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Cridland calls for ‘industrial Olympics’ to boost growth and jobs

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.



Queens Park development to create new jobs

Plans to deliver a £17 million multi-use leisure centre for Queens Park residents in London have been given the go-ahead by Westminster City Council.

The scheme, which has cross value of £60 million, will see the building of 120 new homes developed by Regen on two sites within 0.6 miles of each other.

The new sport centre will be located on the existing Moberly site will be developed at no cost to the taxpayer. It will be funded by a private developer, Willmott Dixon, in exchange for building residential properties on both sites.

The Council is expected to benefit from uplift in sales values of the homes during construction which will create new jobs and boost the trades industry.

This type of land arrangement is set to become more widespread as councils look for innovative funding methods from private sector developers to unlock value and increase funds to build new facilities.

Westminster councillor and a deputy cabinet member for sport and the Olympics, Steve Summers, said: “Few councils are in the position of being able to build multi-million new sports facilities in the current financial climate.

“But together with Willmott Dixon, we look forward to working on proposals which will create a £17m sports centre for residents of Queen’s Park together with a smaller sports facility at the Jubilee site. This will all be done at absolutely no cost to the taxpayer, so represents incredible value for money.”

The new leisure facility will have a 25-metre swimming pool, eight court sports hall, health and fitness facility, exercise studios, a health spa plus boxing and gymnastics halls.

Andrew Telfer, CEO at Regen, said: “I am delighted to be working with Westminster City Council on this exciting and ground-breaking scheme.

“With both current leisure centres in need of modernisation, this solution provides a bigger, state-of-the-art property for the local community offering high quality sporting facilities for many generations to come along with much needed quality new homes.”

Contractors to Benefit from Olympics’ Legislation

Building and Construction contractors will be able to take pride and promote their businesses for the good work they have done in building the Olympic venue for London 2012 the day after the closing ceremony of the Olympics, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson has confirmed.

Marketing and regulation rules imposed under the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 prevents contractors from publicising their contribution in the construction of the Olympic venue until 13 August 2012, the day after the closing ceremony.

Currently, contractors are banned from mentioning their names in relation to the Olympics. This measure is considered to be designed to protect the official sponsors of the Games.

Tessa Jowell, a former Olympics minister, raised the issue in Parliament this week saying that it’s vital for British contractors to be able to advertise the good work they have done, this then would help Britain’s construction sector in the future.

Labour MP Jowell said: “Those businesses that have done so well and are rightly proud of their contribution to this year Games are too tightly bound by the marketing rights protocol which is preventing them from revealing the part they have played.”

What’s your reaction to the measures taken by the government to prevent contractors mentioning their names before the end of the Olympics? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:



Construction Industry Proud of Building the Olympic Venue for London 2012

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:  


Building Work for London 2012 Olympic Games Complete on Time

Building and Construction work for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been completed on time and within budget – chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), Dennis Hone, told Sky News.

Building the stage for the London 2012 Game has given people in the building industry across the UK unprecedented access to new jobs and career opportunities.  Building work towards completion of the Olympic Park, in the heart of East London, has helped thousands of people in the building engineering sector to get employed and improve their current skills.

Mr Hone said: “We are in fine form ahead of the Games, having built the venues and main infrastructure on time and within budget.”

Even though building work has been officially completed and the venues handed over to organisers, there is still a lot post-building work to be done. All the sports equipment plus timing and scoring equipment as well as other temporary features are to be installed in the next month in the run up to the Olympics.

The building of a 100,000 sq ft of retail space for the Games including a 40,000 sq ft London 2012 mega store will be built before 16th July, the peak day for Olympic athlete arrival.

In addition to the existing facilities, another 11 areas sponsor showcase will be built, 362 toilet blocks, and 165 concession stands will be installed.

More than 1,000 picnic benches, installing ticket box offices, information booths and programme sale points, plus 4,000 waste bins will be installed in the next couple of months.

Heathrow Airport has announced today that it is planning to build a new terminal for the London Olympic Games. The newly built Olympic terminal will ease the high volume of extra passengers expecting to arrive for London 2012.

Building work at London Heathrow will create new jobs, transport networks and regenerate 6th runway in Heathrow Airport, which expects nearly 50% more passengers arriving on July 26, the day before the opening ceremony.

Do you welcome the new proposals for building a temporary Olympics terminal on Heathrow Airport? Do you think that it could be a new opportunity for you or your business after the official completing of Building Work for London 2012 Olympic Games? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below:

Train4TradeSkills News: For Sale: One Olympic Stadium

Three football clubs, One Olympic Stadium. Lots of bickering and legal battles.

The battle for the Olympic Stadium has ended after Olympic chiefs decided that no football club gets to own the stadium.

West Ham were supposed to be taking over the Olympic Stadium after the Olympics next summer, but the constant legal challenges from Tottenham and Leyton Orient has put pay to that and the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) has made a decision and ruled that no one gets it and the stadium will remain in public ownership.

£50 million worth of cash has been put aside to convert the stadium after the 2012 Games and instead of selling it to a football team, the stadium will be leased to a new tenant for an annual rent.

West Ham are understandably surprised and disappointed with the decision and have confirmed they will be bidding for the stadium.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said in a statement:

“Uncertainty caused by the anonymous complaint to the European Commission and ongoing legal challenges have put the Olympic legacy at risk and certainly a stadium, as we envisioned it, may not be in place by 2014 due as a direct result of the legal delay.

“Therefore we would welcome a move by OPLC and government to end that uncertainty and allow a football and athletics stadium to be in place by 2014 under a new process.

“The true legacy of London 2012 will be the creation of jobs and a generation of young people inspired by sport based around a community home for all by 2014. We remain committed to help deliver that legacy promise to the people of London and the nation.”

So it seems like none of the football teams have got their way, but what do you think about this? Let us know and comment below or join in the debate on our Facebook page.


Train4TradeSkills News: What does the future hold for Olympic Park post-2012?

Plans submitted to transform the Olympic Park when the 2012 Olympic Games in London finishes.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company has submitted proposals to transform the Olympic Park when the Olympic Games in London finishes next year.

The 5,000 page planning application documents the plans detailing how the Olympic Park could look after the 2012 Games. The plans include transforming the Olympic Park and the Athletes Village into 8,000 new homes.

The plans include building these new homes in five new neighbourhoods on the site, each with a host of community facilities, shops, schools and parks.

Andrew Altman, the chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said in a statement:

“As one of the most important housing developments in London’s history, these five neighbourhoods will stitch together the surrounding communities of a formerly isolated area through new homes, schools, shops, parks, infrastructure and jobs.”

The future of the Olympic Stadium has already been dealt with, with West Ham set to move in after the Olympics, and this project would also be a welcome boost for the construction industry.

The Olympics has already created in excess of 12,000 construction jobs and the fact that 8,000 new homes could be built if the plans are approved will only add to that number, which can only be a good thing.

What do you think should be done to the Olympic Park post-2012? Let us know what you think and comment below:


Train4TradeSkills News: What effect has the 2012 Olympics had on the UK Construction Industry?

As construction work on the 2012 Olympics in London is nearly complete ahead of the big event next summer, now seems to be a good time to look at what the Olympics has done for the construction industry.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) revealed this week that 98% of construction contracts for the 2012 Games have been awarded to UK firms, which is an impressive statistic. 240 companies and sub-contractors have been involved in the Olympic projects in London, which range from the Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park and Village and multiple other venues.

The ODA’s chairman John Armitt has said that the Olympics us a “great showcase for UK industry” and that “The Olympic Park is on schedule and budget and we have successfully hit all of our milestones over the last five years.”

I have to agree. The Olympics has been a great advert for the UK construction industry, as the projects have been completed on time and to an excellent standard. And there’s the part that the Olympics has created over 12,500 construction jobs, and provided at least 3,500 trainees the opportunity to work on key projects.

