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Government sponsors boat-building apprenticeships


There are new schemes for apprentices in the marine industry.There are new schemes for apprentices in the marine industry.

The government’s Trialblazer apprentice scheme has announced a new boatbuilding apprenticeship will be developed by employers working together to design standards in their occupations and sectors.

Co-ordinated by the British Marine Federation, the scheme will be led by Berthon Boat Company and includes Sunseeker International, Princess Yachts, Pioneer Sailing Trust, Pendennis Shipyard, Fairline Boats, Broom Boats, Green Marine, English Harbour Yachts, Windboats and Cockwells.

Keith Longman, yard manager at Berthon, the lead employer for the marine Trailblazer phase, said; “Our group are excited at the opportunity to influence the training delivery of our apprentices. The government’s strategy that apprenticeship training should be employer-led is welcomed by us, and we will embrace the challenge to build a standard that will deliver the competence and behaviours.

The marine industry is one of 37 sectors chosen as a Phase 3 Trailblazer, alongside others such as maritime defence, emergency services and port operations & supply chain.

Sarah Dhanda, senior federation director at the British Marine Federation said: “Our apprenticeship scheme is already a recognised success with some 80 young people completing their boatbuilding training each year.”

“By developing marine apprenticeships further we are ensuring the continued quality of the industry’s training programme. We will be preserving much needed skills and ensuring the sector is well placed for the future, whilst crucially maintaining a strong profile both in government and within young people.”

The changes will build on strengths of the current scheme, but the reformed apprenticeships will meet the needs of the future economy in years to come, ensure apprenticeships are more rigorous and responsive to the needs of employers and ensure they are viewed with the same esteem as University.

Skills minister Nick Boles enthused “I congratulate the marine industry for the key role they are playing in developing new top-quality apprenticeships. Through the trailblazers initiative boatbuilding companies will collaborate with their industry partners, giving people the skills they need to thrive and providing what our businesses need to compete.”

Phase 1 and Phase 2 Trailblazers reached over 400 employers who worked together to design the first employer-led Apprenticeship standards.

Launched in October 2013, the Apprenticeship Trailblazer scheme is to enable businesses to produce employer-led standards for key apprenticeship roles in their industry.

It has already been launched in energy & utilities, digital industries, financial services, life sciences and industrial sciences. The new Apprenticeship standards focus on achieving competence in an occupation.

The criteria for the apprentices are to ensure the skills it provides must be numerous, challenging, valuable and transferable. Once an apprentice has completed their training, they must be able to perform the same role in any firm regardless of its size or sector. Occupations should be of a sufficiently high level to ensure this.

Source: The Manufacturer

Wigan council invites bids for £21m link road



Wigan Council is starting the hunt for bidders to deliver the 2.5km A49 Link Road project.

The new dual carriageway will provide a new high-capacity route into Wigan town centre from the south of the borough

The proposed A49 Goose Green to Westwood Park Link Road project includes three major structures to bridge existing watercourses, canals and a primary road.

The upgrade scheme will improve two junctions along the A49 and pave the way for housing projects at Pemberton Park and Wigan Arc.

Firms have until 24 November to complete PQQs and can obtain more information from the Chest website.

Source: Construction Enquirer 

London HS2 supply chain event draws 900 firms



More than 900 firms will gather in London this morning to hear details of first phase work packages on the HS2 project.

The firms coming from Dundee to Devon will be told £10bn worth of projects will be available on the initial stretch of high-speed railway from London and the West Midlands.

Building work is programmed to start at the turn of 2016/17 and take around nine and half years to deliver at a total targeted cost of £17.16bn, including rolling stock.

Phase one will see four major stations remodelled or built.
More than half the route will be in cuttings or tunnels, raising the scale of the civil engineering challenge.

It will also require around 100 bridges and viaducts.

HS2 chief executive Simon Kirby said:”The pace of HS2’s development is accelerating so we’re ready to hit the ground running, assuming Royal Assent in 2016.

“It is excellent to see such massive support and interest from industry in making the new north-south line a reality.

“To build HS2 between the West Midlands and London is a huge undertaking: £10bn worth of contracts and at peak construction we’ll be employing around 40,000 people to deliver the first part of this strategically important piece of infrastructure that is an investment in the country’s future stretching decades ahead.”


