborne announced the new £ 80 billion scheme, describing it as “a huge help for the British economy” which will give businesses the confidence to grow.

Under the Funding for Lending Scheme British banks will be able to lend money to businesses at a low interest rate, enabling the expansion of smaller businesses and the creation of new employment opportunities.

The Chancellor said: “Today’s announcement aims to make mortgages and loans cheaper and more easily available, providing welcome support to businesses that want to expand and families aspiring to own their home.”

Mr Osborne added the initiative would “inject new confidence into our financial system and support the flow of credit to where it is needed in the real economy – showing that we are not powerless to act in the face of the Eurozone debt storm”.

Welcoming the government’s announcement Director-General at the CBI, John Cridland, said: “This new scheme should provide a real incentive for banks and building societies to increase their lending to businesses and individuals, if possible at lower rates of interest.”

What is your reaction to the Funding for Lending scheme and how do you think you will be able to benefit from the £80 billion investment? Let us know what you think by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

The Government is Helping Businesses by Giving Extra Powers to Cities

Nick Clegg has announced plans to give some of England’s biggest cities new powers and extra cash in an attempt to boost employment and restore economic growth, the BBC reported today.

During a visit to Yorkshire, the Deputy Prime Minister revealed the government will transfer more economic controls to local authorities under city schemes which he called ‘groundbreaking deals… freeing cities from Whitehall control’.

Extra powers will be given to the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds, Nottingham and Sheffield as deals for Liverpool and Manchester were already agreed earlier this year.

Deputy Prime Minister Clegg said: “Everyone in these eight core cities will feel the benefits – from young people looking for jobs, to businesses looking to expand.”

Under the current system, councils running England’s major cities have to lobby central governments if they want additional investment to fund major infrastructure projects.

However, under the new city deals, guaranteed funding will be provided for the city authorities to spend as they choose. This is expected to will cut red tape and make it easier for businesses to deliver major development projects in the future.

Hilary Benn, Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, said: “Labour strongly supports local communities being given more powers – indeed I have been calling for this for some time.

“These city deals represent an important victory for local people and local government. And many people think that local government will do a better job at looking after their local economies and boosting skills than the Tory-led government is doing nationally.”

If you live in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham or Sheffield, how do you think the new deals could help you/ your business? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raining your voice on our Facebook page.

The Manufacturing and Service Sector Grows despite Slow Economic Recovery, says the BCC

The newest survey published today by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has found that the manufacturing and the service industry are continuing to grow, despite the UK economy remains weak.

BCC suggests in its Quarterly Economic Survey that businesses are growing but the the pace of activity is too slow for a sustainable recovery. Director General of the BCC, John Longworth, urged the government to take a bolder approach to boosting economic growth. He recommended measures including the creation of a state-backed business bank, and investment in infrastructure as critical to get the economy growing.

Mr Longworth said: “Growth cannot wait. The government must take an imaginative and brave approach to stimulating the economy and helping businesses thrive.”

The survey found manufacturing home orders has edged up two points, to +8%, the strongest level since the second quarter of 2011.  The service employment balance increased six points, to +10%, representing the highest level since the recession began in 2008.

The report indicates a surprising growth over manufacturers’ intentions to invest in training which rose to +18%, the best level for the last four years.

Although, business confidence is still below its 2007 level, manufacturers’ profitability is reported to have increased three points, to +24%, also the strongest level since the last quarter of 2010.

What’s your reaction on the findings by the BCC which suggest the manufacturing and the service industry are growing in times of austerity? If you are working in one of those sectors, share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page. 

Energy Partnership between Norway and the UK to Create New Jobs

Prime Minister David Cameron and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg agreed last week a major partnership between the UK and Norway that will boost energy activities between the two countries and bring investment of millions of pounds that will create thousands of new jobs, the Department of Energy and Climate Change revealed.

The partnership between Norway and the UK is designed to secure sustainable long-term energy supplies, improve a wide range of energy activities between the two countries and encourage economic growth.

 
Prime Minister Cameron, who attended a breakfast meeting with ten leading energy companies from Norway and the UK, highlighted the importance of this partnership for closer collaboration between the two countries that will improve energy security and help economic growth.

Mr Cameron said: “The jobs and investments announced today highlight how vital the strong relationship between Norway and the United Kingdom is for our energy security and economic growth. We look forward to strengthening our partnership further, driving investment into a diverse, sustainable energy mix that delivers affordable long term supplies for consumers.”

