Posts tagged Infrastructure
The European Commission (EC) has adopted a new Action Plan for encouraging the use of green infrastructure, and for ensuring that the enhancement of natural processes becomes a systematic part of spatial planning.
It aims to show how the EU’s Atlantic Member States, their regions and the Commission can help create sustainable growth in coastal regions and drive forward the “blue economy”, which has the potential to provide 7 million jobs in Europe by 2020
Environment commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “Building green infrastructure is often a good investment for nature, for the economy and for jobs. We should provide solutions that work with nature instead of against it, where that makes economic and environmental sense.”
The Plan will contribute to the EU’s “Blue Growth” strategy (IP/12/955) and is consistent with the Commission’s focus on regional collaboration to encourage sustainable growth and create jobs.
The strategy will focus on:
- Promoting green infrastructure in the main policy areas, such as agriculture, forestry, nature, water, marine and fisheries, regional and cohesion policy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, transport, energy, disaster prevention and land use policies. By the end of 2013, the commission will develop guidance to show how green infrastructure can be integrated into the implementation of these policies from 2014 to 2020
- Improving research and data, strengthening the knowledge base and promoting innovative technologies that support green infrastructure
- Improving access to finance for green infrastructure projects – the commission will set up an EU financing facility by 2014, together with the European Investment Bank, to support green infrastructure projects
- Supporting EU-level green infrastructure projects – by the end of 2015, the commission will carry out a study to assess the opportunities for developing an EU-wide network of green infrastructure.
Finance Minister Jane Hutt outlined that the Welsh Government has delivered additional investment of around £1.1 billion in infrastructure projects across Wales by maximising the use of reduced capital budgets and by generating investment of around £750 million through innovative finance.
Jane Hutt said: “The £76.5 million of additional capital investment I am announcing today supports the priorities set out in the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for Growth and Jobs and ensures every Welsh pound is used to boost jobs and growth.
“The main benefits of investment are gained over the long term. But in present circumstances, the jobs created in constructing new infrastructure are vitally important, and this latest package is expected to support around 1,400 jobs during the construction phase.
“This significant package of investment clearly demonstrates our commitment to stimulating economic growth, creating jobs, mitigating the impact of the UK Government’s Welfare Reforms and reducing poverty in Wales.”
The multi-million package of investment to increase housing supply, including:
- An additional £20 million for the Social Housing Grant specifically to target investment in providing housing for individuals and families that may be adversely affected as a result of the UK Government’s reductions in Housing Benefit; and
- £10 million to expand the pilot of the Houses into Homes initiative to bring empty homes in Wales back into use.
- A £25 million package of investment in education to further accelerate the 21st Century Schools Programme.
- £11.5 million for a railway and station in Ebbw Vale town centre, as an initial element of a wider programme to create a more integrated transport network in South East Wales and support the City Region strategy. This investment will be a further boost to the regeneration of the local area.
- £10 million additional investment in the Flood and Coastal Risk Management Programme, to protect homes, businesses and communities from the risk of flooding.
What is your reaction to the increased infrastructure investment in Wales that will create new jobs and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission has awarded four contracts worth £600 million to build new electricity substations in the north of Scotland set to create new jobs and boost the trades.
This multi-million development of the new substations are an integral part of SHE Transmission’s investment programme to heavily upgrade and reinforce the transmission network and will help facilitate the connection of more renewable generation in the north of Scotland.
Miller Quatro is a joint venture between Miller Construction and three Spanish companies, Sacyr Industrial, Isastur and Aditel known collectively as Quatro T & D.
Chris Webster, Chief Executive, Miller Construction, said: “We are delighted to have secured a place on this substation delivery framework. Miller Quatro is a new entrant to the market place and we are looking forward to working with our joint venture partners to contribute towards the delivery of infrastructure required to support the connection of renewables.”
Pedro Siguenza Hernandez Chief Executive Officer of Sacyr Industrial said: “This agreement provides a significant opportunity for the growth of our Miller Quatro joint venture. We are fully committed to contributing to our client’s successful development of this framework”.
Demand for connection to the transmission network from renewable developers has increased considerably, requiring significant change to its configuration and operation.
