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£29bn boost for the renewable industry

£29bn boost for the renewable economyMore than £29 billion worth of investment has been announced in the renewable energy sector since 2010 with the potential to support around 30,000 jobs and boost the trades.

At the All Energy Conference today in Aberdeen, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey revealed new regional renewables job and investment figures for the green economy.

Speaking at the conference, Mr Davey called on Scotland to remain in the UK to protect current high levels of renewable investment in the trades and safeguard additional employment opportunities for people in the trades.

Mr Davey said: “The UK offers a uniquely attractive, stable, transparent and supportive environment for investment in low carbon generation.

“Between now and 2020, the support we give to low carbon electricity will increase year-on-year to £7.6 billion – a tripling of the support for renewable energy.

“New research by my Department estimates that, since 2010, across the UK, over £29 billion of private sector investment in renewables has been announced supporting almost 30,000 jobs.

“Many of these jobs are highly-skilled and well-paid positions and employees can be proud to be a part of securing the UK’s energy supply.

“The commitment of the UK Government to a vision of a low carbon future is building up a bow wave of new jobs and investment in the economy.”

Renewables jobs and investment

New research shows that since 2010 more than £29 billion worth of investment has been announced in renewable energy with the potential to support around 30,000 jobs.

The figures produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that between January 2010 and April 2013 industry has announced:

  • 18,613 jobs and £14.5 billion investment in England,
  • 9,143 jobs and £13.1 billion investment in Scotland,
  • 1,952 jobs and £1.4 billion investment in Wales,
  • 239 jobs and £304 million investment in Northern Ireland.

What is your reaction to the £29 billion investment that will energise the renewable industry and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Royal Liverpool Hospital gets the go-ahead by government

Royal Liverpool Hospital gets the go-ahead by government

The government has given the go-ahead for the building of Liverpool’s £425 million Royal University Hospital that will create 750 full-time construction jobs.

The multi-million development is set to employ local people, materials and services where possible to generate an additional £240 million for the local economy and boost the trades.

The Department for Health and the Treasury have approved the funding and the hospital is now assessing bids from two construction companies, Carillion and Horizon, that will design and build the hospital by 2017.

After the bidder is appointed, the hospital will obtain final planning permission and sign contracts, with building construction work expected to begin early next year.

Aidan Kehoe, chief executive, said: “I am delighted that we are now just weeks away from unveiling the design for our new hospital.

“The new Royal is at the very heart of our city and this is a significant step forward in the creation of our world-class hospital.

“It also brings us one step closer to the creation of the Liverpool BioCampus, which has the potential to transform the city, propelling us onto the world stage along with Boston and Singapore.”

What is your reaction to the £425 million funding for the building of new Royal Liverpool University Hospital that will create hundreds of construction jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

AstraZeneca to build £330 million Cambridge centre

AstraZeneca to build £330 million Cambridge centre

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has announced plans to build £330 million research centre and corporate HQ in Cambridge that will pave the way for new jobs in the construction industry.

The move is part of the company’s proposals to create strategic global R&D centres in the UK, US and Sweden to improve pipeline productivity and to establish AstraZeneca as a global leader in biopharmaceutical innovation.

Focusing on the company’s UK-based activities at the new centre in Cambridge, the pharmaceutical giant will build on AstraZeneca’s world-leading protein engineering capabilities already based in the city, expanding its operations and boosting employment across a range of industries in the area.

Chief executive of AstraZeneca, Pascal Soriot, said: “Our proposed investment is a clear signal of AstraZeneca’s long-term commitment to the UK and highlights the important role Cambridge plays internationally in bioscience research.

“The Government’s Life Sciences Strategy and the meaningful policies they have put in place in recent years to encourage investment help make Britain an attractive location for biopharmaceutical research and development.

“Cambridge, which boasts strong links with London-based research institutions, is a world-renowned bioscience hotspot that rivals the likes of San Francisco and Boston.

“In a world where partnerships and collaborations drive medical progress, becoming an integral part of the Cambridge ecosystem offers compelling advantages for AstraZeneca, giving us easier access to leading-edge academic and industry networks, scientific talent and valuable partnering opportunities.

“I believe that the investment we are announcing today greatly increases the chances that the next generation of innovative medicines will be invented and manufactured in Britain.”

What is your reaction to the £330 million plan to build a new research and corporate centre in Cambridge that will boot the construction industry and the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

Major investment in Whitehill & Bordon to provide new jobs and homes

A Ministry of Defence site in Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town has been bought by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to provide much-needed homes and create new trade jobs.

The Quebec Barracks site will see 100 new homes built and employment space for up to 100 new jobs created as result of a £3 million investment for East Hampshire.

The funding will transform the former barracks into a high quality sustainable neighbourhood as part of the ambitious Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town project.

The overall plan for the regeneration of the town is set to build 4,000 environmentally sustainable homes and create 5,500 jobs.

The new homes will meet official zero carbon standards and be attractively designed to set the benchmark for new homes in the rest of the town.

HCA investment supports sustainable new homes and jobs in HampshireKevin Bourner, HCA Head of Area, said: “This investment enables partners to take the first steps towards regenerating Whitehill & Bordon in an environmentally and economically sustainable way.

“The homes will be built to a much higher standard than originally envisaged, which will raise the bar in terms of the development of the rest of the project and act as a catalyst for lasting change here. There is a lot of work that needs to be done over the next year, but it is exciting to have got to this stage and see that progress is going to happen in the months ahead.”

Cllr Glynis Watts, East Hampshire District Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Whitehill and Bordon, said: “This investment is a great step forward for the town. The focus of this and future development is on enabling residents to have a really good quality of life.

“The homes that will be built will meet local aspirations because they will be attractive, cheap to run and in a great environment. We are going to pull out all the stops to make this something really special.”

John Walker, the Independent Chairman of the Whitehill & Bordon Eco-town Delivery Board, said: “The regeneration of Quebec Barracks is a small example of what we are trying to achieve across the town.

“Our aim is to deliver exceptionally good design that sets the standard for future Eco-town development. This is a tremendous opportunity to create a really attractive and sought-after place to live and work.”

What is your reaction to the new funding announced by the Homes and Community Agency that will create new jobs and build new homes? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Housing Minister reveals funding to speed up building of new homes

Housing Minister Mark Prisk Reveals new fundingThe housing minister, Mark Prisk, said to bring forward the development of 6,300 new homes by providing fresh funds to support the building industry.

