Aecom and Samsung among vendors in Singapore smart city plan
Arup, Aecom and Samsung SDS Asia Pacific have been appointed to find new ways of utilising digital technology within public housing within Singapore in the Smart Urban Habitat Masterplan (SUHMP). 80 percent of the population within Singapore reside within public housing, at which the project will aim to improve the liveability, effectiveness and sustainability of public housing. The Housing Development Board will oversee the project.
Chintan Raveshia, Arup’s Cities and Transit Development Leader said: “Singapore has constantly been at the forefront of smart city development, and there is no better environment suited to embrace the use of technology in homes. In partnership with the Housing Development Board, we hope to co-create smart solutions that will better the quality of life for Singaporeans.”
The partnership will work to identify various technologies and smart initiatives which will be sustainable and benefit local citizens. On their website, Arup has stated this “can include a variety of estate enhancing services such as smart community services and implementation of gamification tools to engage residents and foster closer community living”.
HDB’s Chief Executive, Cheong Koon Hean said: “We are living in a fast-changing urban landscape, with new planning issues to tackle and new housing needs to meet. We need new partnerships and innovative ideas to keep HDB moving forward”.
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217,000 extra workers needed to meet COVID-19 recovery
As the construction industry’s recovery progresses, the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) Construction Skills Network (CSN) forecasts have led the organisation to believe the industry will reach 2019 levels of output in 2022.
The CSN says there will be an increase in the number of construction workers in “most English regions” by 2025, with demands forecasted at a 1.7% rise for the East Midlands, and a 1.4% rise for the West Midlands.
Scotland and Wales are also predicted to see a surge in demand for construction workers with a total increase of 1.4% and 0.7% respectively. The North East is the only region to see a slight decline in workforce demand at -0.1%.
Wood and interior fit-out trades among the most desirable during COVID-19
According to CSN’s forecast, the trades that are the most wanted are those of wood and interior fit-outs, with both requiring around 5,500 workers per year. Other in-demand trades include technical staff and other construction professionals, requiring 5,150 workers each year, construction managers at 3,600, and the electrical installation trade, which requires 3,400 staff per year.
There is also expected to be demand for 7,850 non-construction, office-based professionals and technical and IT support staff each year. Steve Radley, Policy Director at CITB, said: “It’s great to see construction coming back so strongly and creating lots of job opportunities.
“We need to adopt new approaches to meet these growing skills needs and deliver these quickly. We are working closely with the government and FE to build better bridges between FE and work and make apprenticeships more flexible. We are also making significant investments in supporting work experience that make it easier for employers to bring in new blood.
“We must also make sure that we invest in the skills that will drive change and meet new and growing needs such as Net Zero emissions and Building Safety. We will be announcing plans soon to tackle specific skills and occupations such as leadership and management, digital skills, and skills related to energy efficiency”, he said.