I am pleased that the government has confirmed its commitment to delivering the high-quality infrastructure needed to sustain a competitive and productive economy.
Last year the National Infrastructure Commission became an executive agency of government. This decision set the scene for a spending programme that will sustain employment over the next ten years. This is good news for the construction and engineering industries.
High Speed 2
Current high profile projects include the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link from London to the Midlands. This £56 billion investment involves multi-million framework and enabling works contracts that will challenge all participants.
VGC is well placed to secure contracts for skilled trades and labour, technical and professional staff, and specialist support services. We are confident that we have the organisation, skills and resources to outperform on any contracts we may be awarded. Cost is a key concern, as ever. But at the same time we have a marvellous opportunity to create a diverse and representative workforce, fulfilling local employment requirements and offering apprenticeships to a wide range of people.
At VGC we have invested consistently to ensure best practice in safety and diversity. We have developed our technology support, as demonstrated by our new CRM, labour database and payroll systems. We have also set up a special team to prepare for our involvement in HS2 contracts.
The only concern is the impact of Brexit on the availability of skilled workers. We are already planning to address anticipated shortages by up-skilling workers to acquire qualifications, by using apprenticeships and by encouraging training at all levels.
Other infrastructure projects
HS2 is just one of the many major infrastructure projects VGC is focusing on.
Highways England is planning £3.2 billion of investment on road improvements between now and 2022. The Birmingham tram project has just started, as we are in the concluding stages of the north-west electrification project. And there are huge developments in the energy sector at Hinkley Point, Sellafield, and a projected new station in Anglesey in north Wales.
With our commitment to outperformance, and our proven track record on major projects such as Crossrail, Track Partnership, Heathrow, EGIP and the Tyne & Wear metro, we are well placed to contribute to the UK’s exciting planned infrastructure programmes.