The Minister announced £20 million of fresh investment to accelerate the construction of 6,300 homes at the new town of Cranbrook in East Devon, paving the way for employment opportunities in the trades and boosting the construction sector.

Mr Prisk visited the new community of Cranbrook to see first-hand how a partnership approach to development is reaping impressive results from government investment.

Aside from the construction of new homes, he also announced that the money would be used to deliver the roads and infrastructure needed to develop a new town centre, with the remaining funds supporting the construction of a new secondary school and a second primary school as part of the next phase of Cranbrook’s development.

This investment in infrastructure is expected to accelerate the pace of the delivery of new homes from 300 a year to up to 500.

Today’s announcement is the first allocation of £225 million earmarked by the chancellor in his Autumn Statement for the delivery of 50,000 new homes in large, locally-supported housing programmes.

The funding programme for planned, large-scale sites, administered by the Homes and Communities Agency, will be targeted at schemes that are struggling to move forward because of the current economic climate.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This government is serious about building more homes. That’s why we have been looking carefully at how we can accelerate large, planned housing schemes that already have the support of local people, but need help to move forward in the current economic climate.

“So I’m delighted that today I can announce our intervention will help unlock the delivery of over 6,000 new homes in Cranbrook, and create thousands of jobs for local people.

“In the months ahead I will be announcing support for similar schemes. That means more investment, more jobs for our young people and more affordable homes for families across the country.

“We have set aside considerable funding to assist large housing programmes like Cranbrook, and I would urge anyone with similar proposals to come forward and contact my department.”

What is your reaction to the new funding announced by Housing Minister Mark Prisk that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

£100m repairs contract to create new jobs

Interserve to create new jobsSocial housing landlord East Thames has awarded a £100 million repairs and maintenance contract to Interserve, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.

The seven-year contract will provide repairs service to more than 13,500 households and create new jobs for local residents and the wider community.

Bruce Melizan, executive director at Interserve, said: “Delivering front-line services for East Thames is strategically important to us at Interserve, as it affects local residents’ homes and their quality of life.

“The fact that East Thames has given us an opportunity to share our knowledge and experience in delivering residential repairs and maintenance with them is a strong endorsement of the value and quality we can bring to their estates.

“The benefits of our approach have already been evidenced by the 22 per cent saving we have already achieved for East Thames on their outsourcing model, which is just the start of a partnership that will enable East Thames and their residents to benefit from our intelligent approach to delivering services over the coming years.”

The contract will also see benefits extended to the wider community via local recruitment targets, training and employment opportunities and a unique package of support for local long term unemployed residents who have found it difficult to find work.

Interserve will deliver estate services to local areas, including cyclical works, building refurbishment, planned and responsive repairs and maintenance to corporate buildings.

East Thames director of development and property Geoff Pearce said: “We are very much looking forward to working with our new partners Interserve and welcome their customer-centred approach to delivering our repairs service.

“Thanks to the feedback we’ve received from our residents, we have been able to work, together with Interserve, to design a service that better meets the needs of our customers, while delivering value for money and a significant contribution to East Thames’ local employment aims.”

What is your reaction to the new £100 million repairs and maintenance contract that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

 

New EU support for jobs and vocational training in the trades

The European Commission has approved a new work programme for Egypt that would create 82,000 new jobs and enhance country’s Technical and Vocational Education Training system.

The new scheme will provide immediate employment for workers in small infrastructure projects located in the poorest areas of Egypt.

Projects will include construction work and the provision of community services. The EU said it will improve living conditions for the most vulnerable population and boost Egypt’s poor economy.

The support to the TVET system will enhance the skills of young people to meet the labour market’s demands, with particular attention to the tourism sector. Two million pupils in the secondary technical education are expected to benefit from this EU support.

EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, said: “Our new support is responding directly to the crucial demands expressed by young people in Egypt during the Arab Spring last year and we are committed to helping to provide Egyptian citizens with new job opportunities, which is one of the top priorities of the new Egyptian leadership”.

The total value of both programmes is €120 million, where €70 million is marked for programme to create jobs and €50 million for vocational training.

These programmes are part of the overall financial assistance package that the EU is mobilising in support to Egypt’s development and the country’s new socio-economic needs.

What is your reaction to the EU investment programme that aims to enhance Vocational Education Training worldwide and create new trade jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Invergarry wind farm gets the go-ahead

A wind farm that will create new jobs and generate £30 million for the Highland economy has been approved by the Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.

The 85-megawatt project will have 25 turbines and generate up to the equivalent of the energy needs of 40,000 homes.

The wind farm, by developers RidgeWind, will employ 90 people for its two-year construction and three people directly and three indirectly once up and running.

Mr Ewing said: “The construction will provide a valuable boost to the local economy, injecting £30 million and creating 90 jobs.

“Once it is up and running it will save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and it is expected that the savings made will ‘pay off’ the carbon footprint of constructing the site in less than two years.”

The developer is set to provide five £1000 scholarships for local young people going on into university or technical college.

What is your reaction to the approval of the Invergarry wind farm that is set to bring economic boost to the region and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

Land Securities’ boost for UK jobs and the trades

Land Securities has been given the go-ahead to start a £350 million Kingsgate redevelopment that will create 2,500 jobs throughout its construction and boost the trades.

The announcement comes after the Prime Minister, David Cameron, visited the site and showed his support for the project in an attempt to prevent planning levy for local infrastructure being double-charged and cut red tape.

David Cameron said: “Already the changes we are making to the planning system are having an impact, with Land Securities giving the go-ahead to a major multi-million pound investment, supporting thousands of jobs in our construction industry.”

The scheme is designed by Lynch Architects and it comprises of two new buildings: The Zig Zag Building, a 190,000 sq ft office building over 14 floors with a staggered façade; and Kings Gate, a 12 storey residential building comprising 100 apartments.

Both buildings will provide a new and enhanced retail space with 45,000 sq ft of space, together with considerable improvements to the public realm benefitting the wider Victoria area. The buildings are planned to complete in summer 2015.

Robert Noel, Chief Executive of Land Securities said: “It is heartening to know that the Government has listened to the industry and acted to remove some of the uncertainty in the planning process.