 
Charles Hendry, UK Minister of State for Energy, said: “For many decades Norway has been one of our most trusted and valuable partners, working with us to develop North Sea resources that underpin our energy security. Mr Hendry added: “The investments and jobs announced today by British and Norwegian companies are a clear signal of the benefits of this partnership.”

Some of the commercial announcements include:
  • “Norwegian global oil services firm Aker Solutions will create 1,300 new highly skilled jobs by 2015 at its engineering hub in Chiswick. This comes on top of 1,000 new jobs it has already created in the UK over the past two years.
  • Statoil intends to invest a further £12 billion over the lifetime of the UK’s Mariner-Bressay North Sea oil fields in addition to the £6 billion they have already announced. This will lead to the creation of up to 300 new jobs in the UK in the next few years, including at a new operations base in Aberdeen, in addition to 700 UK jobs from this investment that have already been announced.
  • A new Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed between Statoil and Centrica to continue cooperation on gas supply and exploration. This builds on the £13 billion, ten year gas supply deal agreed between the two companies last November and follows the recent completion of a £1billion asset deal between the two companies that will increase Centrica’s oil and gas reserves by 29 percent.
  • The Forewind Consortium, which includes Norwegian companies Statoil and Statkraft, has confirmed its intention to develop the 9GW Dogger Bank offshore wind project off the East coast of Yorkshire, which could require up to £30 billion of investment. This project could provide more than 10% of the UK’s electricity needs. In addition to this project Statoil and Statkraft are investing around £1billion in developing the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm off the coast of Norfolk, which is already generating power and will be completed later this year. It will provide power to more than 200,000 UK homes when fully operational. The project employs 500 workers in the field and provides significant secondary employment.
  • Good progress is being made in two projects to build one of the world’s longest subsea electricity interconnectors between the UK and Norway, which will enable the UK and Norway to share renewable energy resources, with each project worth over £1 billion: NSN (National Grid and Statnett) and NorthConnect (SSE, Vattenfall, Agder Energei, E-CO and Lyse).
  • A deal between Shell and Gassco to strengthen UK energy security by providing British customers with more gas from Norway. By making better use of spare capacity in the UK gas transport system, Norwegian gas owners and transporters, including Shell, will be able to transport more gas from Norwegian fields via the Tampen Link to the FLAGS pipeline into St Fergus.”
What is your reaction on the established Norway-UK partnership for sustainable growth that will create thousands of new jobs in the energy industry? Share your thoughts by raising your voice here or on our Facebook page

Smart Meters to Help Energy Efficiency and Create New Jobs


As reported in the Electronics Weekly Magazine, most of Europe’s electricity meters are expected to be replaced with new smart meters, introducing more precise measurement for electricity consumption and improved energy efficiency for households.

Electrical engineers and qualified electricians will benefit from the “technological switch” which is likely to boost employment across the electrical engineering sector.  New technologies in the electrical industry will require a skilful workforce to meet the increasing demand for efficient energy systems.

Steve Drumm, Marketing Development Manager at Omron Electronic Components for Europe, believes introducing new technologies in the energy industry will deliver benefits for consumers and help businesses make huge savings.

Manufacturers across Europe and the rest of the world are working towards improving key characteristics of switching power elements that manage the supply and measurement of electricity to consumers.

Smart meters are reported to require control relays which manage the supply of electricity. That way they can make significant savings towards the energy consumption of commercial and residential premises.

What do you think of the new electricity meters that will consume little or no electricity? Do you welcome the transition from old towards new meters and the boost to employment in the energy sector? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or adding your voice on our Facebook Page

Poor Communication is the Biggest Time Waster for Plumbers

A new study has revealed that poor communication is wasting plumbers, heating engineers and other trade professionals more time than being stuck in traffic, HVP News reported today.

The research conducted by business software developer, Clik, has found that poorly managed communication between trade professional and customers  is  the  most frequent reason for wasting valuable working time.

The research, which was conducted among heating engineers, plumbers and facilities managers, found that 76% of the respondents identified issues in communication as the biggest time waster at their work. This includes misunderstandings, arranging and re-arranging appointments, and sending or receiving unnecessary emails, HVP reports.

A significant number of respondents, 63% of those surveyed said that being stuck in traffic wasted time and being unable to find a site impacted 47% of the participants in the survey.

