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Government to promote offshore wind investment

Government to promote offshore wind investmentBusiness and Energy Minister Michael Fallon has announced the creation of an Offshore Wind Investment Organisation (OWIO) to boost levels of inward investment and to further stimulate jobs in the UK offshore wind industry.

The OWIO is expected to boost the UK offshore wind industry alongside Government support for three offshore wind innovation projects as well as pave the way for new employment opportunities in the trades.

Energy Minister, Michael Fallon said: “Offshore wind is a major success story for the UK, and we want to boost levels of inward investment. This will be an important part of our industrial strategy for the sector later this year, and we are creating the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation to drive that activity.

“We already have more installed offshore wind than anywhere else in the world, and this brings enormous economic benefit to our shores, supporting thousands of skilled jobs.

“Through the formation of this industry-led partnership and through our support for innovation projects, we will boost the positive benefits that the offshore wind sector can bring to the UK economy.”

The OWIO is one of the recommendations of the forthcoming industrial strategy and will be headed by a senior industry figure. The organisation will be a partnership between industry and Government, established by UK Trade & Investment, that will complement the work of DECC and BIS in delivering the Government-wide offshore investment objectives.

Michael Fallon also announced three innovation projects that Government will support as part of Offshore Wind Components Technologies Scheme:

  • Power Cable Services Limited, based in Kent, have been awarded a £540,000 grant towards their high voltage subsea cable jointing technology project
  • Aquasium Technology Ltd with partners Burntisland Fabrications Ltd and TWI have been awarded a grant of £769,600 towards their cost-effective fabrication project.
  • Wind Technologies Ltd (Cambridge) have been awarded a £728,355 grant to design, manufacture and test an innovative 5MW medium speed drive train concept.

The Minister announced the support during his keynote speech to Renewable UK’s Offshore Wind 2013 conference in Manchester today.

Industry delegates at the conference are also able to attend the first ‘Share Fair’ session enabling them to hear about investment opportunities from major players in the market. This addresses one of the priorities identified by the offshore wind industrial strategy partnership between Government and industry.

What is your reaction to the Government plans to boost levels of inward investment and create new jobs in the UK offshore wind industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Inward investment on the rise as Olympics brings £2.5bn to UK economy

Inward investment on the rise as Olympics brings £2.5bn to UK economy

Britain’s Olympics has delivered a £2.5 billion boost in foreign direct investment (FDI) over the past year, bringing with it more than 31,000 jobs, according to preliminary figures published today.

The investment projects generated following the 2012 Olympics’ British Business Embassy programme of global business summits have helped ensure that the UK has again retained its position as the leading European destination for foreign direct investment.

The preliminary data published today at the Global Investment Conference shows that during 2012-13, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) recorded 1,462 projects which brought with them or safeguarded 163,489 jobs. Of these 58,170 are new jobs – beating both the quantity of investment attracted and employment secured in the previous year.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron joined other high profile delegates from 40 countries at the Global Investment Conference, including the German and Canadian finance Ministers, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, global chief executive officers, sovereign wealth funds representatives and corporate investors.

Senior Ministers Chancellor George Osborne, Energy Secretary Ed Davey, Trade Minister Lord Green, Treasury Ministers Greg Clark and Lord Deighton and London Mayor Boris Johnson also spoke to delegates about the UK’s compelling offer as both a hub for global growth and an international investment destination.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “Foreign investment creates hundreds of thousands of jobs and helps to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the UK economy. It’s a vital strand of the Government’s plan for growth.

“The 2012 Olympics were a once in a generation opportunity for the UK to showcase to the world Britain’s compelling investment offer and these preliminary figures are very encouraging. Despite strong competition from our traditional competitors and emerging economies, Britain has retained its position as the leading destination for foreign direct investment in Europe.

“To retain the UK’s enviable position as one of the most attractive global locations of choice, Britain will need to continue to work hard to attract high value foreign investment in the coming year and beyond.“

The preliminary data published today compares favourably with last year’s 1406 recorded projects (4% increase) and 112,659 jobs (45% increase). Of the 163,489 jobs, 58,170 are new jobs and 105,319 safeguarded jobs. UKTI and its partners were involved in delivering nearly 84% of the projects. Full results will be published in July.

Trade Mission to Singapore and Indonesia to boost economic growth

Trade Mission to Singapore and Indonesia to boost exports

All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Trade & Investment is on a trade mission to Singapore and Indonesia this week to strengthen business ties and create new jobs.

The mission, which will boost UK exports, is led by APPG Chair Margot James and is supported by Barclays, Prudential Plc and the UK ASEAN Business Council (UKABC).

It is the first time that an All-Party Parliamentary Group has taken a trade mission on a visit to a market in conjunction with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

Fifteen British companies from the education and infrastructure sectors will take part, including Warwickshire College, the University of Reading and Spark Architecture.

Infrastructure opportunities are growing rapidly in the South East Asia region, which includes some of the fastest-growing markets. The region is predicted to be the fourth largest market in the world by 2030.

The mission is set to start in Singapore where the group will meet key figures from the public and private sector education and business communities.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “Getting more companies to export and attracting high-quality investment to the UK are key planks of the government’s Plan for Growth. Indonesia and Singapore are high growth markets and I am delighted to see this mission taking place.”

In 2011 UK goods and services exports to Singapore totalled £7.8 billion (+7.4% on 2010), making Singapore the UK’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia. Opportunities in Singapore include machinery and transport, which is the largest UK goods export sector to Singapore.