“It enables us to progress with developing the former Kingsgate House site and continue to transform Victoria into a distinct and vibrant West End hub where people choose to live, work and visit.

“Our experience with our current developments demonstrates that Victoria is proving attractive to potential occupiers. This project will further add to its appeal.”

The scheme will also provide an affordable housing contribution of £11.6 million which will be directed towards the provision of affordable development in the Westminster area.

What is your reaction to the multi-million development that will pave the way for new trade jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

£22m school expansion programme reaches out for trade jobs

Enfield Council has unveiled plans to spend £22 million on a building programme to expand 11 schools across North London which will provide 2, 400 extra school places and boost the trades.

Most of the building work is expected to be completed by September next year and could create hundreds of jobs in the construction industry as well as boost the local economy.

The Council has chosen Cornerstone Property Assets for its delivery partner of the scheme.

Cornerstone, which is led by former Partnership for Schools’ chief executive Tim Byles, welcomed the school expansion programme that will see the construction of much needed school places and improve the existing facilities.

Mr Byles said: “Enfield is taking a highly innovative approach to addressing their shortfall, and subject to the consultation, we very much look forward to working with them to create the additional places in safe, secure facilities in time for the new school year in 2013.”

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Ayfer Orhan, said: “This £22 million project will provide hundreds of extra primary school places in the areas they are most needed and improve our educational facilities ahead of the 2013 school year.

“We want parents and our partners to tell us what they think of the proposals so Enfield Council can be sure we get this project right and provide enough school places for Enfield’s pupils for years to come.

“We need to accommodate the expected increase in primary school places so we can address parent’s concerns that their children don’t have to travel excessive distances to school.”

What is your reaction to the £22 million school expansion programme in Enfield? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

£1bn housing boost reaches out for new jobs

Yorkshire Building Society has announced plans to increase lending in social housing by £200 million each year which will boost the trades and create new jobs. 

The building society made the decision to increase lending to housing associations up and down the country for the next five years, paving the way for new employment opportunities in the construction sector.

The society, which won several mandates in 2012 including a £12 million deal to upgrade environmental and heating facilities for 1,800 properties on the Byker estate in Newcastle, has also  taken part in a £14.5m ‘Lending for Leasing’ facility for four new clients.

Head of social housing at Yorkshire Building Society, John Inglesfield, said: “We continue to see a stable and well-managed sector notwithstanding recent changes to the grant and benefit systems.

“As a mutual with the objective of helping our customers into homes, we feel comfortable with working with not for profit housing organisations which also aim to provide the housing people want and need.

“This increased allocation will provide the sector with access to lines of term credit to complement other sources of finance. We hope to work with new customers large and small in lot sizes from £5m to £50m.”

What is your reaction to the increase in social housing investment by the Yorkshire Building Society set to bring economic boost and help the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Ed Balls Goes For New Affordable Homes

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has called for the building of 100,000 affordable homes that will boost the economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the construction industry.  

Today’s announcement comes as the shadow chancellor used his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester to demand radical measures to kick-start the economy and increase infrastructure spending.

Ed Balls said that a windfall of up to £4 billion is to come from the sale of the 4G mobile phone spectrum. This money could be used to fund the building of more affordable homes which will boost the trades and help people get on the property ladder.

Mr Balls said: “Let’s use that money from the 4G sale and build over the next two years 100,000 new homes – affordable homes to rent and to buy – creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and getting our construction industry moving again.”

According to the shadow chancellor, plans to boost long-term investment and skills are the only way to rising living standards and getting people into employment.

He said: “Conference, a clear and costed plan to kick-start the economy and get people back to work is to build the homes  that we need now and for the long-term, building our way out of recession and re-building Britain for the future.”

What is your reaction to the proposal by the shadow chancellor Ed Balls to use the £4 billion from the 4G mobile phone network sale to build 100,000 affordable homes and boost the economy? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Liverpool accommodation scheme reaches out for new jobs

Two student accommodation schemes at the University of Liverpool have been submitted for planning approval, paving the way for developers to start building work.

The £50 million project, part of an overall £600 million campus investment announced last year, will build 621 en-suite rooms and create new jobs in the trades.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said that this regeneration will not only improve the facilities at the University of Liverpool, but will also provide economic boost to the city and bring new employment opportunities for local people.

Mr Anderson said: “This development will increase the appeal of the University of Liverpool to potential students right across the country and the world, contributing to Liverpool’s growing status as a distinctive global city.

“It will also provide a much needed boost to the city in terms of jobs and training opportunities for local people.”

Preston based developer Worthington Properties, which was selected as a building contractor for the two sites in Liverpool city centre, is planning to demolish five accommodation blocks in Philharmonic Court and construct two six-storey buildings which will contain 354 student rooms.

The second proposed development in Great Newton Street will see Worthington build on a former car park and disused university property. The building will be between four and seven storeys and is expected to have 267 student rooms. Architect on the scheme is Manchester-based Leach Rhodes Walker.

Development director at Worthington Properties, Russell Worthington, said: “We are proud to work in partnership with Liverpool University and Liverpool City Council to design a product that will help the university attract national and international students to the city.

“In addition, the investment by Liverpool University will help to create employment as we will be looking to work with suppliers and recruit from the area.”

What is your reaction to the student accommodation scheme at the University of Liverpool which will boost the local economy and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Citizens Advice signposts consumers to find reliable tradesmen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boris gives the go ahead to £320m regeneration scheme

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Communities Secretary Erick Pickles have given final approval to a £320 million regeneration scheme in Harrow.

The project will turn the 40-acre strip of land, previously used by the camera company Kodak, and build 985 new homes, a primary school, medical centre as well as shops and offices.

Portfolio holder for regeneration at Hallow Council, Keith Ferry, said he was ‘delighted’ that the project, which was granted panning permission in June, had finally been approved by the Government, paving the way for building work to start in early 2014.

Mr Ferry said: “As a council we are determined to deliver on our promise to regenerate and build the most sustainable community in Harrow and to establish a thriving residential and commercial centre.”

Developer Land Securities estimates the project, which also includes a community centre, student accommodation, and a retirement home, will create up to 1,500 jobs in the construction industry.

Harrow Council said that this development is the biggest in the area and it forms part of the wider Heart of Harrow project, which seeks to create 3,000 new jobs and build 2,500 new homes.

