In our monthly series of industry blogs, we look at the global changes and trends affecting the UK infrastructure sector, as well as pressing issues on a national scale.
Christmas, Brexit, technology and global environmental sustainability continue to be major focuses across many industries in October.
Here we explore several of the big stories of the month, so far.
Christmas is a key period for rail improvements Trains in the UK run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Independent reviews show that Christmas, Easter and bank holidays are the best times for upgrades that need major lines to be closed. Even though it might seem an odd time to carry out work – when people are travelling to visit friends and family – on average, around half the usual five million people travel by train each day over the Christmas period. Infrastructure companies need to ensure they clearly communicate any disruption to commuters to manage expectations and help people plan ahead.
Construction employers to manage EU visa applications from 2021 Under a new post-Brexit immigration system, due to be introduced from 2021, construction employers will need to manage visa applications for EU workers. The CITB has said that any process that becomes too complicated could result in a delay to work; including Government homebuilding and key infrastructure plans. This challenge is to be addressed by training 44,000 more British-based workers by 2025.
Psychiatric vacancies double threatening NHS transformation Since 2013, the number of psychiatric vacancies has doubled reports the Royal College of Psychiatrists. This is particularly true within children’s mental health services; an area prioritised by the government for improvement. One in 10 consultant roles (568 out of 5,730) is vacant, up from one in 20 in 2013. This comes at a time when mental health is services are in high demand so shortages will result in a delay of patients receiving treatment, which could prove detrimental to their health.
Energy companies should stand up to their responsibilities As the global climate movement continues to increase its momentum, there is a growing need for energy companies to acknowledge their role in creating the crisis. Many are demanding that these global companies contribute financially to the restructuring of the UK energy infrastructure, as societies looks to end the use of fossil fuels and convert to renewable sources.
HS2 eastern extension may not go ahead due to cost cutting Politicians have expressed deep concern over reports that the Leeds to Sheffield HS2 rail route could be scrapped, if cost-costing plans go ahead. The network looks as if it may go go over schedule by 7 years, and £20 billion. The high-speed network which was originally planned to connect London to Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds, could now stop at the Midlands. The original HS2 proposal was meant to empower the north so many feel a drastic change like this, could have long-term economic consequences for the north and east of the country.
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