  • Tunnels (£2.9bn): 4 main packages of work
  • Surface Route (2.7bn): 3 to 6 main packages of work
  • Stations (£2.6bn): 4 main packages (one main per station). Also option of combining the Birmingham stations and splitting Euston into several packages.
  • Enabling Works (£600m): New framework agreement with several ‘Lots’ for different work types and locations
  • Railway Systems (1.5bn): 4 to 6 route-wide packages
  • Design Services (£350m): Multi-disciplinary packages to progress design to a level appropriate to the contracting strategy
  • Rolling Stock, Depots and Signalling (2bn+) Single package, with location of depots to be established by HS2 Ltd.

HS2 tunnels

The bill to build and operate Phase One of HS2 is currently progressing through Parliament.

The next HS2 Supply Chain Conferences will be held in Manchester (23 October 2014)


Source: Construction Enquirer 

Balfour Beatty names new chief executive


Balfour Beatty has revealed its new chief executive officer will be Leo Quinn of QinetiQ.

Quinn, who started his career with Balfour as a qualified civil engineer, replaces John McNaughton, who stood down more than six months ago after a string of profit warnings.

He has been CEO of defence technology group QinetiQ for more than five years and earned a reputation as a straight talking boss.

The City reacted positively to the appointment with Balfour shares up 12% in early trading.

A trained civil engineer, he started his career at Balfour Beatty in 1979 working for the construction services business.

Quinn starts on a basic salary package of £800,000 and will be compensated for loss of incentives at QinetiQ when he joins on 1 January.

Before Qinetiq he was chief executive of banknote printer De La Rue between 2005 and 2009.

He spent 16 years with Honeywell and is a non-executive director at Betfair. His hobbies include skiing, shooting and the performing arts.

Executive Chairman Steve Marshall said: “Leo is an outstanding individual with an excellent track record in improving the performance of major international businesses.

“He has the depth and breadth of experience and the drive to lead our company through the next stage of its development. I am confident that Balfour Beatty will thrive under Leo’s leadership.”

Quinn said: “Balfour Beatty is a world-leading brand with world-leading talent.

“Having started my career there, I am very proud to be rejoining a company so ingrained in British engineering, and am resolute in my ambition to realise its enormous potential for customers, employees and investors.

“The building blocks are there to give Balfour Beatty’s people the success they deserve and I am keen to work with them to create something significant and lasting.”

Quinn’s basic annual salary will be supplemented with pension and benefits in line with Balfour’s approved remuneration policy. 

Nissan launches UK Skills Foundation


Nissan launches UK Skills Foundation to promote careers in engineering and manufacturing

A range of workshops, competitions, practical activities and facility tours will see more than 15,000 students experience the innovation and excitement of 21st century automotive design, engineering and manufacturing over the next two years.

Under the umbrella of the Nissan Skills Foundation, the new initiatives include sponsorship of F1 in Schools, a competition bringing the thrill of Formula 1 racing into classrooms across North East England. Other activities include Industrial Cadets plus the Nissan Blue Citizenship programmes Eco School and Monozukuri Caravan.

The initiative has been announced as Nissan once again supports the UK Government’s ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ programme by opening its doors to give young people a unique behind-the-scenes insight into its UK operations.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan’s Vice President for Manufacturing in the UK, said: “The Nissan Skills Foundation has been created to inspire the next generation of British design, engineering, and manufacturing talent.

“There are many elements of this wider programme, which will be the focus of our community activity in North East England and will excite many thousands of young people about science and engineering.”

Commenting on the Nissan Skills Foundation, Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “I am delighted that employers like Nissan are playing such an important role in inspiring children and young people to take up careers in manufacturing, science and engineering.

“Alongside the See Inside Manufacturing scheme, the Nissan Skills Foundation will help children and young people to understand the value of careers in this sector and ensure that businesses have the skills they need to grow.”

The F1 In Schools programme gives children a chance to gain new skills by running their own motorsport team, not just racing model cars but learning about the engineering, design, logistics and management required to get a car on the road. Sponsored by Nissan, regional entries will create their racing cars in the company’s Global Training Centre in Sunderland, with a view to progressing into national and even international races.

The second new activity is an expansion of the Nissan Blue Citizenship Eco Schools programme, which was first launched in Japan and teaches students about Nissan’s approach to finding solutions to global environmental issues using fun, interactive experiences.

Students discover how electric vehicles work and even get to build a model EV and their own wind farm before experiencing the world’s best-selling electric vehicle from the passenger seat of an all-electric Nissan LEAF.

