Posts tagged train4tradeskillsnews

Industry urges EU policy-makers to build low carbon future

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 so-called Energy Partnership will be launched today in Brussels by its founding partners Alpine Energie, Dong Energy, First Solar, GE, and Shell.

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.”

£33m Essex College Scheme to Boost the Trades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clean Energy of Northern Seas to Boost the Renewable Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jobs boost in Leeds Thorpe Park expansion plan

Scarborough Development Group has submitted plans to build a £400 million development at Thorpe Park, East Leeds, which could create up to 6,500 new jobs and boost the trades.

The mixed-use development scheme is designed to meet the needs of business occupiers as well as provide a valuable hub for local communities in Leeds.

It comprises 1.2 million sq ft of office space, 130,000 sq ft food storage area, 177,000 sq ft leisure area for hotels and additional 33,000 sq ft for dining outlets.

The project will also bring the delivery of a 113-acre Green Park and Leeds’ first significant new public park in over 100 years.

Commenting on the plans, Mark Jackson, Managing Director of Scarborough Development Group said:  “Our new plans will present a step-change at Thorpe Park with a new offer for established businesses, growing businesses and fledgling business.

“We want Thorpe Park to be an engine for economic growth in the immediate area, and a benefit to the whole City Region.”

Mr Jackson outlined the wider benefits of this development for creating new jobs and boosting the local economy.

He said: “Thorpe Park has the potential not just to boost the economy of the city region and help cement Leeds’ position as a regional capital, but also to provide thousands of new job opportunities for local people built around a more diverse economy and range of uses on the park.”

Approval for £8bn London Development to Create New Jobs

An ambitious £8 billion redevelopment plan for Earls Court and the Kensington Opportunity Area in West London is set to pave the way for thousands of jobs in the trades.

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has today granted planning permission to Capital and Counties Properties to develop a new urban district including 7,500 new homes across four residential districts.

The Council have estimated that more than £1 billion worth of community benefits will be generated in the local area, creating 9,500 permanent jobs.  It will also include 760 replacement council homes.

The scheme will also include the building of 1,500 affordable homes, offices, educational, cultural and community facilities as well as a new five acre green park.

Residents living on the estates would be offered the chance to build new skills in preparation for the thousands of employment opportunities which will be created.

Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, Cllr Nicholas Botterill, said: “This major regeneration could lead the way in lifting the country out of recession – ploughing hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment into London’s economy and bringing thousands of new homes and jobs.

Ian Hawksworth, Chief Executive of Capco welcomed the Council’s decision to grant a planning consent for the Earls Court Masterplan which work is expected to start next year.

He said: “The proposed scheme will offer a multi-billion pound investment in both London and the local community creating thousands of new homes and jobs.”

Cable Unveils Business Growth Plan to Boost the Trades

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.

Renewable Energy Projects to Bring Billions of Investment into the UK

Changes to subsidies for renewable electricity in Britain could accelerate up to £25 billion of new investment and create thousands of new jobs according to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey.

Bandings for renewable technologies were set last week under the Government’s Renewables Obligation which will support and create new green jobs whilst at the same time minimise energy cost to consumers.

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, welcomed the decision which will ensure rapid growth in the renewable energy and unlock further green investment.

Mr Davey said: “Renewable energy will create a multi-billion pound boom for the British economy, driving growth and supporting jobs across the country.

“Because value for money is vital, we will bring forward more renewable electricity while reducing the impact on consumer bills between 2013 and 2015, saving £6 off household energy bills next year and £5 the year after.”

The Banding Review (as set out by the DECC) includes:

  • Support for onshore wind from 2013-17 will be reduced by 10% to 0.9ROCs, as consulted on in autumn 2011. This level is guaranteed until at least 2014 but could change after then if there is a significant change in generation costs. A call for evidence on onshore wind industry costs will be launched this autumn and report in early 2013.
  • Rates of support for offshore wind will reduce as the cost of the technology comes down during the decade;
  • Support levels for certain marine energy technologies will more than double from 2ROCs to 5ROCs per MWh, subject to a 30MW limit per generating station;
  • There will be a new band to support existing coal plant converting to sustainable biomass fuels. This will increase the amount of renewable energy produced at less cost to consumers; and
  • There will be no immediate reduction in support for large-scale solar, but there will be a further consultation this year on reduced support levels given recent dramatic falls in costs.