What is your reaction to the multi-million development scheme which has been approved by the government? 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.

Acton Gardens Reaches Out for New Homes

The London Borough of Ealing has granted planning permission for the £579 million regeneration scheme in Acton Gardens that will build thousands of homes and pave the way for new jobs in the trades.  

The regeneration of Ealing’s largest housing estate will develop an urban village with around 2,500 homes, half of which will be affordable, as well as tree-lined streets, parks, communal gardens, offices and retail space.

The developer, Acton Gardens LLP, is a joint venture between Countryside Properties and social housing landlord L&Q. It has established Acton Gardens Community Board in conjunction with local residents and stakeholders, to help manage the 15-year regeneration programme.

The new homes will be built to achieve a minimum Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 offering low heating, power and water consumption. Non-domestic buildings are aspiring to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’.

David Montague, Chief Executive of L&Q, said: “Securing planning committee approval is a crucial milestone in the transformation of South Acton and we are extremely pleased to have been given the green light by our partners at the London Borough of Ealing.

“The consultation process with residents and local and regional stakeholders involved numerous public exhibitions, workshops with community groups and over 600 face to face interviews with residents.

“The results of this process can be seen in the quality of the design proposals which are very focused on delivering the aspirations of local people. The ground-breaking ‘Future Climate’ work at Acton Gardens will aid us in all our future projects.”

Currently there are 167 dwellings at Acton Gardens which are under construction with first completions expected in January 2013.

What is your reaction to multi-million regeneration scheme at Acton Gardens that will build new homes and create jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Historic town hall work to bring new trade jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLANNING MAJOR CHANGES TO CREATE NEW JOBS

The Government is planning to re-write planning rules to boost “nationally significant” infrastructure projects and build new homes, Chancellor George Osborne unveiled yesterday.

The Chancellor said that developers would be allowed to build on the Green Belt around towns and cities if an equivalent area of land is safeguarded elsewhere.

Mr Osborne said: “I think we can speed up planning. It is absolutely ludicrous that it takes years to get planning decisions in this country. The country, in the current economic environment, cannot afford to wait years for development.”

A £10 billion Treasury package will guarantee the debt of housing associations and private developers in bid to create jobs and revive housing market.

The Chancellor said that the Government will do more in order to make it easier for local authorities to grant planning permission for developers in the future.

Mr Osborne announced a Small Business Bank to bring together what he called an “alphabet soup” of Government schemes to help small firms and encourage economic growth.

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

New Trade Jobs as Kwoks set to roll in £300m deal

A £300 million development programme, part of an ambitious £8 billion residential scheme for London, is set to start in next year following an agreement between developers.

Capital and Counties Properties (Capco) today finalised the deal with Hong Kong developers, the Kwok family, to build 800 new homes around Seagrave Road in central London.

The investment is set to bring thousands of new trade jobs for the construction industry and encourage economic growth.

Proposals include building new offices, leisure and retail space as well as a new primary school, library and open public areas. The project will include 200 affordable homes that will be offered to tenants in nearby estates.

Ian Hawksworth, Chief Executive of Capco said: “We are pleased to have completed our joint venture agreement in relation to the Seagrave Road project and look forward to starting on site in 2013 to create this exciting new residential quarter for London.”

In accordance with the conditional agreement reached in December 2011, Capco received cash consideration of approximately £67 million from the Kwok family for the 50 per cent interest in the development, which includes the Seagrave Road site and other adjacent assets.

What is your reaction to the £300 million residential scheme at Seagrave Road that will create new trade jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Council to Create 500 New Trade Jobs

“Development to generate plenty of employment opportunities for people in the trades”

A council has given the go ahead for a £430 million housing regeneration scheme to build 1,600 new homes and refurbish a further 1,200 existing homes, creating hundreds of new jobs in the trades.

After a 4-year consultation period with the local community in Pendleton, the multi-million scheme is going to be delivered by SP+ consortium, which includes Chevin Housing Association, Keepmoat, Harewood Homes and Latham Architects, creating opportunities for local suppliers and trade professionals to benefit from work contracts.

The housing improvement scheme will create 500 new jobs in the building construction sector, many of them in the plumbing, electrical and gas-engineering industry. The huge project is set to create   2,000 work experience placements for apprentices and people looking to enter the trades.

As well as housing, the scheme will also provide new sports pitches, green space, walk ways, cycle paths, an extra care facility, new shopping promenade and new sports pitches at the Fit City development.

Councillor Gena Merrett, Assistant Mayor for Housing and Environment at Salford City Council, said: “Now that we have approved plans the contractors will be able to get on site and start creating a new Pendleton.

“The plans put forward by the preferred bidder not only build new housing, they will also make the most of what is already there, refurbishing some of the existing properties and creating parks and green space that will create a much nicer environment for local residents to enjoy.”- said Councillor Merrett.

What is your reaction to the £430 housing regeneration scheme that has been given the go ahead by Salford City Council? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Multi-million Student Accommodation Scheme to Create New Jobs

A £65 million deal for student accommodation at the University of Essex is going ahead, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction industry.

Today’s announcement gets  the ball rolling for selected building and design contractor Bouygues UK to build over a thousand student-bed accommodation complex.

Construction work has already started on the site adjoining Boundary Road which forms part of the University’s major Knowledge Gateway development.

The three-year scheme includes the construction of 648 new student units and the transfer of 766 existing ones, for which the Bouygues Development will provide the university a capital receipt.

The new build part of the scheme – known as The Meadows – has been designed by Lewis & Hickey architects and comprises 12-bed town houses accommodating 228 students and a further 420 en-suite study bedrooms.

An eye-catching  pavilion that will house a student common room, known as  ’The Hub’, will be built along the clusters of the study bedrooms.

Director of University of Essex Campus Services, Peter Church, said: “Demand for good quality campus residences remains high and The Meadows will add to student choice, with the town houses ideal for groups who wish to share accommodation.”

Mr Church commented that the combination of Bouygues Development’s extensive building and project management experience will complement and enhance the sense of community for students and local residents

What is your reaction to the major student accommodation scheme at the University of Essex? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Sporting Chance of Jobs in Hull’s New Theatre of Solar Power

One of the UK’ top sports colleges is about to get a £19 million facelift which is expected to create hundreds of new trade jobs.

