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26.04.12

Data published for construction procurement

To support the future of UK industry, Francis Maude and Vince Cable have published data on future public procurement needs across 13 different sectors, starting with construction.

This aims to help government to work with industry to spot skills and investment gaps earlier and to safeguard UK competitiveness and growth.

In terms of construction, the measure will ensure we have the necessary tunnelling skills for the biggest projects, including Crossrail, the Northern Line extension and London Underground capital programme.

Maude and Cable aim to explore new training and apprenticeship measures, support the sponsorship of higher level degree courses and to research new technology that can be used in tunnelling.

Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, said: “Publishing data on what we plan to buy – whether it’s tunnels or computers – means we can identify skills gaps sooner and give industry a heads up so UK businesses are in a better position to compete.

 “We are publishing information now so that when the time comes to do these projects British industry will be in a strong position to win the contracts that drive growth here at home.

“Tunnelling is just one industry whose needs are set to change over the next few years due to public and private sector demands.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “This is the beginning of a dialogue between the Government and industry about ensuring Britain’s supply base has the skills and capacity to meet the challenges of the future.

“Frankly, we’ve been too short-term in how we’ve done procurement in the past. Our key competitors inEuropealready see procurement as an integral part of a proper industrial strategy and it’s time we did the same. This is a win-win scenario, making our businesses stronger and providing best value for the taxpayer.”

Data on contracts can be found at www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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