David Gardner, SSE’s Director of Transmission, said: “The award of these contracts, with some of the industry’s global experts will help deliver the infrastructure that is needed to support the connection of renewables, as well as providing a boost to the local communities where we are operating.”
What is your reaction to the new £600 million funding for Scotland that will kick-start the energy industry and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Budget sets out further action to build a stronger economy, with help for UK businesses to create jobs and kick-start major construction projects across England.
Chancellor Osborne said in Parliament today that the government was “already supporting the largest investment in railways since Victorian times and spending more on new roads than in a generation.”
The Government would now boost spending by £3 billion from 2015-16 with the money saved from departmental budgets, amounting to a total of £15 billion of extra capital spending in the next 10 years
The Chancellor has also announced a new Help to Buy scheme involving equity loans on new build houses and £130 billion mortgage guarantee programme that will help people to buy their new homes.
Chancellor George Osborne said that by investing in the arteries of the country’s infrastructure, the Government will get growth “flowing to every part of the country”.
The latest stimulus of financial support to tackle long-term shortage in the housing market will see the building of new homes and boost employment in the construction industry.
Mr Osborne said: “We’ve switched billions of pounds from current to capital spending since the spending review. But on existing plans, capital spending is still due to fall back in 2015-16. I don’t think that’s sensible.
“So by using our extra savings from government departments, we will boost our infrastructure plans by £3 billion a year from 2015-16.
“That’s £15 billion of extra capital spending over the next decade. Because by investing in the economic arteries of this country, we will get growth flowing to every part of it.
“And public investment will now be higher on average as a percentage of our national income under our plans than it was in the whole period of the last Government.
“In June, we will set out long term spending plans for that long term capital budget.
“And we will use the expertise of Paul Deighton, the man who delivered the Olympics and who now serves in the Treasury, to improve the capacity of Whitehall to deliver big projects and make greater use of independent advice.”
The British Property Federation has welcomed the Government’s funding increase to kick start the housing market and help a number of build-to-rent schemes.
Director of policy at the British Property Federation, Ian Fletcher, said: “It’s encouraging the Government’s confidence in build to rent has been reciprocated and we are delighted to see that the equity funding was heavily oversubscribed.
“Working in partnership with government the sector should deliver an exciting and quality array of homes for renters.”
What is your reaction to Budget 2013 announced by Chancellor Osborne to boost infrastructure spending and build new homes? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
High Speed Two Ltd (HS2), the company planning and building Britain’s high-speed rail network is going to recruit local property management companies along the route between London and Leeds to boost the trades and create new jobs.
HS2 is seeking expressions of interest to provide both local as well as wider national expertise in valuation services; estate services; property management and in both urban regeneration and commercial development.
The aim of this is to spread the economic benefits of planning and building the new railway across the country from the earliest opportunity and boost the economy.
Local firms will be able to add to HS2’s knowledge and provide focused local expertise about the area in which they are based and boost confidence among local people.
Commenting, HS2 Ltd.’s Head of Land & Property, Liz Hirst, said: “We are looking for firms with local and national expertise who can help us with property management, surveying, valuation, development and regeneration services.
“We want to create opportunities for local and small business contractors and we are interested in learning more about both large and small companies with the skills that will be needed on HS2.”
An Official Journal of the European Union contract notice has been published inviting expressions of interest for the HS2 Ltd Land and Property Professional Services Framework.
Morgan Sindall has won a £11.5 million contract to construct the principal commercial research and development building at Norwich Research Park.
The project is due to complete in March 2014 and will see around 80 people from the local area working on site at the peak of construction.
The development is on track to achieve a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating of Excellent.
The four-storey building will provide 4,000 sq m of high quality facilities including laboratory and office space, a business centre and formal and informal meeting rooms.
The Centrum building will also include a restaurant and café, a breakout area and exhibition and circulation space. These social and formal spaces will provide a platform to enable the business community to interact with researchers on the Norwich Research Park.
Alan Giles, Project Director – Norwich Research Park, said “We are pleased to award Morgan Sindall this contract after a rigorous OJEU tender process. This is an important milestone in the development of the Research Park and the Centrum building will be the focal point for business and research to come together.
