Civil engineering as a profession has grown by almost a fifth in 2014, with approximately 159,000 employees in the sector at the end of last year. This was up from 135,000 a year earlier with an increase of 17.7%, which was the fastest that the profession has grown in the last five years.
Civil engineering contractors in the North West such as Jennings BCE have already entered 2015 with an array of contracts, plus they have secured a number of investments which will see the company and industry grow further. Their first contract win of 2015 has been secured in Newquay, Somerset as a result of their performance at the Caernarfon Search and Rescue facility for Balfour Beatty. Additionally, they have secured a number of other opportunities with Van Oord Offshore, The Welsh Assembly Government and have also continued previous year’s plant investments.
Although civil engineering contractors in the North West currently have great success, other areas of the UK are seeing the increase in demand for civil engineering this year. The government and industry aims to make the country’s infrastructure fit for the 21st century, hence the great amount of sea defence, building and groundwork projects being secured. London primarily has had some of the biggest projects over the years, with the Olympics and Crossrail being two examples. However, the rest of the UK is now receiving the same amount of help.
This is one of the main factors to the growth of civil engineering with many jobs being created for engineers, but additionally the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) launched a campaign in mid-April 2015 to promote the profession by highlighting projects around the UK that will benefit local communities.
The Director for ICE, Nick Baveystock states, “Civil engineering forms the backbone of our communities. It protects us from flooding, ensures we have clean drinking water, finds clever ways to recycle and reuse our rubbish and provides us with the roads, railways, ports and airports that keep us on the move and connect us with others. It quite literally shapes the world in which we live.”
Some of the exciting projects which are underway this year currently take place in a number of cities such as Leeds City Centre, with an innovative £45 million flood alleviation scheme to protect the city in the future. Additionally, the new Borders railway which will connect Edinburgh with the Scottish town of Tweedbank is estimated to cost £294 million and will be the longest new domestic railway to be constructed in Britain for 100 years. This will create seven new stations and 30 miles of tracks, which is designed to reduce residents’ reliance on cars and provide a boost to the local economy.