Morgan Sindall has been given the go ahead for projects in Hull aspart of the city’s £400 million Schools Future Programme. Part of this will renovate St Mary’s College and will construct a 70, 000 sq. ft. teaching block.

North East construction managing director, Gordon Ray, said: “Construction work of this size and calibre has a huge impact on the economy of the city.

“We always look to support the communities and we hope to bring in a number of jobs to the region including for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.”

The new campus building will also include a new professional-standard 300-seat theatre with a ‘fly’ tower, allowing stage scenery to be raised and lowered during performances, which is one of the first to be installed in a school in the UK.

Mr Ray said that the company will aim to work with 50 building subcontractors from the area and also recruit apprentices throughout the lifetime of the project.

Due to the large amount of glazing and south facing frontage in its design, the new building will use thermal modelling and solar controlled glazing to ensure a steady internal temperature.

The main building will house 12 humanities classrooms, six sixth form classrooms, 14 science laboratories, 7,500 sq. ft. design and art space, a food technology classroom and two ICT suites.

As a specialist sports college, St Mary’s  will build a new 11,800 sq. ft. three court sports block with three sports science classrooms, an all-weather pitch and multi-use games area.

What is your reaction to the £19 million building scheme in Hull’s Mary College that will provide employment opportunities for trade professionals? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Good News for the Trades: Hull’s Library Renovation Scheme to Create New Jobs

“The new redevelopment is to bring employment opportunities for trade professionals”

A multimillion redevelopment scheme at the University of Hull’s historic library has been given the green light with the appointment of its main contractor that will refurbish the 16,000 square-metre building and provide new employment opportunities for people in the trades. 

Today’s appointment of BAM Construction will provide the eight-storey library with new facades, mechanical and engineering services.

Building work is set to start this month, with the main scheme getting underway in November 2012. The project will continue for 3 years and is expected to be completed by 2014.

The project is expected to meet the world’s leading environmental and rating system for buildings, BREEAM.

BAM said in a statement today that it will hold suppliers days to attract local labour and provide employment opportunities for trade professionals, including plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

BAM’s Construction Director, Kelvin Pollard, said that the company is delighted to bring such impressive library to the forefront of modern design and technology which will encourage economic growth and create new jobs.

Mr Pollard said: “This major project will benefit the local economy and will ensure the library remains operational throughout. When complete, students will benefit from lighter, airier spaces that are more conducive to study and better equipped for modern learning.”

What is your reaction to the multimillion redevelopment scheme at University of Hull’s historic library which will benefit the local economy and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

 

University Regeneration Scheme to Create New Jobs in the Trades

The University of Bath has announced plans to spend £100 million on improving its campus over the next three years that will enhance student experience and create new jobs in the building trades.

The University’s major refurbishment programme announced today will provide 708 en-suite bedrooms in 75 flats across two buildings and deliver increased space for teaching and research improved facilities, creating employment opportunities for people in the building engineering sector.

A new multimillion Art Centre will be built by the autumn of 2014 including general teaching building facilities with a main 350-seat lecture theatre which is due to open in October 2013

Building plans have been submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council which is expected to reach a decision and give the green light to the improvement scheme by October 2012.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell, said: “Despite continuing economic uncertainty and the changing tuition fee landscape, the University of Bath is facing the future with great confidence.

“Our aim is to further enhance the university’s ability to deliver an outstanding student experience; creating additional facilities for research, and an inspiring working environment, as well as providing cultural and economic benefits for the wider Bath region.”

What is your reaction on the £100 million regeneration scheme at the University of Bath? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Olympic Legacy for the Trades as well Sport

“Post-Olympic Work to Create New Jobs in the Trades” 

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) has appointed Britain’s second biggest homebuilder to build the first of the five new neighbourhoods on the Olympic Park.

The appointment of Taylor Wimpey and asocial housing landlord L&Q will transform the 9.3 hectare Chobham Manor site, delivering 870 new homes and supporting thousands of new jobs in the trades.

Sitting between the Athletes’ Village and the Lee Valley VeloPark, the development of Chobham Manor will address the residential needs for larger homes, with more than 75% of the new homes offering family housing.

Eleven thousand new homes, schools, nurseries and shops are set to be built in the Olympic Park over the next 20 years after the London Games leave town.

Daniel Moylan, Chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:“Chobham Manor will set the tone for the high quality neighbourhoods we want to create across the Park with new schools, health centres and community spaces to support them.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, welcomed the announcement by emphasising the future benefits for local communities and the increasing accommodation needs in the city.

Mr Johnson said: “With the incredible energy of London 2012 captivating audiences across the world, the long-term legacy of the Olympic Park is quietly going from strength to strength.

“The development of Chobham Manor is major milestone and will help ensure a thriving community on the Park becomes a reality sooner rather than later.”

What are your reactions of the Olympic Games and the lasting legacy they will bring to London’s infrastructure? Do you welcome the Post-Olympic work which is set to deliver thousands of new homes for Londoners? Share the wider implications of the Games for you and your business by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Student Accommodation Scheme to Create New Jobs

A multimillion accommodation scheme at the University of Stirling has been granted to a large construction firm which will see will the creation of 788 contemporary bedrooms and bring new jobs during its three year redevelopment period.

The £11 million contract will enable Stirling to compete with universities and colleges around the world whist creating employment opportunities for people in the trades and directly benefiting the local economy.

Building construction work, which is due to start this year, will improve current student accommodation with newly-designed study bedrooms, spacious kitchens with dining space, and increased social spaces.

Director of Estates & Campus Services, Karen Plouviez, described the scheduled redevelopment as the largest capital project the University has undertaken since it was created in the late 1960s.

Ms Plouviez said “We are looking forward to working in partnership with GRAHAM Construction to deliver this transformational project and to sensitively enhancing what is already an exceptional landscape and architectural setting.”

Regional Director for Graham Construction said: “Graham has a policy of being a responsible neighbour to the communities we operate in and we will be seeking to build relationships with the local construction industry and its supply chain.”

What is your reaction on the multimillion accommodation scheme at the University of Stirling? Do you think the local construction industry could benefit by the willingness of Graham Construction to cooperate with its supply chain? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Student Accommodation Scheme to Create New Trade Jobs

Good news for the trades as the University of Hertfordshire selects a major developer to build a new 3, 000 bed student accommodation scheme that will create new jobs in the building engineering sector.