“Centrum will provide additional commercial laboratory and office accommodation for more established companies wishing to locate to Norwich Research Park. For companies already on the Park, it will provide them with the grow-on space in which to further expand their business.”
The development forms a key part of ‘Project 26′, which refers to the £26 million funding awarded through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in the 2011 Government Budget. The funding has been awarded to Norwich Research Park to improve the Park’s IT infrastructure, road network and provide new flagship buildings.
The Centrum development will be located centrally on the Norwich Research Park adjacent to the existing Recreation Centre and Conference Centre on the John Innes Centre site. It will provide a hub for the local science and business community, and will also facilitate collaboration amongst the Research Park’s occupants.
The infrastructure investment package will be funded by welfare cuts and a reduction in other Whitehall departments. The latest revelation by the Chancellor represents a firm commitment by Government to boost construction projects and create new jobs.
The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) said that today’s autumn statement demonstrated that the government was listening to the needs of the infrastructure sector.
In advance of today’s statement CECA had worked with other industry bodies to press the case for immediate action to unlock activity in the sector.
Based on analysis of figures published today, CECA believes that around £775 million of work will be release in 2013/14 as a result of the Chancellor’s actions. More than £1 billion further additional work is due to follow the next year.
Commenting, CECA director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner said: “CECA has long argued that there is a pressing need for the government to take action to unlock new work in the infrastructure sector to achieve growth in the economy.
“Today’s Autumn Statement show that the government has listened. A combination of new projects and investment in repair and maintenance work offers the potential of additional work worth £775 million for CECA members in 2013/14.
“Investment in the infrastructure sector offers the best rate of return, but for larger infrastructure projects it can take time for these benefits to be realised, particularly due to the planning system.
“It is thus vital that government and industry work together to identify ways of unlocking work in the sector that will show an immediate benefit.
“By announcing new work in the fiscal year, the Chancellor has recognised the need to stimulate infrastructure activity in the short as well as the long term, as the best means of returning UK plc to economic health.
“Clearly we will need to be sure that this is genuinely new money, rather than recycling of funds that would otherwise have been spent on infrastructure elsewhere. But on the face of it, this appears to have been a good Autumn Statement for the industry.”
Speaking at the CBI’s conference in London, the Prime Minister said the Government will embark on radical reforms to speed up key decisions that will boost economic growth and “eliminate bureaucratic rubbish”.
In a wide-ranging keynote speech, Mr Cameron said the UK was in the “economic equivalent of war” but hailed signs that Britain was again “selling to the world”. “Frankly, we need this buccaneering, deal-making, hungry spirit now more than ever,” he said.
The prime minister said he had taken “massive steps towards leaner, faster government” but acknowledged that more needed to be done to speed up decision making.
“We urgently needed to get a grip on this,” he said. “Whitehall had become too risk-averse – too willing to say ‘no’ instead of ‘yes’”.
Mr Cameron said the Government would restrict the use of “time-wasting” judicial review applications and reduce the time limit for people to bring their cases as well as charge more for reviews.
He also pledged to stop a “new torrent of rules and regulations” from Brussels that threatened to slow the development of county’s economy, pledging to ensure that new roads and infrastructure projects are build more quickly and efficiently.
You can read the full speech of Prime Minister David Cameron from here.
John Cridland, the CBI director-general, has urged the government to invest £1.5 billion into major infrastructure projects that will boost the economy and create new jobs.
The CBI says that the government should back the construction sector, by introducing measures including investment tax breaks, and business rate reductions.
Such measures will encourage further financial investments and pave the way for more employment opportunities in the trades.
But the CBI chief also called for a focus on projects such as the Thames Tideway “super sewer” tunnel in London and the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in Somerset to give the economy an ‘Olympic-style shot’ in the arm.
“We need an industrial Olympics, with big schemes which can make a real difference,” Mr Cridland told the Evening Standard.
And in the Guardian he is quoted as saying: “Kennedy said at the start of the 60s that America would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and it did, even though sadly Kennedy was not around to see it. We need the sense that we are just going to do these projects.”
Mr Cridland highlighted the need for improvements in the UK’s rail and road networks that are vital for strong economy and future growth.