Managing Director of Clik, Geoff Adams, thinks business management software could help industry professionals save valuable time whilst bringing positive results to their workload.

Mr Adams said: “Managing a range of customers and multiple jobs is time-consuming in itself and it is interesting to see that poor communication has such an impact.

“Everyone has their own way so we’ve set out to make a practical difference by providing software that covers all aspects of engineers’ diaries, scheduling, invoicing, planning, call backs and service calls.”

Do you agree that poor communication is the “biggest time waster” for plumbers and trade professionals? If you are working in the trades, share with us what are most common obstacles that slow you down by leaving a comment below: 

Green Energy Will Support Economic Growth in Britain

Former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne wrote in the Guardian newspaper yesterday that Britain has to stimulate future economic growth by investing in the renewable energy sector.

Economic recovery from double dip recession will work only if the government pursue ‘green growth’ because energy saving is a win-win situation for both businesses and households, the Former Cabinet Minister stated.

Mr Huhne is confident that green growth is sustainable because it has the potential for creating new jobs, cutting energy bills and increasing spending incomes of households. He also encouraged more vigorous debate on the wider agenda for natural resources and energy efficiency.

Mr Huhne said “Much of our economic debate implies we must choose between going green or going for growth. That view may be the opposite of the truth. There is now hard evidence that the real choice is between green growth or no growth at all.”

Although the Former Liberal Democrat Minister didn’t criticise the government and declined to name those who are portraying green policies as a barrier to growth.  Some senior Liberal Democrats in the coalition government have previously complained that Tory MPs have been obstructing green policies relating to energy efficiency.

What is your reaction to the article by former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne? Do you share his opinion that investing more in energy projects will boost the UK economy? Let us know by leaving a comment below:  

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   

£13.5 Million Construction Work to Get Underway in Coventry

National housebuilding company, Galliford Try, has won a £13.5 million residential building job in South East Coventry.  Construction work will begin next week, helping the local economy and creating new jobs in the building construction sector.

The firm has been appointed to build a new 12 acre development, mainly consisting of retail units and residential apartments, before January 2013. Tenants which have already been approved for the shopping units include supermarket giant Asda, Marks & Spencer and Boots.

Fund Manager at Aviva Investors, David Diemer, the company through which Galliford Try was appointed to carry out the project, welcomed the redevelopment of the area saying it will benefit local residents and the Midlands region as a whole.

Mr Diemer said: “With a catchment of 750,000 people in a 20 minute drive time, we are expecting this to be a very successful shopping park for this area of the Midlands.

“This is why so much time has been spent on the design process and the choice of quality materials. We wanted to make sure that we built something that would complement the local area and provide positive benefits to the surrounding communities.”

What is your opinion on the £13.5 million residential job given to Galliford Try? Do you welcome the huge redevelopment scheme starting from next week? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

The CBI Delivers Confidence to the Building Construction Sector

New measures to support infrastructure projects and reduce uncertainty in the planning system for UK firms have been proposed by the Confederation of British Businesses (CBI).

The business lobby group is advising the government in a new report today, “Minor measures, major results – Fine tuning the major infrastructure planning system”, to make further improvements to large infrastructure projects and ease the pre-application process of planning and construction work for UK businesses.

The CBI is also urging the government to simplify non-planning consents and allow developers to train case workers who will participate and give advice to applicants at pre-application stages prior to construction work.

The CBI believes that measures for improving transparency, encouraging proactivity in case workers and developing the relationship between planners and businesses will help economic growth and return investors’ confidence.

Deputy Director-General at CBI, Dr Neil Bentley, approved the pro-business measures the government has taken in recent years to encourage economic growth, but he said that more decisive action is needed to help major infrastructure projects in Britain.

Mr Bentley said: “Businesses approve of the government’s reforms to our major infrastructure planning system to streamline planning decisions, but it’s vital we don’t lose momentum while these significant changes take hold. Too many applications are still at the initial stages at a time when we need major investment in our infrastructure.

“We’re suggesting ways the government can fine-tune the system to spur on much-needed new infrastructure such as, energy plants, railway lines, airports, roads, ports and waste facilities.

“Investing in major infrastructure projects will bring big rewards for our economy, with new jobs and growth. But investors both at home and abroad must have the confidence that the planning system will deliver timely decisions, so the government needs to act now. Waiting for a much fuller review in 2014 would be a lost opportunity.” – added Mr Bentley.