Nissan is also expanding its Monozukuri Caravan workshops for year 6 pupils (age 10-11), which is a hands-on, interactive workshop celebrates Nissan’s Monozukuri, the Japanese term for ‘the art of making things’. Over 1,000 pupils attended a Monozukuri Caravan last year and it is already fully booked to the end of 2014.

Nissan is also running a number of smaller, more intensive programmes including theIndustrial Cadets for pre-GCSE pupils (year 9) and the Engineering Education Scheme, both of which offer students the chance to tackle hands-on real life industrial and science-based challenges.

Nissan’s See Inside Manufacturing activities see 2,500 schoolchildren visit Sunderland Plant every year over a two-week period as part of a national partnership between Government and Industry created to transform students perception of manufacturing in strategic sectors

Adrian Smart, Human Resources Director at Nissan Sunderland Plant, added: “There is also a serious message behind all these activities for children, parents and teachers. Whether it is the opportunity to travel the world to visit plants in Japan, North America or Russia, commission a new fleet of robots or drive home the new car that you’ve been responsible for building – manufacturing and engineering offer long-term and inspiring careers.”

The schools which have already visited Nissan include Swalwell Primary School in Gateshead, whose Deputy Headteacher Peter Hampson said: “The children love coming. They gain so much from the experience they have here with Nissan. They learn teamwork skills, they learn all about the possibility of careers in industry, they learn about the production process and they just really love every single second they spend here.

“It’s really interesting for both the boys and the girls to see what’s available, to find out what fantastic opportunities there are and therefore to think how they may like to plan their careers.”

The Nissan Skills Foundation will have a dedicated team based at Nissan Sunderland Plant who will be able to support schools by explaining the careers available in manufacturing and the different activities available for schools to access. Teachers can get more information by contacting Heather Corrigan via email at or on (0191) 415 2035.

Source: AW

Plan to start £750m Thames Silvertown tunnel -2017


The London Mayor has given his backing to plans for a £750m tunnel under the Thames in East London.


Boris Johnson said that several new crossings were vital for east London as the project went out to public consultation on detailed proposals.

The proposed Silvertown road tunnel would connect the Greenwich Peninsula with the Royal Docks – two of the Mayor’s key Opportunity Areas for thousands of new homes and jobs.

This consultation represents an important step forward for the Silvertown plans, with an application to Government for approval to build the tunnel planned for December 2015.

In recognition of its significance for the future development of London, the project has been designated a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project by Government.

If approved, construction could start in 2017 and take four years to complete at an estimated cost of around £750m. It will cross the river Thames next to the Emirates cable car route.

As part of the plans, proposals for a user charge at the Silvertown and existing free to use Blackwall Tunnels have been developed to manage demand for the two crossings and help to pay for construction.  This would not be introduced until the new tunnel was open to motorists.

The Mayor and Transport for London are also planning for new road crossings to the east of Silvertown, which have been the subject of a recent consultation.

Initial findings from this consultation suggest strong public support to develop plans for crossings at both Gallions Reach and Belvedere.

Boris Johnson, said: “It has quite rightly been classified by the Government as a project of national significance and today we’re a step closer in making our vision a reality.

“Unless new river crossings are provided, the huge growth potential of east London will not be realised, which is why I have asked TfL to also take forward further work on two new river crossings to the east of the Silvertown tunnel at Gallions Reach and Belvedere.

“These new crossings will be essential not just for east London, but for the capital as a whole and its continued success as the motor of the UK economy.”

East London Crossings

Other proposed sites along the Thames for road crossing.


Source: Construction Enquirer 


Work to start on £16bn Hinkley C in 2015



Hinkley Point

Britain has gained EU approval to go-ahead with plans to build Hinkley C nuclear power station, clearing another hurdle on the road to construction starting.

The decision means the UK can commit to a long-term package of financial support for the £16bn project.

A so-called “strike price” will be guaranteed to be paid to EDF for 35 years at around £92 per megawatt hour – twice the current market rate.

But EDF still needs to negotiate equity shares with its investment partners, including the Chinese, before the key final investment decision, clearing the way for construction to start.

Sources close to the project said they expected construction to now get underway in early 2015.

Approval for the construction was confirmed today by regulators at the European Commission, following prior approval by Competition Commissioner Vice-President Joaquin Almunia.

The EU examined the bid over concerns the UK Government was giving excess help to the plan.

Almunia said: “After the commission’s intervention, the UK measures in favour of Hinkley Point nuclear power station have been significantly modified, limiting any distortions of competition in the single market.