Preferred bidder Uliving Consortium is going to build 2, 511 new student accommodation units and transfer around 500 of the University’s existing residences at the College Lane campus in Hatfield.

In a statement, the Uliving Consortium, which is made up of major developer Bouygues Development and not-for-profit accommodation operator, Derwent Living, said that this will be a remarkable and truly transformational scheme that will improve students’ living standards.

The ambitious scheme will also provide new sports facilities, a campus gym, informal learning and social spaces and a new dedicated bus route.  The University’s vision is to create a fully inclusive living and learning environment will pave the way for employment opportunities for builders, plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

The scheme will be delivered in three phases with the first phase set to commence in May 2013.  Each phase thereafter will be completed in time for the start of the following academic year; the entire scheme scheduled for completion in September 2016.

The new buildings that will be built through the scheme will achieve ‘True’ Zero Carbon accreditation and meet BREEAM Outstanding status.

Stephane Slama-Royer, Managing Director of Uliving and Managing Director of Bouygues Development said: “As student accommodation developers and managers we recognise that the quality of student accommodation has a huge influence on the student experience and that the provision of exceptional living environments is central to the success of these communities.”

What is your reaction to the newly appointed bidder of University of Hertfordshire’s 3,000 Bed Student Accommodation Scheme which create jobs in the trades? 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.

Green Jobs are Vital for UK’s Energy Efficiency

The UK has been ranked as the most energy efficient country in the world according to a new study which calculates countries’ efforts to reduce energy use and shows the overall effect of green policies, contributing for the creation of thousands of new jobs in the renewable engineering industry.

The study was published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) which ranked the UK first among the world’s 12 largest economies, closely followed by Germany, Italy, and Japan, for reducing pollution in industry, transport and buildings.

British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, welcomed the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard by the ACEEE, emphasising the importance of low-carbon and renewable initiatives in the UK for future economic growth and sustainable development.

Mr Davey said: “The UK and the leading economies of Europe are now well ahead of the United States when it comes to energy efficiency. This is significant because countries that use energy more efficiently require fewer resources to achieve the same goals, thus reducing costs, preserving valuable natural resources, and creating jobs.”

The 12 largest economies, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union represent over 78 per cent of Global Gross Domestic Product;  63 per cent of global energy consumption; 62 percent of the global carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions.

Author of the report and ACEEE Senior Researcher, Sara Hayes, said that investment in cost- effective energy efficiency can help many countries to strengthen their economic competitiveness and create new jobs in the renewable industry.

Ms Hayes said: “While energy efficiency has played a major role in the economies of developed nations for decades, cost-effective energy efficiency remains a massively underutilized energy resource. Fortunately, there is a lot countries can do to strengthen their economic competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency.”

What is your reaction to the new report by the ACEEE that rates the UK as the world’s most energy efficient country? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Jamie Haskins talks about electrical training with T4TS Part 2

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

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

[scribd id=99577539 key=key-2n3paylxffpzsgjnz548 mode=list]

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Jamie Haskins talks about electrical training with T4TS Part 1

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

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

[scribd id=99314460 key=key-11trs9gdxo4jvju4592x mode=list]

The Nine Elms Regeneration Scheme to Build 3,000 New Homes

Wandsworth Council has granted planning permission to two major development schemes in London’s biggest regeneration zone, Nine Elms, which will see built almost 3,000 new homes.

The Nine Elms scheme will include replacing the existing 1970’s tower block on the corner of Warnsworth Road with two new 58 and 43-storey buildings, Wandsworth Council confirmed yesterday.

More than 1,000 new homes are currently under construction at the 195 hectares acres site in Nine Elms and another 12, 000 new homes are expected to come through the planning pipeline.

It has been estimated the building delivery programme at Nine Elms could support up to 24, 000 jobs in the building construction industry as well as contributing towards major infrastructure upgrades including the Northern Line Extension.

Wandsworth Council’s planning chairman Cllr Nick Cuff said: “We’re making tremendous progress in Nine Elms. Each new development will create new homes, new open spaces and new job opportunities for local people.

Commenting on the approved New Covent Garden Market scheme to modernise 40 years old market facilities in the area which could provide over 2, 000 new homes, Mr Cuff said: “The modernisation of New Covent Garden Market is designed to safeguard the future of 2,500 jobs and comes with a contribution of around £63 million towards the Northern Line Extension.

“One Nine Elms would see an outdated office block replaced with two glass towers and around half of the site would become a new public square lined with shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.”

Wandsworth and Lambeth Councils said they were securing apprenticeship places and local employment opportunities as a condition of each scheme’s planning consent.

Once the construction process is complete the new Nine Elms will provide an additional 25,000 new permanent jobs for London as well as 16,000 new homes.

Do you welcome the major developments in Nine Elms that will build new homes and create thousands of new jobs?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

The Mayor of London Will Build 100, 000 Affordable Homes


The Homes and Community Agency (HCA) published new figures today revealing that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is on track to build 100, 000 affordable homes by 2015.

More than 54, 000 homes were built in Mayor’s first term, exceeding Mayor Johnson’s pledge to provide 50, 000 affordable homes for Londoners over the four-year period of his term. In the past year 16,000 homes were built in London, which means Boris Johnson has exceeded his initial target by 4, 000 homes.

The government has given new powers to Mayor’s office in order to boost housing delivery in the capital. Mr Johnson has now pledged to build up to 100, 000 affordable homes with potential to create 100, 000 new jobs

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Four years ago I said that if we were going to improve Londoners’ lives it was going to be essential that we boost affordable housing supply in the capital. The hard work is by no means over but despite some of the most challenging economic conditions for decades we have delivered more than 54,000 affordable homes over the past four years.

“By 2015 we will have delivered over 100,000 affordable homes for London, which will give a vital boost for jobs and the wider economy, as well as providing decent places that people actually want to live in.”- added Mr Johnson.

Share your experiences about finding affordable homes in the London area? What is your reaction to the Mayor’s plan to deliver more affordable homes for Londoners? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

CBI Urges the Government to Boost Infrastructure

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has urged the government to boost economic growth by giving a greater emphasis on infrastructure projects in the UK.