What is your reaction to the proposed measures by the CBI to improve major infrastructure planning systems? How would that help your business and boost economic growth? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

UK Industry Could Save £1.4 Billion from Energy Lighting

A leading energy efficient firm has published a report suggesting that the UK’s manufacturing industry could save as much as £1.4 billion per year by switching to a new lighting technology which will significantly reduce spending on energy costs.

The report, entitled The Light Bulb Moment, is based on a 4-year survey conducted by Vita Energia across 500 manufacturing and industrial firms, each employing over 100 members of staff. Vita Energiaexplores the different methods that UK businesses can use to improve their energy efficiency with minimal investment and help cut carbon emissions.

It has been estimated that by upgrading existing lighting technology, UK manufacturing and industrial businesses could make huge savings which will have a real impact on energy usage in commercial premises across the UK.

The report concludes that addressing the current light efficient systems within the manufacturing sector will provide a timely boost to the UK’s industry operational performance and contribute to economic growth in the future.

Director of Vita Energia, Duncan Stevens, said that the report is a valuable indication for UK business to optimise their performance and make improvements across different manufacturing and industrial sites in the UK.

Speaking to Business Green, Mr Stevens said: “The calculations are very robust, they are based on detailed surveys of lighting technologies and fittings, and energy prices at a variety of locations; the evidence is there that energy efficient lighting systems can save firms a lot of money.

“The technology is now proven and people can see it delivers substantial savings; the focus for businesses has to be on the economic case for these types of deployments.” Mr Stevens added.

What is your reaction to the report by Vita Energia? Do you think you or your business could make savings by adopting more efficient lighting systems? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Regional Growth Fund to Create New Jobs

 

The government has made an extra £1 billion investment to the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) which will help firms in the building construction sector to create new jobs.

With the increased funding, the total amount available to firms that are looking to create new jobs will reach £2.4 billion. The scheme is expected to make a significant contribution to the manufacturing and construction industry.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the RGF is already having a huge impact on jobs’ creation because businesses across the UK now have the investment which will contribute to their local economy.  The Liberal Democrat shared his enthusiasm about using the money for carbon cutting initiatives that will have positive effects on the environment and the renewable sector.

Mr Clegg said: “There have been over 170 successful bids to the fund, leveraging around £7.5 billion of private sector investment and set to create and protect 330,000 jobs. I want to see more businesses that are confident they can create jobs and get Britain building”

“Funding from rounds one and two has gone to some extraordinarily promising manufacturing projects. From Pirelli Tyres in Carlisle who’ll use the money to develop a new range of carbon-cutting tyres; to a Portsmouth based company which hopes to use theirs to create a cutting edge boat building college.

“These projects will lead their communities into brighter times, helping put industry at the heart of the UK’s economy. Businesses have until June to apply for a share of this extra £1 billion.”- Deputy Prime Minister Clegg added.

How would your business benefit from the £1 billion investment of the Regional Growth Fund? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

Chancellor Osborne Urged to Help UK Businesses

The Chancellor George Osborne has been urged by business leaders to allocate more investment on capital projects rather than on the current expenditure which will give boost to the construction industry and encourage economic growth.

Improved access to government funds, cutting red tape for businesses and giving greater investment to infrastructure projects are the key demands by business leaders. The call comes ahead of the Chancellor’s budget statement next month which is expected to make significant announcements for creating new jobs and boosting the national economy.

The Construction Products Association (CPA) has urged the Chancellor to cut VAT for domestic projects that will improve energy efficiency for thousands of homes across the UK.

Chief Executive at CPA, Michael Ankers, said that the Chancellor needs to allocate in the budget more capital spending for housing and infrastructure projects because it will give confidence to businesses and provide sustainable investment for growth.

Mr Ankers said: “The 2012 Budget provides the Chancellor with the opportunity to introduce a package of measures to stimulate the economy and deliver growth. This should include a further rebalancing of public spending away from current expenditure and into capital investment, as this will not only generate economic activity and employment but will increase long term productivity as a result of improving the infrastructure of this country.”

What would your suggestions be to the Chancellor Osborne to help businesses across the UK? Is capital investment the best way to create jobs and sustainable development for growth? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Unqualified Workers Not Likely to Find Employment – “More employment opportunities for qualified operatives”

One of the largest building companies in the UK, Major Home Builders Group (MHBG), has pledged today to continue with its initiative to only hire qualified workers in order to raise standards and tackle skills shortage in the construction industry.

