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first_imgPonder this: the UK construction industry employs 18 times the workforce of the aerospace industry. It generates 10 times the GDP of the automotive industry. So why do we have an industrial strategy for aerospace and automotive, but not for construction?Three reasons. First, practical; an industry of many voices is hard to deal with. Second, rational; the effort of successive governments has been invested where they expect the greatest return, in productivity and growth. Construction is seen as big, but boring. Third, political; since 1979 the ideology of both main political parties has been instinctively laissez-faire (which translates approximately as “you’re on your own mate”) and transactional. Government support has been reactive to the sectors which organised themselves. Construction has not.So does this government’s industrial strategy offer anything new? Not practically, insofar as it is clear any support will still be reactive. To quote from January’s Building our Industrial Strategy green paper: “The government will respond positively to compelling propositions.”I sense the government wants to help. Lord Prior, the new construction minister, wants to hear how UK construction can be a successBut emotionally there is a change. I sense the government wants to help. Lord Prior, the new construction minister, wants to hear how UK construction can be a success and how the government can help in that. And I believe the construction industry can organise itself, and can make its case.The first step is to articulate the prize, in terms of productivity and growth. History suggests that could be hard. This is an industry whose productivity has been basically flat since 1997 and is now 20% below the UK average, and whose output took a nosedive in the 2008 recession. But an industrial strategy is about looking forward not back.Management consultant McKinsey has estimated that technology could cut costs in construction globally by 40%. The UK’s construction strategy is more conservative at 33%. But 33% of a £120bn industry is a big number – £39.6bn to be precise. That means £39.6bn of productivity gains to be unlocked. If UK construction could lead the world in efficiency, the idea that it could become a serious export industry doesn’t look so daft after all.Step two is to set out what our industrial strategy needs to comprise in order to deliver the Construction 2025 vision.Here is my seven point plan:Align behind the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) The government has been explicit that it will only work with a sector “which can organise behind strong leadership”. If we want an industrial strategy for construction then we all need to accept that the CLC should lead those discussions, and be willing to implement its recommendations as to how our industry is organised.Launch a campaign to promote the industry, especially to the millennial generation Engineering needs to be associated with making the world a better place, not delays on the railway. Bricklaying needs to be associated with building homes and communities, not rain and mud.Sort out training and apprenticeships throughout the industry, not just in particular disciplines like railway engineering Mark Farmer’s report is a blueprint for the way forward. I would start with fundamental reform of the CITB and put in place a single apprenticeship portal for the entire industry, so it is as easy to apply to work in this industry as it is to apply to university.Invest jointly in innovation, to raise the level of R&D spend Spending on research and development should shift up from the current paltry 1% of revenue to nearer the circa 4% spent in the aerospace and automotive industries. The use of off-site manufacture should become the norm, not the exception. This will require clients to invest alongside contractors and could involve setting up an industry-led UK national construction innovation centre.Promote collaboration throughout the supply chain Building information modelling (BIM) is just one component of that. Data on public assets needs to be recognised as a public good and made available on common platforms. The buying behaviour of clients is also key.Reform procurement Clients buying a fixed price for supposedly fixed outputs is the fundamental cause of the structural weakness of the industry. We need clients to buy on the basis of long-term partnership, buying capability not output, and focussing on whole-life efficiency. This is the Infrastructure Client Group’s Project 13 agenda, to be launched shortly.Create a single pipeline platform This would allow the entire industry to have visibility of forward demand and allow it to invest accordingly. The government has now consolidated its infrastructure and construction pipelines, but 70% of the industry value is fragmented private demand.So where is the ask of government in all this? I have been deliberately silent on that. We need to accept that 90% of the solution lies in our own hands as an industry. Then we can set out for Government a “compelling proposition” it cannot refuse.Richard Threlfall is head of infrastructure, building and construction at KPMGlast_img read more

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first_imgThe magazine examines the business activities of 150 of the largest suppliers to the Austrian building industry every year.Solid polled its readers using a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the best. The 14,500 individual grades assigned to the companies showed which suppliers were the best partners. With an overall score of 1.64, Prangl missed out on first-place by a very narrow margin. With an even greater focus on its customers’ needs and competent service, the company surged ahead from tenth place last year to second place this year.last_img read more

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first_imgThe project involved several vessels from DEME’s fleet; the jack-up vessels Innovation, Sea Installer and Sea Challenger were deployed for the installation of monopiles and transition pieces.DEME’s newest jack-up vessel Apollo removed the existing met-mast and decommissioned a twisted jacket foundation.The company was also responsible for the collection and transport of the components. Barges and transport vessels were hired and operated from the project’s base port – Able Seaton in the UK.www.deme-group.comlast_img read more

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first_imgMPs today accused the legal consumer watchdog of ‘helping the destruction of access to justice’ during a heated exchange in parliament.Leaders of the Legal Services Consumer Panel appeared before the justice committee of the House of Commons this morning to give evidence on the fallout of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).The organisation has welcomed the emergence of professional McKenzie friends as an alternative to public funding, and even provided office space for a new representative body to meet.Yesterday it produced a report predicting the advent of ‘self-lawyering’.Labour MP and committee member Andy McDonald, himself a solicitor, questioned how litigants are protected by a sector that remains unregulated.‘Lawyers have gone through training and shelled out for professional indemnity insurance and are experts,’ he said. ‘Yet somebody can toddle along, say they are a McKenzie friend and start undermining and undercutting solicitors.’His committee colleague Jeremy Corbyn, also a Labour MP, told the witnesses: ‘You are helping the destruction of universal access to justice and destroying careers.’Elisabeth Davies, the consumer panel’s chair, said the group was trying to look at solutions to fill the gap caused by the removal of legal aid for large parts of civil justice.‘We don’t know [non-traditional legal services] are second-rate quality. We want the absolute balance between consumer justice and protection.’She added it was ‘inevitable’ that alternative providers would come forward after LASPO and said just 21% of people who seek advice now get it from a regulated lawyer.The committee heard claims that some professional McKenzie friends can earn up to £50,000 a year advising litigants in family matters.But panel adviser Steve Brooker told the committee that most earn much less and further regulation could increase costs to points where we ‘drive them away’.In the same session, David Holland, chief executive of the Institute of Paralegals, said the blame for the emergence of unregulated advisers should be with solicitors and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.‘McKenzie friends didn’t cause [solicitors] to be unaffordable to clients or put in place a regulatory burden [solicitors] are suffering from,’ he said.last_img read more

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first_imgKO_OP, the team behind the beautiful, mind-bending puzzle game GNOG, has been hard at work to create this heartwarming tale of grief, love, truth and acceptance. “We finished it during the current pandemic. It’s about scary, hard subjects that are important, but done in a light way that doesn’t insult kids’ or adults’ intelligence,” said Saleem Dabbous, Studio Director. “We put a lot of ourselves, our fears and anxieties into the game and hope it resonates with our audience.”Watch the Winding Worlds trailer below:Willow just wants to mind her own business. But after she finds a broken magical necklace, she is transported on a spellbinding journey to a network of strange planets, each with a different inhabitant. Hired and guided by a mysterious cosmic Wurm, Willow’s task is to find out how to help her new friends heal and move on. In Winding Worlds, join a cast of characters, big and small, in a heartwarming tale of grief, love, truth, and acceptance.Key features:Simple and intuitive, accessible interactionsMeditative and calming gameplayEmotionally impactful, moving storytellingA loveable and mysterious cast of charactersSweeping, dreamy original soundtrack by Dabu, the audio designer credited on GNOG, Boyfriend Dungeon, and composer of Dwarf Fortress2 hours of gameplay and 8 GameCenter achievementsFor more information head over to the official KO_OP website.last_img read more

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first_imgTALK AFRICA: AFRICA & THE UN UN using drones to help displaced people across Africa Over 144,000 people are affected by the ongoing heavy rainsand floods in Kenya, according to Kenya Red Cross./OCHAAt least 280 people have been killed and more than 2.8 million others affected by unusually heavy rainfall and flooding in eastern Africa, the UN humanitarian agency said on Thursday.The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said homes, infrastructure and livelihoods have been destroyed and damaged in the hardest-hit areas, and the risk of communicable diseases including cholera is rising.“Primarily driven by the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), the heavy rains are likely to persist into December and to intensify in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda,” OCHA said in its latest regional Flash Floods Update.The UN agency said the annual short rains which ordinarily last from October to December have been exceptionally heavy in Kenya and affected more than 160,000 people in 31 of the country’s 47 counties.“At least 132 people have reportedly died, including 72 who were killed by a landslide which buried their homes in West Pokot County,” said OCHA.The storms have caused destruction and damage of key infrastructure in Kenya, including houses, health facilities and schools, displacing an unconfirmed number of people and disrupting basic services.Roads and bridges were damaged, hampering effective humanitarian response efforts in affected areas.In Djibouti, the report says the equivalent of two years’ rainfall fell in one day, causing flash floods that have affected up to 250,000 people, including nine people killed.“In many areas, the floods are coming on the back of consecutive droughts, while in others people impacted by the floods are also suffering from conflict and violence,” said OCHA.“As families struggle to cope with these compounding and complex shocks, there is a high risk of their adopting negative coping mechanisms, including school drop-out and early marriage,” it warned.According to OCHA, flooding in Somalia has affected 547,000 people, including an estimated 370,000 who have been displaced and 17 killed.In South Sudan, where 908,000 people have been affected since June, the flooding has submerged entire communities, destroyed or rendered inaccessible basic services and markets, and caused crop losses which will result in an early start of the lean season in January.The UN agency said more than 420,000 people were affected by floods from August to October in Sudan, during which 78 people died and 49,500 homes were destroyed.OCHA said about 570,000 people have been affected in Ethiopia, including more than 200,000 displaced, and rains have negatively affected the harvest season.In Burundi, it said, 3,100 people were affected by torrential rains in Munyinga province, while in Uganda, flooding and landslides have impacted at least 12 districts, including Bundibugyo district, where more than 4,000 people were affected.In Tanzania, said the UN agency, the death toll is over 50, including 10 people who were drowned by a flood-swollen river.Relatedcenter_img Over One Million People displaced by floods in Nigerialast_img read more

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first_imgKenya and Turkey to sign a bilateral trade agreement African Leaders meeting in Egypt poised to sign FTA agreement Uganda and Tanzania sign an agreement on transportationcenter_img LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – NOVEMBER 5: Hakim Ziyech of Ajax during the UEFA Champions League match between Chelsea v Ajax at the Stamford Bridge on November 5, 2019 in London United Kingdom (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images) Hakim Ziyech of Ajax during the Dutch KNVB Beker match between Vitesse v Ajax at the GelreDome on February 12, 2020 in Arnhem Netherlands (Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)English Premier League club Chelsea F.C. on Thursday announced an agreement with Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam to sign Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech.“Ajax and Chelsea have reached an agreement for the transfer of Hakim Ziyech. The player will join the Premier League club on July 1, 2020 and will finish the season in Amsterdam,” the Dutch champions said on their website.The fee for the Moroccan, who was contracted to Ajax until June 2022, is 40 million euros (£33.3 million) and could rise to 44 million euros (£36.6 million) depending on add-ons.https://twitter.com/ChelseaFC/status/1227930331610779648Ziyech is seen as a possible replacement for Belgian Eden Hazard, who left Chelsea to join Spanish giants Real Madrid in June last year while wingers Pedro and Willian are out of contract in the summer.Ziyech was part of a youthful Ajax side that won the Dutch league and cup double and reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League last season. He scored 16 league goals and contributed 13 assists in 29 games.This season, Ziyech has so far scored eight goals and contributed 21 assists in 29 matches in all competitions.In all, the 26-year-old has played 160 games for Ajax and scored 49 times. He was named Dutch footballer of the year in 2018.Ziyech, who was born in Dronten in the Netherlands, chose to play for Morocco in 2015. He has represented the Atlas Lions at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.Relatedlast_img read more

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first_img 20 Views   2 comments Tweet LocalNews Prosecution’s case nears end in murder trial by: – June 7, 2013 Share Shane Degallerie. Photo credit:FacebookThe state’s 11th witness, Leon Ford, testified on Thursday 6th June in the ongoing murder trial involving Shane Degallerie.Ford told the court that he knew both the defendant and Justin Joseph for about five years.The witness said at about 7:00 p.m. on 23rd April 2010, he was at Evalette shop/bar at Steber Street, Pottersville playing dominos with Bobby, Degallerie, Tyron aka Dogsha, Evalette and Cressida.They were playing in pairs when he and his partner, whose name he could not recall, “got a love”, so they got off the table. He proceeded into the bar with Dogsha and the defendant where the defendant bought them each a beer.Shortly after, all three of them left the shop and went to the other side of the street to purchase fish from a van.Thereafter he went back to play dominos and while he was playing he noticed someone run out of the shop, hit his head on a vehicle and fell.Ford testified further that he then got up from the table and went to where the person fell to offer assistance.It was at that point he said he saw Degallerie coming from the shop with his shirt up saying he prick me first.He said he transported Degallerie to the hospital and returned to Evalette’s bar where he stayed until she closed up that night. After leaving the bar he went to wash his vehicle which had blood from where the defendant was sitting when he transported him to the hospital.Under cross examination the witness said he did not hear the defendant tell Dogsha he was going to kill him.He said when the defendant came out of the shop he was crying saying that his body was in pain.He said when he returned to the shop he saw an “open knife” on the floor of the shop and heard Evalette say she had seen Joseph with a knife.The final witness in this trial is expected to testify on Friday 7th June when the high court proceedings resume at 10:00 a.m.Degallerie is accused of killing Joseph on 23rd April 2010 at Pottersville.Dominica Vibes Newscenter_img Share Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

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first_img Author: Baibhav Mishra Mexico has banned federal institutions and state governments from doing business with Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht SA [ODBES.UL] for the next 2-1/2 years, and fined the company around $60 million, the government said.Two units of the Brazilian company had each been fined 543.5 million pesos (USD 30.1 million), a government document showed. Two legal representatives of the company were also fined 1.26 million pesos (USD 69,700) each, it added.The decisions relate to probes into suspected corruption involving Odebrecht’s business with state oil firm Pemex [PEMX.UL], officials say. The government did not provide details.Odebrecht said in a statement that the company had been notified and was analyzing the steps taken by Mexico. Odebrecht has spent the past few years at the center of one of the largest corruption scandals in Latin America, and has admitted paying bribes from Peru to Panama.In December, Mexico banned the Brazilian construction firm from bidding for federal public contracts for four years after the Public Administration Ministry (SFP) said it had sanctioned the company for an “incorrect charge” with Pemex.Ecuador jailed its vice president over the Odebrecht scandal, and the company has paid billions of dollars in settlements in the United States, Brazil and Switzerland.Last month, Peru’s president resigned after a probe targeted his connections to Odebrecht. Odebrecht has admitted to U.S. and Brazilian prosecutors that it paid USD 10.5 million in bribes in Mexico.(Source: Reuters)Sea News, April 23last_img read more

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first_imgThese three “Main Street” houses, as the caption on this old photo calls them, once stood at the northwest corner of Grand River and Oakland, one block west of downtown Farmington. The blue house at left still remains, as does the Salem United Church of Christ (at far right).Historic photo from the Farmington Community Library Heritage Room. Contemporary photo by Maria Taylor. More at preservationfarmington.org. Reported by admin Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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