In a new report published today, the CBI has recommended to the Treasury to enhance the credit rating of government construction schemes and raise public funds that will secure private business investment, unlocking billions of pounds to the UK economy.

According to the CBI Director-General, John Cridland, infrastructure investment will offer the UK a sustainable growth development that businesses need.

Mr Cridland said: “As this report makes clear, if we want to see the billions of pounds needed to upgrade our ageing infrastructure and secure jobs and growth for the long-term, the Government must make smarter use of limited public finances. By underpinning and lifting the credit rating of certain infrastructure assets, it can make them less risky and more attractive to investors.

The CBI says that harnessing just a 1 per cent increase from the UK’s pension fund will give a ‘vital boost’ to the UK’s underfunded infrastructure networks and make them more attractive to investors.

Do you welcome the recent report by the CBI that urges the government to make significant improvements to infrastructure schemes in the UK? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or adding your voice 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

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

Apple to Power Data Centres with Renewable Energy

 

Apple has announced plans to power its main data centre in North Carolina entirely with renewable energy by the end of 2012, Reuters has reported.

The announcement comes after long-lasting environmental concerns by Greenpeace about Apple’s rapid expansion of high-consuming computer server farms in the US.  Greenpeace activists drew significant attention last week on Apple’s use of coal at the data centre that powers its iCloud.

The maker of the iPhone and the iPad confirmed on Thursday that it was buying equipment from SunPower Corp and startup Bloom Energy to build two solar array installations near its core data centre in North Carolina. The sites will employ high-efficiency solar cells and an advanced solar tracking system.

“Apple’s announcement today is a great sign that Apple is taking seriously the hundreds of thousands of its customers who have asked for an iCloud powered by clean energy, not dirty coal.” said Greenpeace International Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook.

The solar farm is expected to supply 84 million kWh of energy annually and it will cover 250 acres of land around Apple’s main data centre.

“The plan we are releasing today includes two solar farms and together they will be twice as big as we previously announced, thanks to the purchase of some land very near to the data centre in Maiden, which will help us meet this goal.” Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer told Reuters.

Mr Oppenheimer outlined company’s ambition to continue its environmental approach along with its expansion in services and provide sustainable development for its products.

“Our next facility will be in Prineville, Oregon. This is still in the planning stages and we have already identified plenty of renewable sources nearby,” Oppenheimer said.

What is your reaction to the decision by Apple to power its main data centres with 100% renewable energy? Do you think that other high-tech companies will follow its environmental approach? Share your thought with us 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:

 

Universities Development to Boost the Building Construction Sector

 

Universities across the UK are planning to spend millions of pounds on new buildings and improve facilities as they are competing to attract more foreign and domestic students – research by the building firm Wates has shown.

Two thirds from all UK universities are going to spend more than £5 million on new construction work. This means that the Higher Education sector will continue to be a major source of work for contractors and trade qualified professionals.

Wates said the research represents different type of Universities.  The BBC reported that there are more than 160 higher education institutions across the UK. The research shows that 79% of these have building plans to expand and make significant improvements.

According to the research, a third of universities are considering extensive building plans, some of those include creating new partnerships to modernise science facilities and even build a multi-purpose hotel on campus.

Ian Vickers from Wates told the Construction Enquirer: “Students are being asked to pay more than ever before for a university degree. That means they expect a quality of experience that reflects the high price they are paying.

“In order to remain competitive, universities are therefore looking to deliver modern facilities that have the ‘wow’ factor whilst also encouraging more efficient and collaborative use of space.” added Vickers.

What is your reaction to the survey by Wates revealing that the Higher Education sector will be a major source of work for the construction industry? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

Chancellor Osborne Delivers Optimism for the UK Economy

Chancellor of Exchequer, George Osborne, has revealed positive growth figures for the British economy up to 2016, unemployment to fall and the inflation rate to decrease, giving hope to millions of people out of work and boosting businesses across Britain.  

The Chancellor said that the Office for Budget Responsibility has revised its forecast figures for growth with an increase of 2% for the next year. Budget 2012 has been described by the Chancellor as a budget rewarding work and encouraging economic growth.

Mr Osborne said that the government will provide funding to upgrade railway lines in the north of England and deal with the lack of airport capacity in the South-East which will create new jobs in the building construction sector.

The Chancellor said: “We want to look at the opportunities for increasing the role of private investment in the road network, learning lessons from the water industry.”

Significant news for the building sector, revealed today in Budget 2012, was the government’s commitment to provide an extra £100 million to improve accommodation for armed forces personnel’s families.

Ten Major UK cities are to receive £100 million to fund 100Mbps superfast broadband in areas where private sector would not normally reach. Those are Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and London.

Talking about the renewable energy sector, Chancellor Osborne said that the government will continue with its commitment to support green energy initiatives in the future. However, Mr Osborne said the government will make sure it ensures the fiscal effectiveness of the renewable energy.

Chancellor Osborne said: “I also want to see investment in our world-leading energy sector including renewables,” saying that “renewable energy will play a crucial part in Britain’s energy mix but I will always be alert to the costs we’re asking families, business to bear.”

What is your reaction to Budget 2012 and Chancellor’s commitment to deliver economic growth to the British economy? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

Bright Future for the Construction Sector

One of the UK’s largest building distributors, SIG, has reported a rise of 3.9% in sales of building materials for the construction industry. The positive news comes as the demand for contractors, builders and construction companies continues to rise due to a return in confidence in the housing market.

Growth figures are considered to be a result of improved trading conditions and recent government investments aiming to boost the building construction sector.

The government made the announcement this week to help up to 100,000 people in England buy their own homes. The recent scheme,‘NewBuy’, will further increase demand for new build homes and unlock the housing market, Prime Minister, David Cameron said on Monday.

SIG’s pre-tax profits reached £81.7 million when the group is planning to open more than 15 new branches in the future. The current housing shortage in the UK is expected to encourage building of more new homes as well as increase employment across the construction sector.

Chief Executive at SIG, Chris Davies, thinks that despite the current uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment the company will continue with its positive performance.

Mr Davies said: “We enter 2012 as a much leaner, stronger and more focused organisation. Sales per day in constant currency so far this year were around 1% ahead of strong prior year comparators, despite the impact of severe weather across mainland Europe in February this year.”