The list of key projects will be passed on to the Scottish Government for their consideration as part of the review of the National Planning Framework (NPF3) which is expected to unlock investment for national developments of strategic importance for Scotland.
The projects that will be put forward by Highland Council are all considered to be of national significance and have the potential to make a significant contribution to the country’s sustainable economic growth.
The projects being promoted by the Council to the Government include strategic road improvements to the A9. A82 and A96 trunk roads that connect Highland communities to the rest of Scotland, enhancements to Highland ports and harbours including Nigg and Kishorn, enhancements at all Highland airports, the provision of superfast broadband and the upgrading of the existing electricity transmission network to realise the growth potential in renewable energy generation.
The Council is also taking the opportunity to raise other issues it feels that are of national importance such as the decommissioning of Dounreay, faster train journey times on the mainline, coastal development including the harnessing of wind, wave and tidal energy, waste management and natural heritage.
Vice Chairman of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee, Councillor George Farlow said: “All the projects we are putting forward could potentially bring huge benefits to Highland businesses and residents as well as bringing wider prospective socio-economic growth to the whole of Scotland.
“Our response will highlight the need to ensure we have the best infrastructure in place to make the most of every opportunity and will recognise the work we are doing to promote sustainable development and economic growth.
“Our plans are ambitious and they reflect the confidence we have in the Highlands as great place to live, work and do business in.”
Costain, a leading engineering solutions provider, has confirmed a £15 million technology contract as well as two lots of the Highways Agency Asset Support Framework that are expected to start in early 2013.
Work packages would include surfacing works, structures works, technology related works, and general highway improvements across the whole of the Highways Agency motorway and trunk road network.
While there is no commitment by the Agency to spend under the framework, over £750 million of work packages are expected to be awarded through the framework over the next three years.
Costain is one of five contractors on each framework that will operate for three years, with scope for an extension of up to a further 12 months.
Andrew Wyllie, Chief Executive of Costain, commented: “We are delighted with these additional appointments from existing customers, which demonstrate the ongoing success of the implementation of our ‘Choosing Costain’ strategy: providing a broader service offering to the major customers who are making significant investment in the UK’s national infrastructure needs.”
A group of energy giants will today launch a new alliance aiming to stimulate the renewable industry as Europe seeks to advance its low carbon economy and create new trade jobs.
The companies said they are aiming to promote the use of gas alongside the growth of renewables by creating policies that effectively integrate the two technologies.
They maintain that both gas and renewables could play a critical role in the European Commission’s 2050 Energy Roadmap, and that the two technologies will be highly complementary until at least 2030.
They argue that gas can provide a low carbon and flexible energy supply that can help balance out the supply of intermittent renewables, such as wind and solar.
Launching the partnership, Stephan Reimelt, chief executive of GE Germany, will say that combining renewables and gas will be the key to building a low carbon economy.
“Companies from different parts of the energy market are launching this new alliance because the evidence is clear that renewables and gas offer the most affordable, reliable, and sustainable pathway for an energy secure Europe,” he will say.
Jörg Gmeinbauer, director of Alpine Energie, will say the alliance can herald a shift in the debate around EU energy policy.
“It’s time for a systems approach to Europe’s energy policy,” he says. “We need integrated policies, market reforms, and investment in generation, transmission, and infrastructure if we are to achieve Europe’s energy goals.
“We have formed the Energy Partnership because together the partners can offer practical pathways to the future based on the synergy between renewables and gas.”
A property development company, Cala Homes, has been given the go-ahead to build 2,000 homes near Winchester which will create new jobs and boost the building industry.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles has approved the developer’s plan for building thousands of new homes at the 230-acre Barton Farm site to the north of Winchester.
The scheme is intended to provide 40% affordable housing. It would make a valuable contribution to local businesses and boost the local economy.
The decision by the Communities Secretary paves the way for Cala to begin developing the site. Plans include the building of around 800 affordable homes, with supporting infrastructure and community facilities to help meet Winchester’s housing needs.
Group land director for Cala, Robert Millar, said: “Local people will benefit greatly from this decision. It will be a major contributor to stimulating the local economy and creating long term jobs.
