May 16, 2020

£1.6bn Stonehenge road and tunnel project to enter further consultation

Road Construction
uk construction
Highways England
UK
Tom Wadlow
2 min
Stonehenge
The controversial plans to tunnel near ancient UK landmark Stonehenge will enter a new phase of consultation, with amended proposals to be put before th...

The controversial plans to tunnel near ancient UK landmark Stonehenge will enter a new phase of consultation, with amended proposals to be put before the public and other stakeholders.

Approval for the A303 scheme was granted in September 2017 but faced bitter competition from the archaeological community, who claim it will undermine the monument.

However, Highways England says its new proposals will allay these concerns and not deter from the appeal of the 6,500-acre World Heritage Site.

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Derek Parody, Highways England Project Director for the A303 Stonehenge scheme, commented: “We had a great response to our earlier consultation and have acted on the feedback. We now want to get people’s views on our proposed changes to our original consultation.

“The further feedback we get will allow us to make sure we have got the best scheme before we make our application later this year to build the scheme.

According to the AA, the current 35-mile single-carriageway stretch of the road adds an hour onto journey times, something which would be markedly reduced with the new highway in place.  

The next phase of consultation will run until 14 August.  

Parody added: “Meanwhile we continue to work with heritage groups including Historic England, English Heritage, the National Trust, and experts in the field, including the Stonehenge Scientific Committee – a body of leading independent archaeologists – to ensure a new route is built sensitively to the World Heritage site.”

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Jun 11, 2021

Apprenticeships can bridge skills gap says Autodesk director

Autodesk
CITB
apprenticeships
Training
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Construction Skills Network says UK industry must fill 216,800 posts by 2025

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.

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