What is your reaction to the improved sales figures of SIG, suggesting that the construction sector is better now off than it used to be a few years ago?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

£3.5 Million Funding to Prepare Installers for ‘Green Deal’

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has committed an investment of £3.5 million to help more tradespeople become qualified as part of the governments’ energy efficiency scheme, the Green Deal.

Trained and skilful professionals are crucial for getting the Green Deal right. The new investment will contribute towards the training of hundreds of assessors, installers and existing trade professionals who will make energy efficient improvements to thousands of homes in the UK.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, said the £3.5 million will help hundreds of people to prepare for accurate implementation of the Green Deal and deliver a real success on the ground. The energy efficiency scheme will renovate millions of homes and office buildings across the UK which are currently inefficient, and will create up to 65,000 jobs by 2015.

Mr Davey said: “We have worked hand in hand with industry to get this right and are targeting funding at the areas where there is an urgent need as well as a clear demand. We hope this will encourage businesses across the country to fully prepare their staff for the launch of the Green Deal later this year.”

The announcement comes as Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmon, approved a £1 billion investment for the wind energy industry. This will create 600 additional jobs in the renewable industry and power nearly half-a million homes across Scotland.

What is your reaction to the new investment by the DECC to meet the demand for energy efficient schemes across the UK? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

 

Council Contractors to Create New Building and Construction Jobs

Stevenage Borough Council has signed a £26 million housing redevelopment scheme to modernise and improve thousands of council houses in the town by the end of 2015. Building work will begin in June this year, creating new jobs and boosting the local economy.

Appointed contractors, Keepmoat and Wates, have pledged to employ local tradespeople and provide training opportunities for those who want to take part in the project.

The Council has invested a total of £33 million on home improvements. This will make homes more modern and energy efficient. As a result of the scheme, more than 2,200 bathrooms and 3,400 kitchens will be fitted by the end of the investment programme.

Major heating and electrical work will also take place. Some 2,620 heating and 1,918 electrical systems will be updated, creating more employment opportunities for those in the heating and plumbing industry.

Stevenage Borough Council has agreed with both contractors, that as part of the scheme they will invest in similar projects that will benefit the local community.

The Council has also achieved a cash saving of nearly 10%, compared to previous contracts. The money saved will be reinvested in improving more properties to a higher standard than the national average.

Portfolio holder for housing, Cllr Ann Webb, shared a great deal of optimism about the project which will bring real benefits to the whole area by creating new jobs and helping the local community.

Chief Executive of Keepmoat, Ian Sutcliffe, said: “We are delighted to be given an opportunity to work in Stevenage. We have a strong reputation of delivering on our promises to customers. Whilst working in tenants homes we will maintain our excellent customer focus to make sure that they are satisfied with our work.”

Business Director of Wates, Cliff Parsons, said: “We look forward to meeting the local residents and working together to make a beneficial difference to the local community including employment opportunities and training.”

What is your reaction to the £33 million housing scheme in Stevenage? Do you welcome the improvements that will be made to thousands of council homes? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

Bright Future for the Green Economy

With increasingly higher demand for professionals in the renewable sector, the UK’s environmental charity organisation, Global Action Plan and global management consultant Accenture, have launched a two-year collaborative partnership to help young people gain the necessary skills for the emerging green economy.

The scheme will provide green skills development for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who are not currently in education or training, to build their employability skills, offer new opportunities and address the current skills shortage in the green sector.

Funding of £170,000 will be provided to support the green training by 2014; it will help people to find relevant work placements across a number of organisations in the green industry. Some 1,300 young people will benefit from the project.

Environmental groups, policymakers and companies have made the argument that renewable energy should be favoured over sources of non-renewables because it will create green jobs and boost the economy as well as help people tackle climate change.

The government is determined to continue with its commitment to improve energy efficiency in Britain. It has already invested £200 million into renewable energy projects which will help the green sector grow and give confidence to businesses.

Chief Executive of Global Action Plan, Trewin Restorick, said that the collaborative venture has been designed to boost employment and address key issues in the renewable sector.

Mr Restorick said: “As unemployment among 16-24 year olds continues to hit record highs, cross-sector partnerships such as the one between Global Action Plan and Accenture are vital in ensuring young people get into employment and contribute to a better, more sustainable society.”

What is your reaction to this and other initiatives to help the green sector? Do you think the government is doing enough to help the renewables sector? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

Construction Sector Hires More Workers

There has been a significant increase in the number of vacancies advertised in the building construction industry, despite the negative forecast on UK unemployment figures to reach almost 3 million by the end of this year.  

Recruitment consultants have reported an increase in construction vacancies for the first month of this year. One of the UK’s largest construction engineering recruiter has reported a rise of more than 50% in the number of advertised construction vacancies on their website, careerstructure.com.

Data published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has shown that engineering and construction workers were the most sought after employees in the UK. In contrast, the demand for hotel and catering staff has significantly declined according to the last survey from this year.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has published a report suggesting unemployment will continue to rise. However, the building construction industry is expected to continue to hiring more workers due to recent infrastructure projects and significant government investment.

The government has invested £5 billion towards infrastructure projects announced in the Autumn Statement in November, by Chancellor George Osborne. This has proven a positive incentive for the industry in regards to the progressive requirement as a result of business confidence and growth in the construction sector.

Do you think the increase of construction vacancies will continue and why? Share your thoughts on the future performance of the construction industry by commenting on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

Builders in London to Get More Housing Repairs Work

North London’s Camden Council has announced it will open half of its housing repair and maintenance work for external contractors, Construction Enquirer reported today. 

The decision of Camden Council to expand its list of maintenance and repair contractors will offer more opportunities to existing and new professionals in the building sector. The repair framework of Camden Council is expected to be worth around £14 million each year, meaning a significant incentive for a variety of firms in the building sector.

The Council’s current in-house contractor, DLO, has been working for sustainable development across some of its 33,000 housing stock; the additionally appointed contractor would work alongside council’s existing contractor which will carry out a separate £11m programme of housing work.

Camden Council will expect both, its current and newly joining contractors, to be working together in order to improve working systems and optimise existing procedures. The Council’s new maintenance contract will start in January 2013 initially for 5 years with the potential of the scheme to be extended by another 5 years.

Do you welcome the decision of Camden Council to put half of its housing repairs for an external contractor? What are your expectations of finding employment following Council’s decision? Share your thoughts by commenting on the Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

 

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