“It will make a significant contribution to the chronic shortage of affordable housing enabling key workers and other local people to live in their own City.”
Mr Millar said that Cala will be examining the detailed design for each of the phases of this development to ensure the housing scheme is delivered as soon as possible.
The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has confirmed plans to create government backed ‘business bank’ which will help companies to invest and create new trade jobs.
Vince Cable’s new institution includes a series of collaborative strategies between businesses and government that are forecast to advance manufacturing and boost the trade industry.
Cable outlined his plans, committing to a long term, strategic partnership that will give businesses clarity about where the Government will be concentrating its efforts.
Speaking at Imperial College, London, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Our first part of that plan is lifting the barrier that poor access to finance puts on growth. By helping firms to invest capital, businesses expand, and create jobs.
“But I am also setting out a clear and ambitious vision, a commitment far beyond the usual political timescale that will continue to bear fruit decades later.
“It will give our businesses certainty, allow them to make their own plans, and know that the full weight of Government is behind them. We will work in a strategic partnership with industry, focusing our support on specific sectors. This is our commitment to growth in action.”
The speech sets out a number of other actions including:
- Creating a new institution to help companies invest in capital and drive their expansion. The scale and modus operandi of the institution are still under discussion, but it could operate through alternative providers such as the new challenger banks and non-bank lenders. Not only would this boost their lending capacity, but would also corral existing provision such as co-investment and guarantees to support business expansion.
- Developing a series of collaborative but challenging sector strategies in advanced manufacturing, knowledge-intensive traded industries, and the enabling industries. This will include building strategic partnerships with industries and targeting support for them to help realise their substantial growth prospects.
- The Business Secretary announced that 34 bids had been successful in the first round of the Employer Ownership pilot scheme securing £67 million of public funding and generating £98 million in private investment, making sure that employers can access exactly the sort of skills they need. Ensuring our world class skills policy is linked closely to the industrial strategy, in order that industry gets the skills they need to continue growing. This objective underpins the employer ownership pilot scheme where employers have been putting together radical plans to develop their own training programme.
- Accelerating the journey from pure academic research to a commercial product being brought to market to help boost ground-breaking technologies of the future. The Government has already made £180 million available to support the commercialisation of innovations in the life sciences sector and building on this new approach, there will now be a new Innovation and Knowledge centre in Synthetic biology to explore the opportunities this sector presents.
- Recognising Government’s role as a customer and developing a more intelligent partnership with its own supply chain by reforming procurement to make sure that businesses have confidence to take long-term investment decisions.
What is your reaction to the government’s plan to create ‘business bank’ which will help companies to invest and create new trade jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The scale of green employment and low-carbon infrastructure investment has been rising, employing a significantly larger workforce than other UK industry, a major report by the Green Alliance think tank revealed today.
According to the report, the current state of the Green Economy, which is worth £122 billion, has been consistently growing by 5 per cent since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008.
The Green Economy currently forms almost 10 per cent of the total economic activity in the UK, employing 939,600 people in low-carbon and environmental jobs.
The Green Alliance said the UK’s top 20 infrastructure projects in 2012-13 will deliver a £23 billion investment which will bring further employment opportunities for people in the trades.
Speaking to Business Green today, report author Alastair Harper, said that some of the biggest projects in the pipeline are in the offshore wind industry as well as in public transport, nuclear and other renewable programmes.
He said: “All you are going to get with more road, gas and airport infrastructure is the same level of capital investment we’ve been bumping along with since the 1970s.
“In contrast, the green economy is about new projects that can attract new investment, and provide a source for exports.”
Mr Harper said that despite negative language from some ministers, the green industry has been able to get major international investors “to open up their wallets” and invest in the low-carbon sector.
What is your reaction to the low-carbon investment which led the green economy to succeed in crating hundreds of thousands of green jobs? Do you agree with the current trend which is forecast to continue in future?
“The CBI is urging the government to get its act together and accelerate infrastructure investment”
The CBI Director General, John Cridland, has urged the government in a Financial Times interview to speed up the implementation of its plan for economic growth by accelerating housing and infrastructure projects across the UK.
The head of Britain’s top business lobbying organisation criticised the government over some delays in road improvement plans and the failure to agree renewable energy subsidies, which according to the CBI are vitally important for boosting economic growth.