MP Margot James said: “I am delighted to be leading this mission, the first by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade and Investment.

“This trade mission is a fantastic opportunity to give British companies access to the exciting and growing markets of Singapore and Indonesia which are vital to delivering the UK’s economic growth agenda.”

The UK is ranked 20th largest exporter to Indonesia and the 3rd largest among EU member states. The UK’s largest exports to Indonesia include power generation equipment; general industrial machinery, road vehicles, pulp and waste paper and specialised machinery.

What is your reaction to the trade delegation in Singapore and Indonesia this week to strengthen business ties and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  

Mayor of London Gets £3 Billion Fund for Affordable Housing

 The government has transferred a fund of £3 billion to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to build more affordable houses as well as to oversee the long term development of the Olympic Park and the surrounding areas.

The new investment will give greater power and more responsibilities to the Mayor of London’s office. Boris Johnson welcomed the decision of the government which will create thousands of new jobs and boost the building construction sector.

Mr Johnson said: “We are now in a great position to drive forward vital investment that will deliver more affordable homes across the city, secure a lasting legacy in the Olympic Park and create thousands of new jobs.”

Some 55,000 new affordable houses are expected to be built by March 2015 as well as bringing 45,000 existing homes up to standard across London.

The announcement comes as the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, is preparing to hand over functions from the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) to the capital and the Greater London Authority (GLA).

Mr Pickles said: “The funding will enable the Authority to support the housing programmes it will inherit from the Homes and Communities Agency, the closure of the London Development Agency, and transformation of Olympic Park  and legacy, as well as its existing functions.”

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson added that this agreement will enable for greater responsibility in housing schemes across London.

Mr Johnson said: “I will do all I can to grasp the fantastic opportunities this settlement provides and ensure that London becomes an even better place to live, work and invest in.”

What is your reaction on the Government’s investment for more affordable houses in London? Does the £3billion investment mean more employment opportunities for you/your business?  Let us know by leaving a comment on the Train4TradeSkills’ Facebook and Twitter pages:

UK contractors to win work in Brazil for 2016 Olympics?

The Brazilian construction industry is preparing for a mountain of construction work as both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games coming to South America in the next few years.

Now UK contractors involved in the construction of the 2012 Olympics in London are meeting five of the biggest Brazilian construction forms in a bid to win work for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero.

The meeting has been orchestrated by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and will see companies who have experience on the Olympics (Arup, Atkins and Davis Langdon are some of the UK companies invited) to meet Brazilian firms OAS, Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez, amongst others.

Building News report that the UK firms will offer guidance and expertise on how to build world class, low-carbon stadiums and arenas, and offer the Brazilians advice on how to get the most out of their £8.6 billion Olympics warchest. This will give UK firms the chance to win work in Brazil for the 2016 Olympics and create new jobs for UK contractors.

The UKTI’s Andrew Bacchus confirmed this, saying “the objective is to get in front of the companies who will be picking up the big contracts for 2016, to help UK firms who want to be part of consortiums being put together, or part of these big firms’ supply chains.”

What do you think – do UK firms have much chance of winning contracts for the 2016 Rio Olympics? Let us know on here or on the Train4TradeSkills Facebook and Twitter pages.

England may not host 2018 World Cup, but we can have impact on Qatar 2022

England may have lost the battle to host the 2018 World Cup to Russia, but they still can have an impact on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as it could have a major impact on the UK construction industry.

Qatar, who won the right to host football’s most prestigious tournament last week, plan to spend billions on building new stadiums and improving their infrastructure ahead of the 2022 World Cup. Therefore UK Trade and Investment are urging British firms to bid for the array of construction work that will need completing in Qatar ahead of the World Cup.

Qatar plan to spend $100 billion to improve their infrastructure, some of which would go to British firms if they managed to win contracts to build new stadiums in the Gulf. In total, nine new state-of-the-art stadiums need building, three stadiums need renovating, and $25bn will be spent on Qatar’s rail network, $20bn on the roads and a new $11 billion airport is set to be built.

The report by the UKTI, titled ‘Rising to the Challenge, Positioning UK Sport Business in the Gulf’, says that UK companies have the expertise to deliver world-class sporting events, and their skills should be utilised to make Qatar 2022 a success. UK Trade & Investment’s Chief Executive Sir Andrew Cahn said in a statement:

“The region’s vast array of sports projects offers a wealth of opportunities for British firms. UK companies have the expertise to deliver world-class sporting events from the bidding and planning stages to delivery and legacy. Whether it’s developing infrastructure, procurement, branding, event management, ticketing or security, UK companies have the expertise and know-how.”

Train4TradeSkills spoke to the UKTI and they said that British firms are well respected in Qatar and have been trading with them for years, which gives UK construction firms a good chance of winning contracts out in the Gulf.

Arup are one of the construction companies who have been working with Qatari officials to develop and design the stadiums, including a test 500-seater stadium that uses solar technology to provide zero-carbon air conditioning.

Arup’s UK-MEA Sport Business Leader Nic Merridew says: “The Gulf offers a wealth of potential opportunities to UK business who are recognised leaders in the sports infrastructure sector.”

If UK firms are successful in winning construction contracts in the Gulf, then this would potentially create thousands of jobs for UK plumbers, electricians and gas engineers, as the construction work would have to start from scratch, as the infrastructure in Qatar is non-existent at the moment.

What do you think – would you go over to Qatar to work on the infrastructure for World Cup 2022?