May 16, 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya entertainment city’s inauguration rescheduled

Saudi Arabia
Qiddiya entertainment city
Middle-East construction
Sophie Chapman
2 min
Delay for the launch of construction of Qiddiya entertainment city
The launch of construction for Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya entertainment city has been rescheduled for Saturday 28 April.

The nation had previously planne...

The launch of construction for Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya entertainment city has been rescheduled for Saturday 28 April.

The nation had previously planned to inaugurate the city with a foundation stone ceremony on Wednesday 25 April.

The reasons behind the delay have not been explained.

“King Salman will inaugurate next Saturay the Qiddiya project, which is the new entertainment, sports and cultural destination in the Kingdom,” announced the Saudi Press Angency.

The inauguration is to be led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.


The 334sqkm city will be developed in Al-Qiddiya, 40km from the nation’s capital city, Riyadh, with Phase One of the project expected to be complete by 2022.

“About two-thirds of the kingdom's population is under the age of 35. There is a great need for the Qiddiya Project to provide them with entertainment,” stated Dr Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi, Secretary General of the Foundation Council of Qiddiya Project.

“There is a great need for the Qiddiya Project to provide them with entertainment.”

“The project will save about $30bn (SAR112.5bn), which will be used to develop the domestic economy and create new job opportunities for Saudi youth.”

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Jun 11, 2021

Apprenticeships can bridge skills gap says Autodesk director

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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