“These modifications will also achieve significant savings for UK taxpayers.

“On this basis and after a thorough investigation, the commission can now conclude that the support is compatible with EU state aid rules.”

Source: Construction Enquirer 

Mace heads September contracts league



BBC tv centre

Mace’s £400m construction management deal to redevelop BBC TV Centre in London has catapulted the firm to the top of the September contracts league.

The BAM group came in second with nine wins totalling £173m during the month.

These included Watford’s £100m Intu shopping centre and the £45m Dundee V&A building.

Among a crop of big project wins during September, Carillion was confirmed on the £75m job for new Liverpool FC Stadium and the £60m next stage of Project Wildcat for the MoD at Yeovilton.

Balfour Beatty took the last major works package left on Crossrail with a £70m bid to fit-out the new Woolwich Crossrail Station.

In the civil engineering sector Dawnus bagged a £26m project to build a link road at Darlaston for Walsall MBC and BAM Nuttall the main £23m package for flood defence improvements in Leeds.

The rankings in the rolling 12 month league remain the same with Kier leading on both tally of contracts and value of work won. Balfour Beatty remains close on Kier’s heals with Morgan Sindall in third place.

Click for full contractors league

Click for full clients league

Source: Construction Enquirer 

Carillion gets £75m Dubai World Trade Centre deal


Carillion headquarters at Birch Street, Wolverhampton

Midland construction giant Carillion has agreed a major contract with Dubai World Trade Centre after securing a Government-backed loan.

The £75 million deal makes the Wolverhampton-based support services firm the first to be supported by UK Export Finance’s Direct Lending Facility (DLF).

It will see the DLF loan £34 million to help build on Carillion’s successes in the Middle East with construction services at the trade centre.

Dubai World Trade Centre is an office and entertainment complex, including conference centre facilities. The Carillion contract includes an IBIS hotel, an office block and associated infrastructure.

Chancellor George Osborne announced the deal on a visit to Birmingham, revealing that Deutsche Bank have acted as partners in arranging a further loan of £34 million, guaranteed by UK Export Finance.

The announcements come as part of the Chancellor’s radical overhaul of UK export finance announced at Budget.

Mr Osborne said: “It is great to see successful companies like Carillion winning contracts around the world. Today’s deal, the first in a pipeline of many, will help us reverse the age old trend of not exporting enough, boosting growth and creating jobs.”

Carillion chief executive Richard Howson added: “This is a significant and very important contract for Carillion, which will help us to build on our success in the Middle East and make further progress with our strategic objective of growing our business in the Region. 

“The Direct Lending Facility is a major new development that is providing us with the support we need to achieve our export goals.”

The Chancellor also unveiled there would be a panel of 20 financial organisations to help deliver the Direct Lending Facility.


Source: Birmingham Post

Go-ahead for 700-home London Royal Mail scheme


London’s mayor has approved plans to build almost 700 homes on part of the capital’s Mount Pleasant postal sorting site.

Boris Johnson gave the go-ahead after the amount of affordable housing originally proposed was doubled.

Royal Mail Group called on the Mayor’s help after squabbles over the 1m sq ft residential-led scheme with the London Boroughs of Islington and Camden whose jurisdiction the site straddles.


The Sir Terry Farrell designed high rise scheme will transform the area surrounding Farringdon Road and Phoenix Place.

In total, 681 homes will be built, 163 of which will be affordable.

There will also be shops, offices, restaurants and public space on half of the site.

Johnson, said: “London is growing at a record rate and within a few years there will be more people living here than at any time in the city’s history.

“Building new homes is absolutely crucial and by working closely with the local authorities and Royal Mail we have been able to bring forward a scheme that had been in serious danger of stalling while doubling the amount of affordable homes.”

Martin Gafsen, Royal Mail Group Property Director, said: “The next step for Royal Mail is to complete the design of the pre-development works at Mount Pleasant, which are vital to separate our mail operations from the planned residential areas.

“Royal Mail will continue to work with the GLA, local authorities, businesses and the community as we progress with our development.”

The remaining half of the Mount Pleasant site will continue to be a postal sorting office, employing up to 3,200 people.

Since 2009, the Mayor has called in 12 planning applications to speed up the decision-making process so that it is possible to reach a verdict on these vitally-important applications in a timely fashion.

Planning permission is subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement.

The architects for the scheme are AHMM, Feilden Clegg Bradley, Allies and Morrison and Wilkinson Eyre Architects.


Source: Construction Enquirer