Kier Graham, VolkerStevin and Morgan Sindall win $1bn UK nuclear submarine base contract
A Kier Gra...
Three contractors will carry out renovation and construction work at the Faslane and Coulport submarine bases on the Clyde in Scotland, UK.
A Kier Graham joint venture, VolkerStevin and Morgan Sindall have secured work worth approximately $1bn, part of the $1.75bn Clyde Commercial Framework project enacted by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).
The work ranges from building new accommodation blocks and training facilities to refurbishing technical, high-security nuclear infrastructure, and could last up to 10 years.
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Brian McQuade, Managing Director for Kier Construction, Scotland, commented: “We are thrilled to have been appointed to the DIO’s new Clyde Commercial Framework working in joint venture with Graham.
“Kier was one of the first companies to sign the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant in 2013, putting it at the heart of its policy, and understanding the importance the construction industry plays in supporting the nation’s defence and security.”
Kier has previously worked on the naval base on the Clyde, working alongside the likes of Henry Brothers, Galliford Try, Interserve and Australia’s Lendlease.
Ian Arbuckle, DIO Assistant Head of Commercial Services, added: “We are incredibly pleased to launch our new framework for the Clyde. We have successfully selected three reputable industry partners who have demonstrated a commitment to delivering better value for defence.”
HMNB Clyde was established as a nuclear submarine base in 1964, having been originally constructed and used as a military base during the Second World War.
Apprenticeships can bridge skills gap says Autodesk director
The UK construction industry needs 216,800 new workers by 2025 to meet rising demand, according to the Construction Skills Network published by CITB.
Even before Covid-19, it was estimated it needs to attract 400,000 new recruits each year to meet the UK’s infrastructure needs.
But given one in three current construction employees are over 50 there is predicted to be a 20-25% decline in the available workforce over the next decade. And with end of the free movement of people from the EU, it has further limited access to skilled talent.
Mike Pettinella, Director, Autodesk Construction Solutions EMEA, believes the solution may be one that is hardly new, but might have taken a back seat during the pandemic.
"Apprenticeships could help us bridge the construction skills gap and meet this rapidly rising demand, and attract a new crop of younger talent to the industry," he said.
"Apprenticeships benefit everyone. For candidates, it’s an opportunity to learn valuable skills without incurring thousands of pounds of student debts. For employers, it’s a chance to train up employees in the competencies that are really needed – combining technical knowledge with collaboration and team work, which are equally important as you enter a new industry. And if you’re a larger company and already required to pay the apprenticeship levy, it makes sense to ensure you’re benefitting from the scheme too."
Marshall Construction recently took on nine new apprenticeships covering various roles. "Some of our previous apprentices have left and started their own businesses, which sets them up for life," said Chairman Robert Marshall. "Most of our current managers came from organic growth within the business whom we have trained to our own standards." Firms such as Barnwood Construction and Keepmoat Homes are also advertising and supporting apprenticeships.
According to the CSN, most English regions will experience an increase in construction workers by 2025, with East Midlands (1.7%) and West Midlands (1.4%) forecast to lead demand. Scotland (1.4%) and Wales (0.7%) are also predicted to fare well. The only region forecast to see a slight decline in workforce is the North East (-0.1%).
Major projects such as HS2 are driving growth in some regions and infrastructure (5.2%) and private housing (6.7%) should see the healthiest pace of expansion by 2025.
The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the future shape of work will be profound. Modelling by the McKinsey Global Institute on the effects of technology adoption on the UK workforce shows that up to 10 million people, or around 30 percent of all UK workers, may need to transition between occupations or skill levels by 2030.