Bayonne Bridge project to complete ahead of schedule
Completing six months ahead of schedule, the Bayonne Bridge project will enable an increased number of larger container ships to reach existing terminals as a result of the heightened roadbed, enabling economic growth and increased employment throughout the region.
Although the bridge has been established since the 1930s, increased population growth and congestion both on land and sea has required the bridge to be upgraded. Once completed in July, the bridge will enable cargo ships reaching heights of 215 feet to pass through, leading to a predicted spike in shipments and neo-Panamax ships to pass through. It is one of the longest steel arch bridges worldwide spanning 5,780ft, and is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
Skanska Koch and Kiewit Infrastructure are working in partnership to complete the project. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has said, “This is truly an engineering marvel. Engineers have compared it to performing open heart surgery while the patient runs a marathon,” where the project has not disrupted the continual traffic flow whilst construction works remain underway.
Christie added, “This project is going to bolster the reputation of an already great port and one that does as much or more business than almost any other port in the world.”
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.