£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.

Construction Industry Legend revises profits UP!

Barratt Developments PLC is today issuing a trading update for the Company and its subsidiaries (the “Group”) for the year ended 30 June 2012 ahead of its annual results announcement on Wednesday 12 September.

Highlights

  • Group revenues up by c. 14% for the full year to c. £2,320m, with total completions of 12,637 units
  • Group operating profit before exceptional items for the full year expected to be up by c. 41% at around £191m
  • Operating margin expected to increase to c. 9.5% in the second half and c. 8.2% for the full year, up from 6.6% in the prior full year
  • Full year profit before tax and exceptional items expected to increase by c. 158% to c. £110m
  • Net debt almost halved against the prior year to c. £170m as at 30 June 2012, significantly lower than previous guidance
  • Private forward sales up 34.6% to £378.4m as at 30 June 2012

Mark Clare, Group Chief Executive commented,

“This year has seen a rapidly improving performance across the Group and shows that our strategy is delivering, with profits up more than 150% and an almost halving of our net debt. We expect to make further good progress in the year ahead thanks to a strong forward order book, with private forward sales up 35% and more higher return land

The Future
Barratt Developments has made significant progress in both rebuilding profitability and reducing indebtedness during the year just ended.  Despite continued uncertainty surrounding the outlook for the wider UK market and constrained levels of mortgage finance, the industry has enjoyed a period of relative market stability.  Looking ahead, we expect the Government’s housing initiatives, in particular its mortgage indemnity scheme NewBuy, to continue to provide the industry with support.

In the current financial year we expect to make further good progress with more than half of completions forecast to be delivered from our more recently acquired higher margin land.

What do you think of the positive performance by one of Britain’s largest housebuilders? Share your opinion by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook page.

Scotland Makes a £2 Billion Investment to Improve Energy Efficiency

 

The Scottish Government is going to invest more than £2 billion in a new energy efficiency scheme that will insulate thousands of new homes across Scotland and create new jobs for people in the trades. 

The new investment will be delivered over the next ten years in a national programme that will transform aging houses, reduce heating costs and improve energy efficiency in Scottish homes.

Commenting on the £2 billion programme, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, Alex Neil explained it is essential to put such measures in place in order to improve the energy efficiency of homes across Scotland. He also emphasised the importance of the project for the creation of new jobs and future economic recovery.

Mr Neil said: “These strategies provide a great opportunity for Scottish businesses and can provide a real boost to our economy. Working with the energy companies, we plan to ensure investment of over £2 billion pounds is provided over the next ten years to ensure our housing stock is energy efficient.

“New technologies, which would bring down carbon emissions as well as household fuel bills, are key to energy efficient homes and a vital element in economic recovery.

“The drive to transform new-build through innovative design and construction approaches creates economic and export opportunities for Scottish companies, along with an opportunity to make greater use of Scottish timber in innovative products.”

What is your reaction to the £2 billion investment that will boost the building construction sector? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

London Luton Airport Reveals Major Expansion Plans

London’s fastest growing airport of 2011 has unveiled expansion plans to meet the growing number of passengers over the next 10 years. The redevelopment scheme will aim to cope with growth in passenger numbers as well as create new jobs in the building construction sector.

London Luton Airport Operations Limited, the operator of London Luton Airport, has proposed three main phases for the airport’s continual redevelopment work which will take place over the next 15 years.  The construction of new facilities, major improvements to current terminal buildings and creating new aircraft stands, are some of the proposals in the airports’ ‘Master Plan’ to make Luton ‘London’s Local Airport’.

Managing Director of London Luton, Glyn Jones, believes the expansion of the airport is a key economic driver for the region and a great opportunity to make ‘low cost’ air travel more convenient for millions of people every year by flying through London Luton.

Mr Jones said: “Today we have outlined a credible and realistic plan that, if approved, will put Luton at the heart of solving the burden on point-to-point short haul operators who want to grow.”

He also said that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has proposed a new hub in the Thames Estuary to deal with the increased number of passengers on medium and long haul aviation capacity in London.

Lead Officer at London Luton Airport Limited, Steve Heappey, said that they welcome any comments, questions and feedback on the proposals to grow London Luton Airport and the benefits that this will bring to Luton and the region.

