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Last updateWed, 29 May 2024 2pm

Construction jobs a top priority in London's rapidly growing industry

The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) hit 62.6 in June 2014. This is the highest it has been since 1997. London is awash with construction activity. Wherever you look you can see construction projects, whether it be cranes dotted across the skyline or boarded up areas under renovation. London is experiencing a noticeable rise in construction.

John Redwood reports that 'new house buildings are leading the charge, followed by private and commercial development to provide the new offices companies require to expand”.

One of the main areas for new construction will be in Canary Wharf. Songbird estates have won planning permission to begin work on 30 buildings to the east of Canary Wharf. This will be the first large scale construction work in the area since the financial crisis. The project will consist of 30 buildings and 'the plans involve offices and more than 100 shops,restaurants and cafés as well as 3,100 homes, a 420-place primary school an NHS medical centre, parks, publicsquares and dock-edge walkways.” The project will also boast a 57-storey cylindrical residential skyscraper which will be designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the same firm responsible for the Tate Modern and the 'Bird's Nest' Olympic stadium in Beijing.

This is just one of many projects that are either in the planning stage or under-way across London and Greater London. The UK construction market is tipped to rapidly recover over the next 5 years. The Construction Industry Training Board states that there is on average a shortage of 1,790 skilled workers per year in London. Coupled with this there is also a waiting list for some specialised machinery. Tom Fitzpatrick from Construction News reported earlier this year that the Managing Director of Keltbray, Mr. Paul Deacy, had been quoted a 26-week wait for an order put in for a tower crane. 

Construction machinery has recently been the subject of government debate with London Mayor Boris Johnson planning new rules aimed at improving the quality of London's air. Companies will be required to update any machinery that releases emissions and is more than 10 years old. London will be the first city to impose such a mandate. It will be local authorities' responsibility to ensure that companies have updated any equipment that falls under this category. The rules will apply only on larger projects and there will be some exemptions for 'specialist construction machinery.' The target is to reduce nitrogen oxides (Nox) by approximately 40% by 2020.

Waiting lists for specialised equipment, a shortage of skilled construction workers and upgrading ageing machinery are just a few of the challenges that will face London's booming construction industry. Oliver Kinross, an internationally operating research company, has identified London's construction industry as one of the fastest and most exciting growing markets in the world right now. As a result, on June 18th & 19th at the O2 Arena, Oliver Kinross are launching the London Build Expo 2015. The expo will provide hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors with the perfect platform to get up to speed with all the latest opportunities and developments arising in Southern England's booming construction industry.

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