“I think it is really disappointing how long it is taking to get momentum and urgency into the growth plan.” The Director General told the Financial Times.
Meanwhile, CBI Director for Business and Environment, Rhian Kelly launched, Creating Britain’s future, a new campaign for the UK’s Contractors Group, highlighting the crucial role that the construction sector plays for the creation of new jobs.
Ms Kelly said: “Our analysis shows that the construction sector has the potential to create 215,000 jobs across the UK and throughout the supply chain.
“It is more important than ever that we recognise the role of construction, both as a catalyst for local job creation across the UK in the short-term, and as the lead mover in the £250bn infrastructure renewal needed to underpin economic growth in the long-term.
“To get spades in the ground on infrastructure delivery, there must be an urgent focus across the UK on bringing forward repair, maintenance and improvement projects, for example on roads, to deliver immediate and tangible results in terms of local jobs and growth.”
Do you share the view of the CBI about the huge potential for growth and the creation of new jobs in the construction industry? How viable do you think is this statement for your business?
Building, Engineering and Construction work of the Olympic Park for London 2012 has raised the public profile of the industry, helping millions of people in Britain to appreciate the importance of civil engineering to society, a survey by a leading engineering body revealed today.
A new survey published by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) showed that over half of the public (53%) no longer just think about bridges when they think of civil engineering in the light of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Nearly half of the 2, 000 people who took part in the ComRes survey said they would consider civil engineering to be a ‘respected’ profession, alongside jobs such as lawyers and teachers.
More than 46,000 jobs have been created as a result of the London 2012 construction project. Post-Olympic work, taking place just after the closing ceremony next month, is expected to create thousands of extra new jobs.
The successful delivery of the £7-billion worth Olympic infrastructure has raised the public profile of civil engineers and people working in the trades.
45% of the people who participated in the survey say they would consider civil engineering to be a ‘respected’ profession, alongside jobs such as lawyers and teachers. Over a third (38%) of the participants said they would encourage their children to pursue a career in civil engineering.
ICE President Richard Coackley said: “Our day-to-day lives depend on the infrastructure around us that is designed, built and maintained by civil engineers – from roads, railways and bridges to energy, water and waste networks.
“It forms the backbone of society and the economy. But unfortunately it is often only when things go wrong that the work of civil engineers is thrust into the media spotlight.
“The London 2012 Games have changed this – showcasing and celebrating the work of these often ‘unsung heroes’ while at the same time helping the public understand more about what civil engineers do and what a diverse and exciting career it is.
“If anything could excite and inspire young people to pursue civil engineering as a career it’s the Olympic and Paralympic Games – a true feat of engineering in every sense.”
What’s your reaction to the survey by the ICE indicating a bright future for civil engineers and people in the building construction industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.
Today the Office of National Statistics has released a new report showing the growth of new construction orders in the UK, in the first quarter of 2012, there saw a 4.6% increase from the fourth quarter of 2011. The ONS also reported today that new orders in infrastructure rocketed by 60 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the same period last year.
According to Nick Hayward, managing director of ATL (Apprenticeships Training Limited – the fulfillment centres for T4TS) one of the UK’s leading providers of building services training, with more than 5,000 students a year passing through its centres, it’s very positive news, demonstrating the opportunities for the school leavers and adults looking for a new career path in construction: “There has never been a greater time to join the industry. We know there is a growing shortage for dedicated skilled tradesmen as more and more workers reach retirement age. Couple this with the news of growth in both private industrial and private commercial work and it just goes to show the industry is still thriving.
“This new statistical evidence information from the ONS clearly highlights the growing opportunities in the construction sector, contradicting the Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers_ Index issued earlier this week, which indicated that British construction hit a three-month low last month. Our experience working with hundreds of apprentices only serves to support the ONS findings further, with ATL students who have entered the sector from school and those moving to construction as a career change demonstrating the popularity of this sector and the real job opportunities that are available. The construction sector will only continue to grow as new buildings and infrastructure increase in demand as the UK pulls out of recession.”
