Monthly Archives: June 2012

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.

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A Skilful Workforce is Vital for Economic Growth – Says the CBI

Business leaders at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have called on the government to bring forward a higher level of investment to the construction sector in a bid to stimulate the building engineering industry and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

In a report published by the CBI, it has become clear that construction businesses want to see more funds for repair, maintenance and improvement works which will create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

The report says: “The government has a ready-made mechanism to tackle the current activity gap and create jobs in the immediate future by stimulating repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) work.

“RMI work can deliver jobs quickly on the ground across all regions, including creating openings for unemployed young people as its nature offers ‘hands-on’ jobs suitable for school-leavers.

“In addition, RMI projects generally have the advantage of shorter procurement timescales.”

The CBI is also calling on central and local government to “ensure that existing and planned RMI schemes such as the Priority School Building Programme and Green Deal are swiftly and competently delivered.”

The report states: “Developing more specific pipelines of construction work (for three to five years ahead for example) would help attract private sector investment locally and support the creation of local construction jobs.

“Knowing what’s around the corner in any given location would enable firms of all sizes across the supply chain to better identify, prioritise and plan their investment, striking up constructive dialogue with local stakeholders early on.”

The CBI’s Action for Jobs Progress Report also calls the government for fresh action on:

  • Aligning school funding with employment as well as academic outcomes
  • Boosting school-business links in every local community with local organisers in every area making it easier to get involved in leading schemes
  • Making work experience a statutory right for 14 to 16 year-olds
  • Investing more in apprenticeships – both at a higher level and in pre-apprenticeship courses which help young people without skills get on high-quality training schemes
  • Introducing a comprehensive ‘readiness-for-work’ assessment at Job Centre Plus, to help people focus on returning to work.

What is your reaction to the CBI’s call for a further investment in the construction industry which will prove vitally important for the creation of new jobs? Do you agree with UK’s top business organisation?

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Paul O’Neill talks about electrical training with T4TS Part 2

Royal Marine and a policeman Paul O’Neill from Plymouth, is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. We interviewed Paul to find out more about his future career and his plan to set up his own electrical business after he retires from the Police Force.

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

The UK’s First Nuclear Station in Somerset Will Create New Trades Jobs

 

Proposed plans for building the UK’s first nuclear power station in Somerset will be debated by planners and local authorities, the BBC reported today.

More than 5, 000 new jobs in the building construction industry could be created in the first phase of the project, if the planned nuclear power station near the Bristol Channel, in South West England, is given the green light by the government next year.

One of Britain’s largest energy suppliers, EDF Energy, announced last week the selection of the preferred bidder for carrying out civil works to build the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

The joint venture between Bouygues TP and Laing O’Rourke includes the construction of the main civil works for the nuclear island and building the supporting structures of the project.

This contract is the first relating to the main construction work which will see up to 25,000 jobs created on site over the course of the project, including an estimated 400 apprenticeships, Laing O’Rourke announced.

EDF’s Chief Executive, Vincent de Rivaz, said: “The civils contract will assist the UK’s economic recovery and boost economic prospects and prosperity locally. Our project will inject billions of pounds into the economy, revitalise entire sectors of industry and support tens of thousands of further jobs.”

Chairman and a Chief Executive of Laing O’Rourke, Ray O’Rourke, commented: “We are delighted, along with our partner Bouygues Construction, to be appointed by EDF Energy as preferred bidder to lead the development of the first new nuclear power station, which is vital to meet the UK’s future energy demands and support the wider economic recovery.”

Do you welcome the building of UK’s first nuclear power station in Somerset? What are the implications of this project for you/ your business? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Paul O’Neill talks about electrical training with T4TS

Royal Marine and a policeman Paul O’Neill from Plymouth, is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. We interviewed Paul to find out more about his future career and his plan to set up his own electrical business after he retires from the Police Force.

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

 

 

 

South Somerset District Council Seeks Residents’ Views on 16,000 New Homes Plan

Somerset District Council has launched a six week consultation period over the plan to build 16, 000 new homes across South Somerset in the next 16 years.

Housing growth has been in the Council’s core development strategy with a strong agenda for boosting employment and creating thousands of new jobs, South Somerset District Council said in a statement.

The Council is inviting businesses and the people of South Summerset to express their views about the major development. The consultation period will run from 28th June to 10th August 2012. Once the consultation is completed, the Council’s proposed plans for new housing and jobs are expected to include policies on affordable housing, car parking, shops, open spaces and the environment up to 2028.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Ric Pallister, described the Local Plan as ‘one of the most important issues to come before the people of South Somerset in more than a decade’.

He said: “We need to take a long term view that is more concerned with meeting the needs of future generations than it is about today’s concerns.  Although we are now in the closing stages of the plan being adopted, having taken note of everything the community have said so far, there is this last opportunity to have your say.  Comments, either in support or objection, will then be passed on to a Planning Inspector who will hold a public Examination and make a final decision later this year.”

Current Draft of the Local Plan includes:

Yeovil

  • 40 hectares of employment land already committed
  • 5 new hectares of employment land within the town and 7 new hectares (1,565 jobs) in a Sustainable Urban Extension
  • 2943 new jobs
  • 3,704 homes allocated, proposed a further 4,111, to include a Sustainable Urban Extension of 1,565 homes to the South, rising to 2,500 homes after the year 2028.
  • Green Buffer to protect the villages of East Coker & North Coker

Chard

  • 13 hectares of new employment land
  • 886 new jobs
  • 1,861 homes proposed with a further 1,376 after 2028
  • Strategic growth will be to the east of the town and including town centre regeneration.

Wincanton

  • 5 hectares of new employment land
  • 490 new jobs
  • 692 homes already allocated proposed a further 11
  • Strategic growth will be to the south west of the town, north of Lawrence Hill and west of Wincanton Business Park.

Crewkerne

  • 10.10 hectares of employment land already committed
  • 472 new jobs
  • 901 homes already allocated proposed a further 127
  • Strategic growth will be located at the Crewkerne Key Site.

Ansford / Castle Cary

  • 3 hectares of new employment land
  • 223 new jobs
  • 127 homes already allocated, proposed a further 273
  • Strategic growth will be to the north of Torbay Road and east and west of Station Road.
  • Request for a road link between Station Road and Torbay Road to improve access to employment area.

Somerton

  • 3 hectares of new employment land
  • 251 new jobs
  • 235 homes already allocated, proposed a further 165
  • Strategic growth will be to the west of the town.

Langport / Huish Episcopi

  • 3 hectares of new employment land
  • 233 new jobs
  • 295 homes already allocated, proposed a further 105
  • Strategic growth will be to the north, east, and south east of the town (employment only to the south east to protect nearby wildlife nesting grounds).

Ilminster

  • 23.5 hectares of employment land already committed
  • 343 new jobs
  • 199 homes already allocated, proposed a further 332
  • Strategic growth will be to the south east of the town.

Rural Centres

  • All rural centres to receive 2 hectares of employment land each (828 jobs overall)
  • Bruton – 113 homes already allocated, proposed a further 104
  • Ilchester – 151 new homes
  • Martock  – 101 homes already allocated, proposed a further 145
  • Milborne Port – 210 homes already allocated, proposed a further 89
  • South Petherton – 151 homes already allocated, proposed a further 94
  • Stoke Sub Hamdon – 6 homes already allocated, proposed a further 49

What is your reaction to the major development in Somerset which is expected to build thousands of new homes and boost the building construction industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voce on our Facebook page.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Darrell Smith talks about plumbing training with T4TS Part 2

Darrell Smith is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Darrell to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Darrell via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskill

Great News for the Trades as the planned 3p fuel duty increase is scrapped

The government will not go ahead with a three pence-a-litre rise in fuel duty in August, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

The move follows a campaign by road users’ groups, who argued the change, announced in the Budget, would damage the economy.

Fuel duty will be frozen for the rest of the year, the chancellor told MPs.

Labour had threatened to force a House of Commons vote on the issue.

Mr Osborne said the government was “doing everything we can in very, very difficult economic circumstances” to help businesses and consumers.

Source BBC

Sovereign Unveils an Ambitious Plan to Build 3, 000 New Homes in England

One of the largest providers of affordable housing in the South of England, Sovereign Housing Association, has announced it will build more than 3, 000 new homes over the next four years, paving the way for jobs in the building construction industry.

The ambitious plan will see 1, 064 new homes built by the end of this financial year, 865 of which have been already identified, the housing association confirmed last week. Under Sovereign’s new development strategy at least 276 of the new homes will be for affordable home ownership, forecasting a similar number of homes to be completed in 2013/14.
Development and Commercial Director at Sovereign, Phil Stephens, said: “The top priorities of our development strategy are to ensure that we deliver the HCA Affordable Homes Programme and to play our part in achieving Sovereign’s aim of reaching 50,000 homes by 2015,”

“Our recent successful bond issue has given us the financial strength and flexibility to continue delivering a substantial programme of new homes in our core operating areas in the coming years.”- added Mr Stephens.

It was revealed that Sovereign’s development will include a significant number of shared ownership homes as well as a growing number of market rent properties in key locations.

Mr Stephens commented that there is a definite gap in the market rent properties due to the rising demand from people unable to buy their own homes.

He said: “We will be looking to build on the positive experiences we have had so far letting homes at market rates in the West Country, and not only develop a broader portfolio of properties, but also diversify our revenue streams to enable us to continue providing affordable homes into the future.”

 

What’s your reaction to Sovereign’s announcement to build 3,000 new homes in the next four years? How do you think this revelation could help your business? Let us know by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.  

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Darrell Smith talks about plumbing training with T4TS Part 1

Darrell Smith is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Darrell to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Darrell via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskill