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Senior Town Planner London
Senior Town Planner - London Do you work for one of the largest independent town planning consultancies in the UK? No? Do you want to? You could be working for a two time RTPI P...Read More +
Quantity Surveyor ALLEN & YORK are delighted to be supporting the continued growth of an international infrastructure developer. With decades of successful project development i...Read More +
Manchester, Greater Manchester
Are you an experienced BID Manager? Do you work in the Utilities and Rail sectors? If you would like to be part of an ambitious Real estate & Infrastructure consultancy in Manch...Read More +
Are you talented at simplifying the complex? Looking for an environment that embraces curiosity and improvement? Then we need someone just like you! Your 3+ years experience in ...Read More +
We are looking for a highly personable and driven candidate who will primarily be responsible for commercial sales and business development working with sustainable developers a...Read More +
Are you a budding environmental professional looking to progress your career? Want to work in the bright lights of the city? If so, read on... Your positive, enthusiastic and am...Read More +
Senior Energy Consultant
Senior Energy Consultant UK Time to Re-Energise Your Career Needs? Be part of a successful business, who have big plans to grow, offering professional training and development o...Read More +
Energy Bureau Administrator
Are you interested in our planet? In reducing energy consumption? Experienced in invoice validation and data analysis? You will be an integral part of a company driving change i...Read More +
Here's a question … In the grand scheme of things… What difference does your current job really make? If you're still reading this advert, I am going to guess the answer is "Not...Read More +
Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia
Are you an experienced Environmental Manager? Do you have experience working on large port and marine projects? Are you based in Saudi Arabia or looking to work here? If so, ple...Read More +
Kent, S. E. England, England
If your current job isn't measuring up and you want to be an instrumental part a Surveying team, with an organisation where you can put down the foundations of a career, then th...Read More +
Quality Technical Inspector
Kent, S. E. England, England
Do you have an eye for detail and a detailed knowledge of all forms of construction? Our client has been trading for over 75 years and has built a reputation for excellence, the...Read More +
DO YOU NEED MORE INSIGHT?
Our INSIGHT offering takes a proven, scientific approach to recruitment to give you and your candidates more information and more understanding. Our campaigns use psychometric analysis, comprehensive market searches, a candidate-led application process, behavioral analysis all wrapped up in a secure online portal.
Combining award-winning advanced technology and cutting-edge methodology, we use in-depth candidate assessment to streamline the recruitment process for all stakeholders involved.
Time to (off)shore-up your recruitment strategies
The UK is currently leading the market in terms of offshore wind production, with more installed capacity than any other country in the world and this doesn’t look likely to change. Based on the current predicted pipeline, the offshore wind industry will need around 36,000 employees by 2032 to ensure we keep up with demand. Whilst that may not seem too high a number to achieve, based on a limited labour market and with poor pipeline of school leavers studying the right subjects, this is going to be a challenge. With roles available across development, construction and operation of the offshore wind energy sector and with total power output potentially increasing from 6.4GW (2017) to a massive 35GW by 2032, we need to act now to ensure this continued growth. The majority of growth in power output is expected in the North Sea meaning the East of England, Scotland, Yorkshire & Humber and the North East should see job vacancies increasing – which is great news but what type of roles will this increase of c26,000 jobs consist of and will supply be able to keep up with demand? It’s predicted that Construction & Installation will see an increase of c6,700 with Operations & Maintenance requiring c6,900 new employees. The biggest demand will be for Technicians & Engineers, with c10,200 and the remainder of jobs spread across all areas of the project lifecycle (business, commercial, supply chain etc). With the Crown Estate’s Offshore Wind Leasing1 and Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind2 projects moving forwards these numbers could increase. In an already competitive market, and with further investment in Energy and Infrastructure across the board, the demand for this talent will be particularly fierce. With high employment and low unemployment combined with the unknown impact of Brexit on immigration (skilled labour from the EU could decline further) it’s estimated the UK is already short of engineering graduates by c2,000 annually. What’s clear is that there needs to be more focus on the pipeline of candidates who have the skills to work within the industry. With more focus on promotion of a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM subjects) particularly in the case of females and those of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) descent who are massively under-represented in the sector (only 5% of the power sector’s workforce were from as BAME background in 2015/16 according to the ONS3). More promotion of education, qualifications and skills in the sector and clear career pathways will make it much easier for people to see offshore wind as a viable career choice. To help this shortfall, the Offshore Wind Industry Council has set up an Investment in Talent Group4 to help increase the number of people working in the offshore wind industry in the UK, which includes representatives from companies in the sector and from the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments, as well as trade associations and academic institutions. Overseen by RenewableUK’s chief executive Hugh McNeal, who stated: “The offshore wind industry is working closely with the government to build a modern workforce, creating new opportunities particularly in coastal communities which need them most”, he continued: “To ensure we attract the best people, this sector is stepping up its ambition to create a more diverse workforce in terms of gender and ethnicity”. Demonstrating a commitment to recruiting from the widest pool of talent, “so that we fully reflect what makes the UK such an exciting, innovative and successful place to do business.” And the sector will need all the help it can get as new technology has an impact on employment which may mean a shift in skillset. Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and data proliferation will all bring a different dimension to the more traditional skills the market has consumed previously. Other potential difficulties in terms of talent acquisition could be due to the uncertainty or lack of longer-term visibility of projects and therefore organisations reluctant to hire in ahead of the curve. Equally, students may not choose to commit their time to studying for qualifications if they can’t see actual career opportunities and apprenticeships are still limited in the sector. Whilst candidate attraction may not currently be an issue competition is set to be fierce, with everyone trying to source the top talent in the industry. Thankfully the on-shore wind industry isn’t looking like it will grow at the scale of off-shore so there will be the opportunity to look at gaining transferable skills. Engineering, system design, control systems, robotics and AI are all skills similar in other sectors like onshore electricity generation, transmission and distribution, and the offshore oil and gas sector. Oil and gas in particular have seen a number of job losses over the past four years (though this has slowed recently), across several highly skilled roles (geoscientists, mariners, technicians, etc) so could be rich pickings for offshore wind. Equally, 14,000 people leave the armed forces each year – many of whom are engineers and technicians working across electrical, mechanical, communications and marine engineering – so could also be a good potential pipeline of candidates. To meet the predicted employment numbers, talent attraction and skills development will need to engage closely with the right candidates. To keep the UK at the forefront of off-shore wind development and deployment we’ll see more need for skills like leadership, working in confined spaces, working at heights, team working and candidates for roles across Asset Management, Project Management, Engineering (mechanical, electrical, blade and turbine technicians), IT (networking, data security), Science (marine biology, geophysics, hydrography, oceanography) will become ever more important. That’s where ALLEN & YORK can help. Having worked across all areas of the Energy sector for over 26 years, ALLEN & YORK have a pedigree for finding the best candidates in the market – from across the entire candidate pool in the UK and worldwide. We understand the sector and the challenges faced within it so are uniquely placed to partner with organisations looking to hire in this exciting and innovative field. Get in touch, call Richard Hawkesford on +44(0)1202 888986 or email: email@example.com to find out how we can help you match the right candidates to the right roles. Source material: Skills and Labour Requirements of the UK Offshore Wind Industry 2018 to 2032 (https://www.euskills.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Aura-EU-Skills-UK-Offshore-Wind-Skills-Study-Full-Report-October-2018.pdf) 1https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/media/3246/20190726-osw-stakeholder-update-july-2019.pdf 2https://renews.biz/54569/scotwind-lease-round-preps-for-lift-off/ 3https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/uklabourmarket/march2018#employment 4https://renews.biz/54486/uk-group-to-grow-offshore-talent/
Solar success, stats and struggles
When we think about solar, we often assume that glaring hot sun and soaring temperatures must be great for the industry. However, NESF have reported* that last year’s high temperatures had the reverse effect on their energy production. Whilst profits increased (9.1% over forecast) the 2018 heatwave saw not only profits but mercury soaring above the ideal operating temperature of solar panels (around 25 degrees Celsius). This resulted in the fund’s portfolio losing around 1.8% of total energy production (equivalent to c12.5GWh of power). Alongside this, some of their sites exceeded their export capacity limits due to excessive generation and therefore outputs had to be restricted. With the better weather the UK has been experiencing, UK solar generation has seen several records being broken in terms of energy generation. In May 2019, it reached 9.47GW to beat the previous record of 9.38GW from May 2017 and it was confirmed** that solar was providing 26% of the country’s power output at this time. A great achievement for the industry and all who work within it. At the same time, the UK was revelling in the fact that we had a whole week without coal generation (significantly aided by the wind industry) for the first time since the industrial revolution. Whilst this is obviously cause for celebration, caution should be exercised before patting ourselves too hard on the back. Inevitably solar can deliver when the sun is shining, and the temperatures are rising (not too high though!) however the Solar Trade Association have pointed out that the solar industry still needs support to continue growth. The Solar Trade Association go on to say that fossil fuel subsidies are rising globally whilst renewables investment has stagnated, with the UKs current solar PV generation capacity standing at c13GW – which isn’t materially different to what it was at the closure of the Renewables Obligation in 2017. But are the statistics telling the real story? Some in the solar industry have argued that the official government deployment statistics have become “meaningless”*** and they’re still facing several regulatory hurdles (e.g. still waiting for the Smart Export Guarantee and the forthcoming VAT rise). The Solar Trade Association states the BEIS data doesn’t tally with the anecdotal evidence provided by its members due to statistics on small-scale systems being collected by the MCS registry whilst many commercial systems are not being installed with MCS accreditation (and therefore not being captured by the Renewable Energy Planning Database). Currently it isn’t necessary to register installations with the MCS or be a member of the body to complete an installation (with the Smart Export Guarantee not coming into effect till 1.1.20) so likely the BEIS’ installation figures undervalue the real story even further. With proposed changes to VAT and how it is applied to solar, it is likely the more premium combined solar and storage systems, alongside collective purchase schemes are only going to become more expensive – which isn’t great news for a market with such potential. It will be interesting to see how the rise in temperatures (arguably due to climate change), alongside the push for a greener/cleaner society vs potential price hikes and stagnant investment will affect the sector and the solar jobs market as a result. Hopefully lobbying will result in more action, and investment into renewables, and we’ll see further success in profits and solar energy generation moving forward. If you’re a client who needs to find the best talent in the solar market, or a professional looking for their next role, get in touch to see how we can help. Call Richard Hawkesford on +44(0)1202 888986 ext. 294 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sources: *https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/nesf_soars_but_adverse_effects_of_summer_heatwave_drags_performance **https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/uk-power-records-continue-to-fall-as-solar-sets-new-generation-high ***https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/meaningless_beis_solar_stats_not_tallying_with_industry_activity_sta_says
The Benefits of Digital Talent
By 2030, the global talent shortage could reach 85.2 million people – that’s almost 20 million more people that live in the whole of the UK – and will cost not just millions but trillions in lost economic opportunity. Knowledge intensive industries like Digital will be some of the hardest hit. Industries that require a high volume of skilled workers will suffer as demand outpaces supply. Competition for the best candidates will soar. The digital skills gap is already hampering digital transformation across 54% of companies and the gap is widening. Research has predicted that by next year the technology, media, and telecommunications sectors may be short more than 1.1 million skilled workers globally. Fast forward to 2030 and that deficit may reach 4.3 million. Talent Acquisition professionals will already be aware that companies across all industries struggle to find great digital talent, so worryingly this problem is only getting worse and we need to act now. What can you do to differentiate yourself from your competitors to hire the best talent? Firstly, you need to look at what employees want. In survey after survey, benefits are one piece of the employer brand puzzle that can’t be overlooked. Benefits like health insurance, paid leave and retirement plans make up about a third of the total compensation piece, a share that has been rising in recent decades. And, in a candidate-driven market, benefits can sway candidates’ decisions to accept employment offers. Benefits are particularly appealing to younger workers. 90% of 18 to 34 years old surveyed say they would prefer benefits over pay (versus 70% of the those 45 to 54 and 66% of those 55 to 64). The core benefits of health insurance, paid leave and retirement plans matter more than specific benefits like stock options, dental insurance or free food and drinks. Though health insurance, paid time off and retirement programs have the most impact, additions like extended maternity/paternity leave policies, flexible working, childcare assistance and transportation subsidies can foster goodwill. A full package of benefits strengthens your employer brand even among the employees who don’t take advantage of them. Take time to re-evaluate your benefits package regularly to ensure it keeps up with the market – what are your competitors doing? What is the market saying? What are candidates saying? You can also ask your recruitment partners for advice, we’re always happy to share market analysis with our clients. Most people can find a candidate for a role. The difficulty is in finding the best quality candidates that meet the brief. ALLEN & YORK can help you with this. We research the market, take the search for candidates beyond job board advertising and LinkedIn searching and find active candidates (that’s a given) but also the more elusive passive candidates that may be the best fit but are not (yet) looking at for a new role. Ensuring all candidates meet the requirements of the role, in terms of skills and experience, and fit with the culture of your business is key to recruitment and retention. We’ll work with you to ensure candidates are ‘sold’ on your organisation and your offer. That’s the benefit of working with ALLEN & YORK. If you are struggling to find the ideal candidate for an IT role in your company, or you want to find a unique candidate, get in touch today.
