Thursday, October 1, 2009

New construction jobs to be created in Scotland and Wales

A number of new construction jobs will likely be created in Scotland and Wales in the near future.

In Scotland, a £1.25 billion project to rebuild 55 schools has been approved and the names of the first 14 schools were announced this week by Fiona Hyslop, Scotland educations secretary. Secondary schools in Dundee, Fife and Edinburgh will be among the first in line to benefit from the project.

"This government and local authorities are already on track to lift 100,000 school pupils, by 2011, out of tired and crumbling school buildings and classrooms and provide them with cutting-edge accommodation and facilities," said Ms Hyslop.

The rebuilding project will be funded by the Scottish government (£800 million) and local councils (£450 million).

Scotland will also see one of the biggest construction projects in decades, with the news that two consortiums have bid to run the £2.3 billion Forth Replacement Crossing project. The rivalling consortiums are German firm Hochtief, American Bridge of Pennsylvania, Morrison Construction, and ACS of Spain on the one side and the Forthspan consortium -- Balfour Beatty, Morgan Est, BAM Nuttall and Vinci Construction Grand Projets -- on the other.

If it comes to fruition, the project will create a great number of new construction and engineering jobs.

In Wales, the demand for low carbon construction jobs could go up as a result of the initiative to create a greener economy and reduce carbon emissions.

Deputy minister for regeneration Leighton Andrews said that green construction could be “the key to economic regeneration” at the Regeneration Skills Collective Wales conference.

"Companies in the construction industry are well placed to take advantage of this growing 'green' market which could provide significant opportunities to a wide range of businesses and also create new [construction] job opportunities," said Andrews.

He also urged construction companies to switch to more sustainable practices. "As the UK and Welsh governments' procurement approach focuses on integrating sustainability, those Welsh companies adopting innovative approaches will increase their prospects for securing work and securing medium term profitability,“ he said.

The Welsh government has pledged to reduce carbon emissions by three percent year on year from 2011.

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