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:
In a drive to boost the housing market and accelerate the building of new properties in the capital, the Greater London Authority (GLA) is seeking developers to join a new £5 billion procurement panel which will open more work for external contractors and building developers, Construction News reported today.
From 2013 the new housing procurement panel will replace the current Homes and Communities’ Agency, the London Delivery Partner (LDP). It is going to be managed directly by the GLA, speeding up the process for building private and social houses as well as improving the development of properties in the public sector.
The new panel will recruit up to 28 building firms that employ thousands of workers in the building construction engineering sector. This could provide more employment opportunities for trade professionals.
A bidding process is currently open to any firms that are capable of delivering housing developments, raising sufficient finance and improving community facilities. Interested developers need to apply before 4th May 2012 and successful bidders will be awarded by 1st April 2013.
The scheme is expected to increase competition between contractors and improve current housing standards as well as optimise the process of marketing and selling new homes in the capital.
What’s your reaction to the £5 billion fund which will give the Greater London Authority more control over future housing developments in the capital? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:
The man in charge of building the Olympic venue for London 2012, John Armitt, has told Reuters News that this summer’s Olympics will be a great advertisement for Britain’s construction sector.
The Olympic venue was successfully completed both on time and within the £7 billion budget. This serves as an excellent stimulus for boosting British construction and as an example to building companies around the globe.
Armitt, who is a chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and responsible for the Games infrastructure, believes the Olympic Park in East London will be a great showcase for courtiers around the world to look at the knowledge and the skills of Britain’s building engineering construction industry.
Talking about the legacy of British construction and pointing out the great achievements in the building sector, Mr Armitt said: “British contractors and consultants have been delivering infrastructure around the world for the past 200 years.”
“What this enables them to do is reinforce those credentials in the overseas markets. The Olympics is an opportunity for us to build our self-confidence as a country.”- added Mr Armitt.
What is your opinion on the successful completion of the Olympic Park for London 2012? Do you think it will help British construction businesses to get work abroad? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:
Wandsworth Council has approved plans to build more than 1,800 new homes in Nine Elm, South London. This will pave the way for building construction work, creating new jobs and boosting the local economy.
The 13-acre site will be turned from what was previously a mail sorting office into residential apartments, a new state primary school and a 3.3 acre public park. The scheme is part of a huge regeneration programme aiming to build more affordable homes in London and improve community infrastructure.
The latest approval by Wandsworth Councils brings the total number of homes with planning consent in London to nearly 9,300. Some additional 4,500 homes will be given planning permission in the near future, bringing the total of new homes to nearly 14,000.
Programme Director at Nine Elms, Helen Fisher, welcomed the decision of Wandsworth Council saying that the regeneration programme will make a positive contribution to the local community and improve infrastructure whilst delivering growth and new jobs to the area.
Fisher said: “More than 1,000 homes are under construction in Nine Elms along with brand new offices, shops, a new riverside walk and acres of new park land. The scale of the transformation is truly remarkable and this latest planning approval adds further momentum to our regeneration programme.”
The former Royal Mail site, which lies at the heart of the Nine Elms regeneration zone, will be renovated by architects Allies & Morrison. The redevelopment scheme is an addition to the 250,000 square metres of new commercial and community space previously approved by Wandsworth Council.
Do you welcome major regeneration schemes that build more affordable homes and improve community infrastructure? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:
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.
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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:
Overall, the survey, which is co-produced by KPMG, showed that companies are spending more on hiring permanent employees as opposed to part-time employment.
However, the highest increase in hiring full-time employees has been in the construction engineering sector which hired more people due to recent infrastructure projects and the substantial government investment into such projects.
The survey also reported that the rise in full-time recruitment was linked to higher client activity as well as the government’s commitment to cut red tape for small and medium businesses.
Head of business services at KPMG, Bernard Brown, welcomed the positive findings of the survey explaining that the rise of demand in permanent staff suggest the economy is recovering from the financial crises at 2008.
Mr Brown said: “There are signs within some industries that things are looking up. Amongst the engineering, construction and IT sectors demand for permanent staff has increased since the turn of the year. With so much attention being paid to these sectors at the moment, close attention should be paid to see if this is a trend set to continue as the year progresses.”
What do you think of the survey showing high demand for workers in the construction engineering sector? If you are in one of these sectors, do you think you will find employment easier due to the high demand? Share your thoughts by commenting here:
Asda, the UK’s second biggest supermarket behind Tesco, has announced that it is to open 25 new stores, extend and refurbish 43 of its existing stores and build 3 new depots this year, offering the building industry more opportunities.
New stores are planned for Merseyside, Coventry, Gateshead in Tyne & Wear, Nottinghamshire, Mitcham in London, Ramsgate in Kent, Shepshed in Leicestershire, Todmorden in West Yorkshire, Worcester, and Worthing in West Sussex.
The supermarket which employs over 180,000 people in 528 UK stores and depots will add over 600,000 sq ft of net selling space with its 25 new stores, this will be either as superstores, small format supermarkets or Asda Living stores.
The supermarket confirmed today that it will invest over £500m in UK stores and depots in 2012. The 25 planned new stores and the three depots will create up to 5,000 new jobs across the country. Asda expects many of those employees will be apprentices who are undertaking a City & Guilds apprenticeship.
Prime Minister, David Cameron has welcomed the announcement saying that it is good news for many people across the country who are currently looking to enter employment.
Mr Cameron said: “The additional investment and 5,000 new jobs announced by Asda today will be a real boost for the economy and more importantly for people around Britain seeking jobs.
“I also welcome Asda’s commitment to not only create jobs but invest in their staff too; offering employees the chance to join an apprenticeship scheme to gain skills which will benefit them throughout their career.”- Mr Cameron added.
Asda’s investment and job creation plans were unveiled during a UK visit by President and CEO of Walmart International, Doug McMillon, who emphasised the importance of the project for the UK.
He said:”Our continued investment is because we see a tremendous opportunity in front of us – I’m proud of the difference you’re making and that we can make an even bigger difference in the lives of our customers and the communities we serve”.
Andy Clarke, President and CEO of Asda said he is delighted for the expansion scheme which will create new jobs and employment opportunities for people in all sectors of the UK.
Mr Clarke said: “I look forward to seeing these new stores and depots open for business and welcoming new colleagues and customers.”
Stores currently scheduled for 2012 opening include:
Coventry, West Midlands
Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
Todmorden, West Yorkshire
Tunbridge Wells, Kent (opened Jan 12)
Worthing- Littlehampton Rd, West Sussex
Inverness Slackbuie, Highlands
Larkhall, South Lanarkshire
If you are living in one of the areas in which a new Asda store is to be built are you more optimistic about finding a job? Tell us how is your business going to benefit from the £500 million investment? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below:
More than 100 business leaders, economists and MPs from all parties are pressing the government for more investment in infrastructure projects which will create hundreds of thousands jobs in the construction sector.
Letters to national newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Financial Times, call for a £17bn investment in High Speed 2 (HS2) between London and Birmingham which will create one million long-term British jobs.
A letter to the Daily Telegraph, which was signed by more than 100 business leader, states “We call on the government to approve plans for HS2 and to push ahead with its construction as soon as possible”.
The signatories come from a wide range of business interests including the likes of Simon Carr of Henry Boot, Naomi Connell of VolkerWessels, Paul Cook of Galliford Try, Chris Webster of Miller Construction and John Wood of Tolent Construction.
A letter in the Financial Times goes on to suggest that if Britain does not invest more into the infrastructure it will be left behind from other European countries. The letter states: “The absence of a high-speed rail line connecting the north of England to London and the rest of the European Union is a continuous embarrassment to British businesses promoting UK plc overseas.”
The letter suggests that a high-speed rail, along with other major infrastructure projects in Britain, is crucial for giving confidence to businesses and stimulating economic growth in time of recession. It says: “Economic studies show that effective modes of transport, including high-speed rail, enable entrepreneurs to get their goods and services to market in a secure and timely manner and facilitate the movement of workers to the most suitable jobs.”
The group of businesses and economists urging the government to approve the rail link argue that it would be a boost for business, especially across the north of England, and will create jobs and ease transport overcrowding.
What is your reaction to business leaders pushing the government to approve plans for HS2 and its construction? Do you welcome the HS2 as an opportunity for you and your business? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below: