Blog Archives

London Heathrow Expansion Could Go Ahead

Plans to increase airport capacity in Britain and build a third runway at London Heathrow are likely to be supported by the government despite environmentalists’ concerns.

Both David Cameron and George Osborne, have reviewed their initial decision to rule out future expansion for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. It will deal with increased trade capacity and high volume of extra passengers –the Guardian reported yesterday.

Business leaders have expressed concerns that if a third runway at London Heathrow is not built, trade might move elsewhere in Europe which could have a negative effect on future economic growth in Britain.

Expansion in some of Britain’s largest airports would create work opportunities for thousands of people in the building construction industry, creating new jobs and boosting civil engineering recruitment.

In the Budget Statement last Wednesday, Chancellor George Osborne, said the government will optimise air capacity. It is expected a report on aviation policy to be published, aiming to help businesses to trade better and make further improvement into airport capacity.

Tim Yeo, the Tory Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, told the Guardian that he had “completely changed” his mind on the Heathrow expansion plans and now believed there was no option but to build a third runway; this will ensure that the south of England will remain a worldwide aviation hub.

The Prime Minister said that he recognises the need for expanding airport capacity in Britain and that the government is looking at ways of helping businesses to make the most of country’s aviation capacity.

Mr Cameron said: “I’m not blind to the need to increase airport capacity, particularly in the South-East” adding, “Gatwick is emerging as a business airport for London under a new owner, competing with Heathrow.”

What is your reaction to the expansion of airport capacity at London Heathrow? Do you think construction work at Britain’s major airports will help your business? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 


Significant Investment to Boost the Manufacturing Industry

The pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has confirmed an investment of £500 million across its manufacturing sites to increase production of its products whilst providing a major boost for the UK’s construction and manufacturing industry.


The company announced today it will build a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Cumbria, North of England. An investment of £350 million for building the new facility would create hundreds of jobs and provide work opportunities for people in the building sector.

Building construction work is anticipated to begin within the next two years depending on obtaining the necessary planning consents. It is likely to take up to 6 years before the new facility is entirely completed.

The significant investment comes after Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, confirmed yesterday in Budget 2012, the government’s commitment to introduce a lower rate of corporation tax on profits generated from UK-owned intellectual property.

Chief Executive at GSK, Sir Andrew Witty, said: “The introduction of the patent box has transformed the way in which we view the UK as a location for new investments, ensuring that the medicines of the future will not only be discovered, but can also continue to be made here in Britain.”

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the investment as “excellent news” for businesses saying that cutting business tax will attract further investment to the British economy.

“It shows why we are right to cut business tax and focus on making the UK a dynamic and competitive place that can attract exactly this type of high tech investment.”- Mr Cameron said.

Additional investment of more than £100 million was also confirmed for GSK’s two manufacturing sites in Irvine and Montrose, Scotland. The company also said that it will invest in sustainable green energy production and environmentally friendly manufacturing technologies in the future.

What is your reaction to the significant investment to build new manufacturing facilities across the UK? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’  Facebook and Twitter pages:

Bright Future for the Construction Sector

One of the UK’s largest building distributors, SIG, has reported a rise of 3.9% in sales of building materials for the construction industry. The positive news comes as the demand for contractors, builders and construction companies continues to rise due to a return in confidence in the housing market.

Growth figures are considered to be a result of improved trading conditions and recent government investments aiming to boost the building construction sector.

The government made the announcement this week to help up to 100,000 people in England buy their own homes. The recent scheme,‘NewBuy’, will further increase demand for new build homes and unlock the housing market, Prime Minister, David Cameron said on Monday.

SIG’s pre-tax profits reached £81.7 million when the group is planning to open more than 15 new branches in the future. The current housing shortage in the UK is expected to encourage building of more new homes as well as increase employment across the construction sector.

Chief Executive at SIG, Chris Davies, thinks that despite the current uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment the company will continue with its positive performance.

Mr Davies said: “We enter 2012 as a much leaner, stronger and more focused organisation. Sales per day in constant currency so far this year were around 1% ahead of strong prior year comparators, despite the impact of severe weather across mainland Europe in February this year.”

What is your reaction to the improved sales figures of SIG, suggesting that the construction sector is better now off than it used to be a few years ago?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

Cameron Supports the Renewable Industry

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has written to 100 Conservative MPs, who recently complained about wind farm subsidies and demanded cuts to the £500 million a year, paid to the wind power industry.

The 100 MPs, who wrote to the Prime Minister last month, expressed concerns that wind farm proposals are not welcomed by local residents and that they might damage the natural landscape of Britain.

The Prime Minister shared a robust defence of the government’s plans to continue with its commitment to support renewable energy projects across the UK. Mr Cameron echoed strong support for wind farm subsidies, describing them as vital investment for the creation of green jobs and reducing carbon emissions.

Mr Cameron said: “On-shore wind plays a role in a balanced UK electricity mix, alongside gas, nuclear, cleaner coal and other forms of renewable energy, a portfolio of different supplies enhances energy security and prevents the UK from becoming over-reliant on gas imports.”

However, Mr Cameron said he sympathised with local residents’ concerns but the national interest of Britain had to be considered in order to fulfil its commitment to meet targets for renewable energy and to cut greenhouse gas emissions.


What is your reaction to the Prime Minister’s support for the renewable industry? Are you more optimistic about the future of wind farms after Cameron’s backing?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Supermarket ASDA boosts the Building Sector with a £500 million Expansion Plan

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

Harworth, Nottinghamshire

Mitcham, Merton

Ramsgate, Kent

Shepshed, Leicestershire

Todmorden, West Yorkshire

Tunbridge Wells, Kent (opened Jan 12)

Worcester, Worcestershire

Worthing- Littlehampton Rd, West Sussex


Inverness Slackbuie, Highlands

Larkhall, South Lanarkshire

Tain, Highlands


Bangor, Gwynedd


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:  

Government launch mission to “Get Britain Building”

Prime Minister David Cameron has launched the government’s long-awaited housing strategy, which they hope will revitalise the ailing housing industry and “Get Britain Building” again.

With housebuilding at its lowest levels since the end of World War 2, something drastic is needed and the government hope that these proposals will give kick-start the industry.

The plans that David Cameron has to boost the housing industry include the Mortgage Indemnity Scheme, where buyers of new homes will be able to borrow up to 95% of their value, which will be supported by government guarantees.

The £400 million Get Britain Building Fund has also been launched, which will go towards resuming stalled projects, which were put on hold due to a lack of funding.

This cash has the potential to “unlock” the construction of around 16,000 new homes, which could lead to the creation of 32,000 new jobs.

The Right to Buy scheme is also set to change, with the PM promising 60% discounts on council homes, with the money going into building new housing, and leading to more new construction jobs.

The Prime Minister, speaking at the CBI conference in London today, said:

“When first-time buyers on a good salary cannot get a reasonable mortgage, the whole market grinds to a halt,” he said.

“And that ricochets around the economy, affecting builders, retailers, plumbers – all the people that depend on a housing market that is moving.

“If we don’t do something like this we are not going to get this vital market moving… We will restart the housing market and get Britain building again.”

The ramifications of the government’s plans could be huge for the construction industry, but what do you think of Cameron’s plans? Will they work? Let us know what you think and comment on here or on our Facebook page.


Train4TradeSkills News: David Cameron on “all-out mission” to boost building

The Prime Minister has launched an “all-out mission” to boost the economy and open up a series of major infrastructure projects.

David Cameron wrote in the Financial Times that he is focused on updating the UK’s infrastructure and launching new projects, which will in turn create new jobs and rebuild the economy.

The Prime Minister wrote:

“Our focus is on updating our infrastructure. In terms of future productivity, this infrastructure deficit is as serious as our budget deficit. Getting construction projects off the ground is critical.”

Cameron’s speech coincided with the news that two power plants (in Ferrybridge and Thorpe Marsh) have been given the green light, which will create an estimated 1,000 jobs.

The PM’s quest to improve infrastructure comes at a good time, as the second round of cash from the Regional Growth Fund has just been unveiled.

The £950 million injection of cash from the government will allow many building and regeneration schemes to go ahead and companies like JCB, Keepmoat Homes and Pochin Developments are some of the building firms benefiting from the government money.

The cash is expected to create around 201,000 jobs in the UK will go alongside private investment to boost stalled projects.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

“This targeted support for businesses across the country allows them to expand and create jobs. It unlocks private sector investment – with at least £5 put in for every £1 of public money.

The first pot of Regional Growth Fund money is already making a difference across the country – helping to rebalance our economy so that every region and sector benefits.”


Train4TradeSkills News: David Cameron’s Apprenticeships Mission

By taking on more apprentices, businesses across Britain could do more to support growth and help the economy said David Cameron yesterday at his second annual party conference as a Prime Minister.

Mr Cameron asked businesses to show good leadership and to adapt quickly to the challenges Britain is facing. He emphasised the importance of having skilful workers to compete with other countries and encouraged businesses to take on more apprentices.

The Prime Minister said: “When a balanced economy needs workers with skills, we need to end the old snobbery about vocational education and training. We’ve provided funding for 250,000 extra apprenticeships – but not enough big companies are delivering.

“So here’s a direct appeal: If you want skilled employees, we’ll provide the funding, we’ll cut the red tape. But you’ve got to show more leadership and give us the apprenticeships we need.”

Nick Hayward, CEO of leading vocational training provider Apprenticeship Training Limited (ATL), the practical training centre of Train4TradeSkills, welcomed the address of the Prime Minister and stated the company’s commitment to deliver a better future for its students.

Mr Hayward said: “The Prime Minister is quite right in his appeal to businesses in the UK to take on more apprentices because it is important for employers to have highly skilled and qualified workers.

“I am also pleased to hear from Mr Cameron that our commitments at ATL, of supporting people to get more qualifications and enter into employment, are in tune with policy-making of government”-said Mr Hayward.

The Prime Minister also emphasised the importance of having a job in the first place and outlined government’s determination to provide training and vocational courses to help people become more qualified.

Mr Cameron said: “We have to do everything we can to boost businesses to grow, to strive and to succeed”.

The Prime Minister outlined his ambition, as a part of The Big Society, to run more programmes for young people to help them make a positive contribution in the future and benefit society.

For more information about ATL, go to


Train4TradeSkills News: The Return of Right to Buy as David Cameron wants to see 200,000 new homes built

Prime Minister wants to bring back Right to Buy programme to boost construction

David Cameron has announced plans to bring back the Conservative Party’s Right to Buy programme in order to create new funds and build around 200,000 new homes.

The Prime Minister said this week that he plans to increase the discount for council tenants so that they can buy their own homes, which would then free up money as the receipts from the sales would go into building new homes.

Mr Cameron said this week:

“The housing market isn’t working, because of the debt crisis, the banks are bunged up with debt, so the banks aren’t lending, the builders aren’t building and the buyers can’t buy because they can’t get the mortgages that they need.

“So this government isn’t just sitting back, we are rolling up our sleeves and saying right, we’re going to make over government land to house-builders on the basis that they can build now and pay for the land when they sell the homes.

“That could build 100,000 homes, 200,000 jobs in our economy. We’re not stopping there, we’re saying let’s bring back the right to buy your council house, with proper discounts that Labour got rid of, and let’s use that money, as people choose to buy their council home, let’s use that money to build homes for rent, for low rents for families that are currently stuck on housing lists.”

The Right to Buy scheme was launched over 30 years ago by then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and if it was re-introduced by Cameron and the coalition government, it could give the construction industry the boost it needs, as well as creating hundreds of thousands of much-needed jobs.

The government have been proposing a variety of different methods in the last few weeks to try and kick-start the housing industry. As well as the Right to Buy scheme, there’s reforming the planning laws, which would see the whole process simplified in favour of housing developers, so that more new homes and more new jobs can be created for contractors.

What do you think – should the Right to Buy scheme be brought back? Let us know your thoughts and comment below:


David Cameron backs UK nuclear energy plans despite Japan earthquake

It’s safe to say that nuclear power hasn’t got the best reputation at the moment. Despite of that though, the Prime Minister David Cameron has reaffirmed the importance of nuclear energy.

Despite the crisis in Japan due to the devastating earthquake, David Cameron has said that nuclear energy is the most important energy used in the UK.

The Prime Minister said in a statement that, “”I do think that nuclear power should be part of the mix in future as it is part of the mix right now. Obviously I’m sure that everyone watching the dreadful events in Japan will want to make sure we learn any lessons.”

The earthquake in Japan has caused serious doubts about the safety of nuclear energy. 3,373 people have died so far as a result of the earthquake, which measured at 8.9 on the Richter scale.

The Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan

The Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan has been majorly affected by the earthquake and several explosions has caused the release of radiation into the atmosphere.

British people living in Tokyo have been advised to get out of Tokyo because of the risk of impending radiation and a 12 mile exclusion zone has been set up around the Fukushima nuclear reactor.

Nuclear power is used to generate electricity and provides around 13-14% of the world’s electricity. As it’s a sustainable energy source that reduces carbon emissions, the UK government and David Cameron are keen to capitalise on nuclear energy.

The Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Chris Huhne is looking at how Britain can avoid a Fukushima situation happening and has reportedly asked the UK’s chief nuclear inspector Mike Weightman to evaluate the Japanese crisis and apply the changes to the 10 nuclear power stations currently in Britain.

Contractors today warned that delays in the UK’s nuclear power programme could have serious economic and energy supply consequences. Therefore Mr Cameron and the UK need to capitalise on nuclear energy and push forward.

As long as the nuclear power plants are safe and can withstand a heavy earthquake, similar to the one which obliterated Japan, then they should go ahead with the plans. But the last thing anyone wants is that the plans are rushed through and safety precautions ignored, as no one in the UK wants an incident like Fukushima or Chernobyl to occure.

Then again, some MP’s, such as Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith have reportedly called for a suspension of Britain’s nuclear programme.

What do you think about the UK’s plans for nuclear energy? Let us know on here or on the Train4TradeSkills Facebook and Twitter pages.