Posts tagged trades news

Carillion grabs £10m tunnel repair contract

Leeds Gov

Leeds City Council has selected Carillion Construction to carry out an extensive twenty-month long repair job set to improve the A58 Woodhouse Tunnel and create new trade jobs.

Initially, Carillion will advise on how to best to carry out a £10 million programme of extensive concrete repairs to the roof and walls of both tunnel bores.

The Council says the Woodhouse Tunnel is suffering severe concrete damage and deterioration as a result of prolonged, extensive chloride ingress from winter de-icing salts.

The damage is so severe that the structural capacity of components is now being affected.

The tunnel needs extensive concrete repairs to the roof and walls of both tunnel bores and strengthening for vehicle impact loading to the area of the tunnel supporting the Leeds General Infirmary buildings.

Strengthening work for vehicle impact loading and protection to the rest of the tunnel will be also required.

George Osborne set to announce £5bn construction boost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Green Deal joins forces with Kier to boost the trades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Swansea Uni £90m expansion to bring 4,000 trade jobs

Some 4,000 jobs are set to be created during the construction of a new science and innovation campus for Swansea University.

The University announced yesterday it has secured £90 million funding from the European Investment Bank and the Welsh Government towards its campus development programme.

The expansion programme also includes the regeneration of Swansea University’s Singleton Park Campus which will see further 6,000 indirect jobs supported in the wider economy.

Developer St Modwen will work closely in collaboration with its construction partner, Vinci, for building work to start in early 2013. The new campus and new student residences will be completed by autumn 2015.

Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Simon Brooks, said: “This scheme will not only benefit future generations of students, but develop specialist skills, drive innovation and enhance economic growth in Wales.

“The European Investment Bank is committed to funding leading research and educational excellence across Europe and is pleased to support this landmark investment.”

Swansea University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Davies said the University was grateful to the European Investment Bank and the Welsh Government for the investment which will create new jobs and boost the economy.

Professor Davies said: “The new Science and Innovation Campus is a transformational project for Wales and for the University.

“It promises to become a global exemplar for how a research intensive university can work effectively with industry, helping to drive economic regeneration and creating exciting employment opportunities for its graduates.”

New Trade Jobs as Cameron and Clegg Boost Planning Reform

“Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says on TV that the Government’s planning changes are boost to solo traders in the trades”

The government is easing the planning rules on extending homes in England as part of a package to boost housebuilding and stimulate economic growth.

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have announced a major housing and planning package which is set to build 70,000 new homes and create up to 140,000 construction jobs.

Speaking to BBC News this morning Nick Clegg said that people will be allowed to build up to 8-metre larger extensions to their houses without needing a planning permission. He argued that the relaxation of the planning regulations will create jobs and boost those professionals who are already working in the trades.

Clegg said: “The planning changes mean that people will get the local builder to extend their kitchen or conservatory which will create jobs and stimulate economic activity.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the package announced today includes investing hundreds of millions of pounds into building more affordable homes as well as a £40 billion guarantee for infrastructure projects to support the building construction industry.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said in a statement that the Government’s announcement will help people to build new homes and ‘kick-start’ the economy.

Mr Cameron said: “We’re determined to cut through the bureaucracy that holds us back. That starts with getting the planners off our backs, getting behind the businesses that have the ambition to expand and meeting the aspirations of families that want to buy or improve a home.”

Housing stimulus package includes:

  • Removing restrictions on house builders to help unlock 75 000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable. Developers who can prove that council’s costly affordable housing requirements make the project unviable will see them removed.
  • New legislation for Government guarantees of up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers.
  • Up to 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use using new capital funding of £300m and the infrastructure guarantee
  • An additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague’s report to Government on boosting the private rented sector
  • Thousands of big commercial and residential applications to be directed to a major infrastructure fast track and where councils are poor developers can opt to have their decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate.
  • Calling time on poor performing town hall planning departments, putting the worst into ‘special measures’ if they have failed to improve the speed and quality of their work and allowing developers to bypass councils. More applications also will go into a fast track appeal process.
  • 16,500 first-time buyers helped with a £280m extension of the successful ‘FirstBuy’ scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a much-needed deposit and a crucial first step on the housing ladder.
  • For a time limited period, slashing planning red tape, including sweeping away the rules and bureaucracy that prevent families and businesses from making improvements to their properties, helping tens of thousands of home owners and companies.

 

Green Industry Offers Jobs Growth

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? 

Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The report found:

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

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

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

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

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