It’s also shown what the UK construction industry can do, and can hopefully lead to more work for UK contractors abroad, in events like the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

What do you think – what effect has the 2012 Olympics had on the UK construction industry? Let us know by commenting below or on the Train4TradeSkills Facebook and Twitter pages.


Train4TradeSkills takes glittering prize at e-learning awards

ONE of Britain’s leading colleges has won a major award for bringing training for a good old-fashioned trade into the cyber age.

Train4Tradeskills took a prestigious E-Learning Awards in London last week for introducing a virtual reality learning system in its state-of-the-art classrooms and workshops.

Students learning traditional construction skills such as plumbing, building, carpentry and becoming an electrician now practise their skills using the system which simulates tackling jobs in real-life situations.

Myra Smallman, head teacher at Train4Tradeskills, on Collingdon Street, said: “It’s just like flight simulation being used to train pilots and cabin staff.

“It allows the student to make their mistakes before they make their way into the big wide world. The beauty is you can be working away just as you would if you were on site but there is no danger of causing a problem for yourself or a customer – this really is the way forward.”

Train4Tradeskills has expanded its virtual reality training studios and students are able to study all the major skills demanded by the building industry which experts say will boom again, particularly as the Coalition Government moves towards its Big Society vision.

Ministers already plan to spend a billion over six years to encourage local authorities to allow the building of new homes. Local government will have the council tax they raise on new homes matched by an equivalent Government contribution, Housing Minister Grant Shapps said.

Mr Shapps said: “This new homes bonus will ensure that those communities that go for growth reap the benefits of development, not just the costs.”

The Government will provide a contribution equivalent to 125 per cent of the council tax paid on new “affordable homes” for low earners, Mr Shapps said.

Nearly 500 business people gathered at the London Marriott in Mayfair for the event where 37 winners were announced.

Train4Tradeskills received the award in the category Most Innovative New Product or E-Learning Tool along with AiSolve which helped develop the virtual reality system. Aisolve are made up of a group of extremely talented ex-students from the University of Bedfordshire who have been inspired by Professor Carsten Maple and managed by Train4Tradeskills.

E-learning is the biggest growing part of the distance learning industry as more and more people find the best way to gain a skill to help guarantee a job for the future is by learning at home across the internet.

Train4Tradeskills students have the added advantage of the practical classrooms too.

Other leading companies attending the awards included Jaguar Land Rover, PricewaterhouseCoopers UK, BUPA, The Open University, Hibernia College, St George’s University of London, Gloucester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Olympic Delivery Authority and Boots UK.

Mr Jan Telensky, of Train4Tradeskills, said: “This is a fabulous award for a company such as this and the prestige names at the ceremony reveal the kind of competition companies were up against.

“It means we have been recognised for taking people into the future and not only are they learning traditional skills, things that are the bedrock of society, within an industry waiting in the wings to rebuild Britain, but they are understanding IT and the benefits of new technology. I am over the moon for the teachers at the college and also for the students who are getting the best and most innovative training in the world.”

Train4Tradeskills is well known for its determination to change the world. Mr Telensky helped one of his web design students – a former Harry Potter star – realise his ambition to record songs for charity.

The businessman and philanthropist sponsored Shane Board, a diabetes sufferer, to record four tracks at Jools Holland’s London studios. All profits went to Diabetes UK.

Mr Telensky also sponsors youth initiatives including the Dunstable College Student of the Year Awards, the YOPEY (Young People of the Year) Awards and recently supplied the University of Bedfordshire and a local school with thousands of pounds worth of new computers.

Many of Train4trade Skills students have gone on to find well-paid employment. Average salaries for newly qualified plumbers range from £25,000 – £40,000 but for those wanting to go it alone, the college also shows students how to run their own businesses.

The Government’s agreed expansion of new residential properties, the increasing regulation over work in houses, the drive towards energy efficient heating systems and the implementation of the European Performance of Building Directive means a greater need for more skilled traders.

Go to for more information about the Virtual Reality training.