What is your reaction to the proposals to expand London Luton Airport? Share with us the potential benefits from the airport’s redevelopment for you and your business by leaving a comment below: 

Civil Engineering and Manufacturing Expands

Civil engineering contractors and businesses in the manufacturing sector have indicated growth in their workloads for the New Year, a survey has indicated.

The survey conducted by the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) has shown a sharp increase in output, a rise in new orders and a fall in cost faced by the manufacturing and civil engineering sector.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) reported companies have seen indications that customers are increasingly willing to spend.

Chief executive at CIPS, David Noble, welcomed the statistics saying they are good news for the manufacturing sector. However, Mr Noble mentioned that more time will be needed for the manufacturing industry to establish whether growth is sustainable.

He told the BBC: “The UK manufacturing sector has sprung to life in the first month of 2012 to defy any economic gloom, but it is too early to say whether this trend is sustainable.”

Meanwhile, the UK’s leading infrastructure contractors have urged the government to continue with delivering recently announced investments for improving infrastructure and boosting businesses across the UK.

The government has previously said in its Autumn Statement for 2012 that a key priority for growth will be the Building and Construction Industry –with recent investment of over £5 billion to improve contractors’ order books for years ahead.

 

Do you think the good performance of the Civil Engineering and Manufacturing sector is a result of the huge investment by the UK government to stimulate future growth?  Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or just by leaving a comment below:

 

 

How to Save on Your Bills This Winter

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Building Work for New UBS’s London HQ to Go Ahead

Swiss investment bank UBS has been granted permission for its new 700, 000 square foot building in the City of London.

The new £340 million headquarters of UBS in London’s financial district is expected to be completed by 2014, meaning it could create more jobs for people in the building construction sector.

The Swiss bank has signed a pre-letting agreement with developers British Land and Blackstone for the construction work to start in April this year. Demolition and site preparation work near Liverpool Street station is currently underway, leading publication, Construction Enquirer, reported today.

UBS is the largest tenant in the 30-acre Broadgate development in London’s City financial district which will include four trading floors that can be adapted into normal office space.

The new building will pay attention to sustainability using photovoltaics and solar thermal panels to generate green energy while rainwater harvesting will reduce water consumption.

British Land said: “Demolition of the existing 4 & 6 Broadgate buildings is well underway and will be completed in April; with delivery of the new bespoke building on schedule for the first quarter in 2014.

“The joint venture has already placed or tendered around 60% of the project’s construction costs within budget and programme.”

Tim Roberts, Head of Offices for British Land, told Construction Enquirer: “This is another significant milestone in the development of the new UBS building at 5 Broadgate and a real boost for the City.

“The Broadgate estate continues to evolve to serve the needs of a range of city occupiers and the 30,000 people based there.” – Mr Roberts added.

The two developers, British Land and Blackstone, said UBS will occupy the new building for period of around 18 years.

Do you welcome the move of the Swiss bank giant UBS to build its headquarters in London? What does the £340 million investment mean for the building construction sector? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below:

Boris Johnson Approves a Huge Housing Boost for London

 The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced the first phase of a major housing redevelopment for the Greenwich Peninsula, South London, which will see 10, 000 homes built in the next three years.

Boris Johnson and the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, visited the Peninsula on Wednesday. They shared optimism about the regeneration of the area and all the benefits the project will bring to businesses and the Building Construction Industry.

Some 1,300 homes and 600 student accommodation units will be built later this year. The Building Sector is expected to benefit immensely from the project as a result of the building work which will be undertaken this year – Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles suggested.

Mr Pickles said: “Today the Mayor and I can announce we’ve unlocked this once stalled site in Greenwich that will now get workers back on site, construction back on track and help get our city building in 2012 the new homes Londoners needs.”

The Mayor of London said he is delighted for the project to be given green light. Mr Johnson said: “The transformation of Greenwich Peninsula is undoubtedly one of the most exciting development opportunities in London.”

He added: “This latest phase of regeneration will seal its future as a thriving, well-connected new district, combining vibrant new residential areas and fantastic leisure facilities.”

After detailed planning applications are submitted to Greenwich Council in April, construction work on the first phase of the project is set to begin in autumn later this year.

 

What is your reaction on the housing boost given to Greenwich Peninsula in South London? How beneficial for you or your business the project is going to be? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below:

 

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