Deutsche Bahn and Georgian Railways to build massive rail link from China to Europe
At a meeting in Tbilisi, Deutsche Bahn and Geo...
Deutsche Bahn and Georgian Railways have agreed to build a huge train route connecting China and Europe.
At a meeting in Tbilisi, Deutsche Bahn and Georgia's national rail operator have agreed to expand the scope of their strategic cooperation activities. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed during the visit by Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to the Caucasus state, and it covers collaboration on international freight transport and consultancy services for a wide range of transport-related projects over the coming five years.
The partnership was agreed by Mamuka Bakhtadze, Chairman of Georgian Railways, and Niko Warbanoff, Head of International Business Development at Deutsche Bahn AG and CEO of DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH.
The two companies plan to work together to create a new rail connection from China to Europe via central Asia and Georgia, thereby opening up a new route as an additional option for customers seeking an overland connection. Ronald Pofalla, Member of the Management Board for Economic, Legal, and Regulatory Affairs at DB has this to say: "We are proud that DB has the chance to contribute to the renaissance and modernization of the ancient communication routes between the continents. With a rail history reaching back to 1871, Georgia has a key role to play in this undertaking."
In March 2016 DB signed already an agreement with Chinese national operator, China Railways, on expanding rail connections between Europe and China. Following the deal, Deutsche Bahn wants to make the most of the opportunity afforded by China's Silk Road initiative, "One Belt – One Road". This project envisions a whole array of infrastructural undertakings covering a total of 65 countries. "We look forward to contributing to the Silk Road initiative and thus helping to promote international rail transport," says Niko Warbanoff. "Our work in this area will also offer us access to a large and growing market in Asia."
In another move, DB and Georgian Railways are cooperating on planning the development of rail freight links between Europe and Iran, with Georgia as a transit country. Extending the connection to India is an option for the future. In addition, the experts at DB's subsidiary DB E&C will provide Georgian Railways with support for organizing and producing rail services, reforming its rail system's structure root-and-branch, and modernizing and maintaining rail technology including the company's fleet of vehicles. Georgian Railways has also contracted with DB E&C in the past: DB E&C carried out a project to develop combined transport in the Caucasus region, offered consulting services on the preparation of tender documents for trains and served as the construction supervisor for the Tbilisi Bypass project.
Read the June 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
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%.
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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.
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