The initiative between MHBG, one of the twelve largest UK home builders, and Construction Skills has encouraged more people to become professionally qualified in the building construction sector. An increasing number of companies in the building industry have committed to employ only qualified operatives as the very minimum for workers is have a Construction Skills Competency Scheme (CSCS) card.

More than half a million people took their CSCS cards last year. The test, which is required for all construction workers, has been an important factor for raising health and safety standards, as well as helping workers to improve their general quality of work.

Corporate Director at Construction Skills, John Cowley, welcomed the partnership between MHBG and Construction Skills saying that it is vital for the future of the building construction industry to have qualified workforce which is continually raising work standards and promptly complying with industry’s regulation framework.

Mr Cowley said: “We’re delighted that the MHBG has committed to this partnership. It is a major step forward in our drive to qualify the workforce, making our industry world leaders in the skills and training arena.”

As previously reported in the Sector Skills Agreement, the government has encouraged for a closer partnership between industry officials and training providers in order to encourage more workers to feel the benefits of becoming a professionally qualified person.

Managing Director of Redrow, a member of the MHBG group, Neil Fitzsimmons explained that the requirements for all workers, working on their sites, to have an appropriate qualification sends a strong message that the industry wants a qualified workforce, recognising that qualified workers get the job done faster, with fewer mistakes and accidents.

What is your opinion on the importance of being a qualified professional in order to find better employment opportunities? How much more would a qualified operative earn than a non-qualified? Share your experiences by leaving a comment on the Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

How to Save on Your Bills This Winter

It has been announced today that people in England and Wales will have no choice but to pay an increase of 5.7% on their annual water bills. We look at the different ways of how people could compensate that increase by making savings from their electricity bill during chilliest months of the year.

Consumers in the UK will pay more for their water bills during 2012/13, meaning an average annual bill of £376 throughout the UK, an increase of £20 per household, the water regulator Ofwat has announced.

People don’t have much choice but to pay the increase. However, as the weather turns chillier, people can consider different ways that could make savings of their electricity bill.

As the weather gets chillier, it’s tempting to warm up a room with a heater, but with concerns over energy bills people are always better checking what would work best for their needs. Not all oil filled radiators or halogen heaters consume the same amount of electricity and produce the same amount of thermal heat.

We look at some of the most conventional types of heaters, explaining their pros and cons.

 

  • Convection heaters – best suited for heating enclosed spaces. They operate silently and have a lower fire risk hazard.
  • Fan heaters – a good choice for quick heating of enclosed spaces. However, there is a risk of ignition if they are near furnishings and curtains.
  • Electric fires (radiative heaters) – these directly warm people and objects in the room, so may be good for warming cold feet, but can be a fire hazard.
  • Halogen heaters – the advantage of these is that they radiate, the heat generated, which is absorbed directly by us, without heating the air first. This makes them suitable for warming people in poorly insulated rooms. Halogen heaters convert up to 86% of their input power to radiant energy.
  • Oil-filled heaters – these can take longer to heat up, but retain the heat better, similar to storage heaters, and provide heat from all sides.

 

Ross Lammas from SUST-IT, a leading website providing practical advice on energy efficiency, said: “The best way to keep your bills down is to keep heat in and drafts out by insulating; low cost solutions such as lined curtains, draft excluders and thermal blinds will help.”

 

Do you know any other methods you could save from your electricity bill? Do you think a good insulation could be a permanent solution for better savings?  Share your thoughts by commenting below: 

 

The Internet Could Help Plumbers to Gain More Customers

Digital marketing provider “Yell” has urged plumbers across the UK to use the Internet to boost their business and gain more customers.

The announcement comes after statistics from Google show that there are 823,000 searches for the keyword ‘plumbers’ in the UK every month, meaning more people needing a plumber are looking online to find one.

New infographic (refer to the picture) has been released today showing how plumbers can best use the Internet as an opportunity to boost their business. It highlights the regular demand for plumbers with many Google searches being location-specific, for example, there were 40,500 queries each month for ‘London plumbers’ alone.

According to the infographic, 58% of all purchase decisions now begin a search through a search engine on the Internet. This suggests the Internet is becoming one of the main search tools for anyone looking for a product or service. Therefore, it is important for plumbers to have online presence on the Internet and make themselves known to the customers.

