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March 12, 2014 - Dr. Jan Telensky

March 12, 2014

Floods are boosting jobs market and the trades

The UK’s recent flooding damage has given the construction industry an ‘unexpected boost’ that will create new trade jobs and help economic growth, the latest Manpower employment survey revealed today.

Manpower forecasts an increase on the number of hired tradesmen and women.

 

The recruitment company said recent construction work had boosted the industry by an estimated £250 million, and firms were looking to take on more staff in the future.

 

Energy firms have also had to recruit more engineers in the past few weeks to help restore power to thousands of homes, as well as more customer service workers to handle compensation claims.

 

In a BBC interview this morning Mark Cahill, managing director of Manpower UK said that the government’s Help to Buy scheme is partly to thank, but that the bad weather could also be responsible.

 

Mr Cahill said: “With over 6,000 properties flooded, and an average repair bill of £30,000-£40,000, the beneficiaries of all this extra work will be builders who are already being called in to repair homes,

 

“We could be talking about an economic gain of about £250 million to this industry alone.”

 

According to survey responses from employers in the construction industry, more are planning to hire extra staff than decrease numbers.

 

This is the first time Manpower’s forecasts for the building construction sector have been positive since before the recession.

EU funds supporting growth in green economy

EU Funds are helping to support the low carbon economy and driving sustainable development, according to Welsh Finance Minister Jane Hutt.

The Minister met businesses pioneering new ‘green’ products and services this week  as part of the EU-backed BEACON project which has been highlighting the work of companies and Universities in helping to establish Wales as a Biorefining Centre of Excellence.

 

The aim is to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by developing new, sustainable products and services while boosting economic growth and creating new jobs in the trades.

 

Finance Minister Jane Hutt said: “Sustainable development is at the heart of Welsh Government. This is another example of how Wales benefits from vital EU funds which are helping to drive innovation in the low carbon economy, creating opportunities for sustainable growth and jobs in our region, and making a significant contribution to combating climate change.”

 

BEACON Deputy Director Rob Elias said: “The BEACON Project is an excellent example of how companies can tap into the research and innovation expertise through Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea Universities.

 

“We can offer a service to help develop their products and fast track their technologies. Working with BEACON brings real advantages to companies developing green technologies in Wales.”

Funding boost for roads hit by bad weather

An extra £140 million investment will help repair roads hit by weather damage and boost the trades, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced today.

As part of the government’s response to the damage done during one of the worst winters on record, support for councils to fix the roads most damaged by severe weather will be increased by £36.5 million, to £80 million.

On top of this, following the exceptionally severe weather of recent months, an extra £103.5 million is also being made available to all councils across England.

This is in addition to almost £900 million already made available for road maintenance this year, bringing total government investment allocated to road maintenance to more than £1 billion in 2013 to 2014.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It’s because of the difficult decisions we have made on public spending that we can afford to repair roads damaged by the severe weather as part of our long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future and help hardworking people.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Having the right infrastructure in place to support businesses and hardworking people is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan.

“This extra money will help make a real difference to the millions of road users and local residents who rely on local roads, giving them safer and smoother journeys.”

This additional money will be allocated on a formula basis, and will be distributed to the majority of councils in England by the end of this week, to ensure that they can make use of it as soon as possible and complete works before the summer holidays.

Thousands of jobs to get seaside economies and flood affected areas growing

The government has announced a multi-million pound package to create jobs in coastal towns across the country, including areas affected by the recent floods.

Today, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander and Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles announced fifty projects across the UK that will receive £27.7 million of funding, supporting over 4000 jobs and creating over 1000 new apprenticeships and training places.

The Coastal Communities Fund was created to direct regeneration investment to seaside towns and villages to help rebalance their local economies, reduce unemployment and create new work opportunities for young people from the local area.

The fund has already supported more than 100 projects in the first two years delivering over 4,000 jobs and over 1,000 apprenticeships. This takes the expected total, including today’s projects, to over 6,500 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships.

The new projects announced today include £1.3 million to diversify the tourism offer in Southend including a Seafront Apprenticeship scheme, £170,000 to develop the Arran Coastal Way in Scotland, £270,000 to develop Northern Ireland’s first lobster hatchery and £100,000 to support the creation of a new water sports centre in Colwyn Bay in Wales.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “The next round of the Coastal Communities Fund is now open and we will be prioritising bids on coastal flood protection and repair.

“This government is committed to supporting the regeneration of our seaside towns and part of that is taking decisive action to help communities and businesses affected by the floods.”

Danny Alexander said: “The Coastal Communities Fund allows us to help communities across the UK to rebuild and regenerate their local economy, with projects this year supporting nearly 4000 jobs and 1000 training places.

“This is even more important given the extreme weather and I’m very pleased we’re giving £17 million of the fund to projects in areas hit by floods. Additionally, we have invested £5 million from the fund’s reserve into the government’s programme for flood recovery.

“The Coastal Communities Fund is supporting some of the most fragile communities. It is a great way to make sure that people living around our coastline can share in the benefits of the increased returns for the Crown Estate’s marine activities.”