Malaysia is set for increased tourism figures in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is set to be transformed with the new Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) and Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport KL, which will provide an economic boost to the region
Construction works are now underway as a result of the ground-breaking ceremony, which was overseen by Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak. The Bukit City Centre (BBCC) and Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport KL has attracted a number of investors as part of the region’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), with the aim to transform Kuala Lumpur into an increased tourist avenue and boost economic growth.
The construction works are situated on over 19 acres of land, upon the grounds of the old Pedu jail. The venture will incorporate a new retail mall, four-star hotel, offices, residential complexes and a number of entertainment venues across the expansive area.
In his speech, Razak explained, “BBCC is an example of the key projects which support the Government’s focus under the Economic Transformation Programme for Greater KL and Klang Valley.”
The BBCC project has garnered the attention of renowned Japanese retail estate group Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd, who have invested RM1.6 billion within the new retail mall and will own 50 percent of shares, with the remaining shares held by shareholders BBCC Development Sdn Bhd, UDA Holdings Berhad, the Employees Provident Fund Board and Eco World Development Group Berhad and. The mall itself will also be managed and operated through joint-venture partnership MFBBCC (Mitsui Fudosan and the BBCC).
Razak added, "Last year, Japan was ranked Malaysia's fourth largest trading partner with bilateral trade amounting to RM120 billion, and we believe there is huge potential for our bilateral economic relations to prosper."
Set to be constructed in phases, the first phase incorporates the completion of the retail mall, hotel, offices and apartments, alongside several entertainment spaces, incorporating a strengthened infrastructure within the build and design works.
“By the time BBCC opens its doors, an integrated network of KTM, LRT and MRT lines, as well as the city centre’s monorail, will be efficiently transporting commuters around the city and beyond,” said Najib.
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.