However, Yell admits that many plumbers feel that the best way to market themselves is by word of mouth and personal recommendation; which remains one of the most reliable ways for plumbers to gain more customers.
Some of the main online channels which plumbers can use to promote themselves include e-mail, online advertising and creating their own website to turn search queries into real customers. Yell also suggest that UK plumbers who do not have a website could be missing out on customers.

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UK Contractors Could Win Major Projects around the Globe

Prompt and successful completion of the building construction work for the Olympic Games in London this summer could be a chance for UK firms to get work all over the world – a leading publication in the trades, Construction Enquirer, reported today.

One of the UK’s leading International Consultants, McBains Cooper, has urged the Government’s trade teams to introduce more building contracts from abroad for the building construction industry in Britain.

McBains Cooper state that London 2012 is an excellent example of how a major project should be built and UK firms should use their management expertise to export their skills and knowledge to make major projects worldwide equally as impressive.

The successful construction of the Olympic venues triggers a world-wide interest for many countries which will host similar events in the future. The building of venues for the Olympics in London 2012 will give UK firms the unique opportunity to showcase their expertise and professionalism to potentially participate in big projects around the world.

An increasing number of building companies across the UK are considering applications for construction work ahead of major events in Qatar, Brazil and Russia. McBains Cooper, which has an alliance in Brazil for the venue of the 2016 games, expressed its determination to negotiate with all regions that are candidates for the 2020 games to secure future contracts.

Chief executive at McBains Cooper, Michael Thirkettle, said: “Everybody involved in construction, whether in Brazil or the 2020 candidate venues, has commented on the success of the planning and construction of everything London games-related. More often than not it’s accompanied by some positive reference to the UK construction industry, and its professional advisers and consultancies being the best in the world.

“The fact is that in comparison to any other recent major sporting event – and some recent Olympics – London 2012 construction has run far faster and more efficiently. That has been noted by other countries, and, frankly, because of our reputation, British construction and professional consultancy businesses are amongst the very few who can travel the world to help drive and deliver major projects for other venue cities.”

Mr Thirkettle thinks that every business in the UK has the unique opportunity to promote itself and bring more investment from abroad.

He said: “The Olympics is a fantastic global shop window for British management expertise, design and construction skills, and that expertise can be exported to make other games equally impressive.”

 

Do you see the successful construction work of the Olympic venues as an opportunity for your business to win more contracts in future? Tell us how optimistic are you about exporting your business abroad?

 

Premier Inn Announces £5.9 Million Investment in Camborne with Environmental Focus

Premier Inn has announced it is set to open a new ‘green’ hotel and restaurant development in Camborne, bringing new jobs to the area and boosting the local economy.

The new site will incorporate a number of key green initiatives in line with its long term commitment to the conservation of the environment.

Efficient under floor heating will be incorporated in the Trevithick Inn to avoid the need for radiators; solar PV panels will provide electricity and electric car charging points will be installed in the car park.

Similarly, LED lighting will be fitted in the reception and restaurant to reduce electricity consumption.

The new restaurant, named Trevithick Inn and Premier Inn hotel will be injecting a total investment of £5.9 million into the local economy.

David Murdin, Whitbread Restaurants Marketing Director, said: “We are delighted to bring a new hotel and restaurant to Camborne and we can’t wait to welcome our guests to the Trevithick Inn Table Table restaurant and Premier Inn in January.”

 

What’s your reaction on this and more recent re-developments of Premier Inn? Do you think that utilising more environmentally friendly materials in the building sector will help preserve the environment better? Share your thoughts by commenting below:   

 

 

 

 

The Manufacturer Praises Train4TradeSkills for Research Contribution

The Manufacturer, a leading publication in the manufacturing industry, has praised Train4TradeSkills for its research revealing that Manufacturers are among the UK’s most satisfied workers.

According to the research, British workers believe a decent salary is key to career satisfaction, cited by 64%, as well as a sense of achievement in your work (59%) and being able to work the hours you want (46%).

The hospitality and leisure sector ranked the highest in the survey, 29% labelling themselves as very satisfied.

The research, carried out among 1,200 British workers and commissioned by Train4TradeSkills, shows only 14% of workers in retail and 15% in transportation could say they were very satisfied.

Overall, 28% of British workers admit they are not satisfied in their current job and only one in four have no plans to change their career in the next five years.

Twenty four per cent of manufacturing staff classified themselves as very satisfied in their current job, revealed the Manufacturer.

However, better salaries don’t always equal greater job satisfaction. Only 24% of those earning £25,000 – £29,999 are dissatisfied in their job, compared to 27% who earn between £35,000 and £49,999.

Mike Head of Train4TradeSkills, commented: “There are many people working in Britain who are not satisfied in their current job and while pay is deemed important, it’s interesting to see that big salaries do not always equal career satisfaction.”

Mr Head added: “The process of retraining and changing careers can be a challenge, but by looking for cost-effective courses that offer virtual learning and the ability to work while you learn, many Brits could find themselves embracing a career they love in the next few years.”

The study shows that overall, the vast majority (84%) of British workers agree there were aspects of their current job that they don’t like. However, 64% have highlighted that there are factors stopping them from changing their careers if they were to pursue this. The key issues for those being stopped from changing their careers were revealed as: not being able to afford to take a pay cut (37%), not being able to afford to retrain (29%) and simply not knowing what they want to do instead (35%). provides the latest developments in manufacturing sector, from production and maintenance to logistics and IT.

Do you feel satisfied in your current job? Is there anything you would like to change in your career and why? Share your thoughts by commenting below: 

Rogue Builders Pair Jailed for “Bad Work”

Two builders have been jailed today for engaging in unfair commercial practices and carrying out overpriced or unnecessary building work in Oxfordshire.

More than ten people have become victims of Trevor Bateman, 54, from Swindon and David Merriman, 49, from Nottingham who were convicted for various fraud-related charges at Oxford Crown Court.

The pair ran a business called AS Contractors; It has conned elderly homeowners out of thousands of pounds over period of two years.

David Marriman has been sent to prison for three-and-a-half years after being found guilty of 18 charges of fraud, misleading homeowners and performing poorly and simply unnecessary building work. Trevor Bateman was sentenced to four years for similar charges and transferring criminal property.

Judge Anthony King told the pair they had “proved themselves wholly unworthy to trade in any way in the building industry and run an extremely obnoxious scam.”

One of their clients, Mrs Thomas, was charged more than £6,000 for an unfinished bathroom. She told the Oxford Mail that she hoped this verdict will stop the two men from doing such things to other people in future. However, Mrs Thomas admitted she was not entirely convinced about this.

“I cannot tell you what a plausible sort of villain Mr Bateman is. He sounds so pleasant and would really do his best to assure you that you are going to be all right. I’m not surprised people were taken in.” Mrs Thomas said.

Many of victims were old women who lived alone, including Jean Price, who paid £47,000 for work valued at less than £10,000.

How do you feel about people who have become victims of building fraud? Is there any advice you would like to give to people to avoid such disappointments?  Share your thoughts by commenting here:

 

 

Hopeful Future for 3D Design in the Building Sector

Companies across Britain are pouring millions of pounds into developing innovative 3D virtual technology with interactive features offering maximum flexibility to meet customer’s individual preferences even before construction has began.

Tesco has revealed today one of the latest 3D kitchen innovations which aims to help people make the right choice in deciding what is best for their kitchen using 3D building design technology.  Customers will be able to create any styles that meet their exact needs with custom- made interiors. Using 3D technology in building design has become increasingly popular.

The Construction Project Information Committee (CPIC) which is responsible for providing practice guidance on the content and preparation of construction production information believes its practices will become even more popular in the future due to further innovation in the building design sector.

The UK government is soon to outline its strategy to implement Building Information Modelling (known as BIM) on all public sector building projects. It is expected to make a significant difference to building design and optimise the building process in England.

3D digital modelling is transforming the design process of buildings worldwide saving considerable amounts of money to the building industry. It’s predicted that the new building modelling will save the industry at least 10% on build costs at £1bn to £2.5bn a year if it is used on all major projects.

The new method of planning has been estimated to significantly reduce waste and energy usage to enhance sustainability in buildings. This method will be equally caring for the environment too.

Technologies in building design will also influence the way engineers, architects and designers collaborate on future projects. For example, when creating a model of a building, architects and planners will have the capability to work together in order to test every aspect of the building in a virtual world, before any work on the building has begun.

Such technology innovations will allow every expert involved in a project to examine different elements of the building process and make further improvements.

What is your opinion on innovative 3D Design in the Building Construction Sector? Do you think that the 3D Kitchen Design developed by Tesco is a successful method which will be implemented by other businesses?

 

 

 


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