How is tech helping the construction industry?
With Robots set ‘to replace up to 20 million factory jobs’ by 2030*, what impact could the ‘rise of the machines’ have on the Construction industry? As technology progresses and becomes ever more accessible perhaps it’s not beyond the realms of belief that robots could replace or displace 2.7 million jobs in construction by 2057. It may seem the stuff of science fiction but they’re already part and parcel of daily life – from the Google/Alexa home hubs to self-scan in the supermarket – and designed to make life easier. So why not make the Construction industry ‘easier’ and effectively more efficient? Experts believe that much of the building and construction process could be automated in coming years. Drones could be used to capture site data (especially in hard-to-reach or unsafe places), sending real-time 3D models to robots and unmanned machines. Much of the more repetitive tasks could be completed by robots allowing humans to be more productive and work on the higher-skilled elements of their role – or taking it a step further, the robots themselves could be making the more analytical decisions based purely on logic. It’s likely we’ll see an integration of technology rather than a technological revolution currently and work together to drive the industry forward. What about Virtual Reality? That’s VR not VAR (if you’re currently football obsessed); long popular in the gaming industry yet could have huge potential in the construction rather than just the digital world. Bringing a project to life through VR could prevent inefficiencies in the process and allow teams to immerse themselves in the project before even setting foot on site. Saving time and money by identifying potential issues with planning and highlighting potential safety risks must be two of the biggest benefits of using the technology but what else?*** VR allows you to scale up at pace. You don’t need complicated physical models, you can share detailed, accurate models in the virtual world across teams and geographies. Plus, you can use the feedback to continually improve processes and consistency. VR allows you to collaborate better. Teams can visualise something without having to even leave their desk. VR makes it much easier to be able to feedback, ask questions, and point to potential issues – all the while saving time and money. VR improves customer experience. Transparency is a great motivator to build trust. Clients can now ‘virtually’ walk into the model and see what the project outcomes will be. Managing expectations and empowering clients to make smarter decisions in the process. VR can also help sell in the project in the first place – allowing those investors who perhaps don’t have the imagination to see how their investment might take shape. Let’s take this a step further… what about Augmented Reality? AR is the evolution of VR; it combines actual physical surroundings with computer-generated information in real-time. Again, giving users the benefit of improving the project by identifying problems far before the build phase – not only improving efficiency and accuracy but helping the teams get buy-in for the projects in the first place. Again, working together with the technology there are massive gains for the industry as the technology progresses. On-site Robocop? Whilst we all know health and safety is paramount in construction, could we be close to seeing full on metal exoskeletons on site? Kitting yourself out with wearable technology that is made of metal frameworks with motorised muscles to assist the strength of the wearer may seem like the stuff of 1980s sci-fi, but exoskeletons are widely used in other industries. The benefit of these ‘suits’ could reduce the number of on-site injuries and increase the career-span of workers – with tech and human working in harmony to improve both wellbeing and productivity. Summary Like most industries, over the generations we’ve seen many Construction revolutions - from using water and steam to electric power and electronics. We’re now potentially looking at the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with technology gradually filtering into the industry to change design, construction, health & safety and ultimately boost the sector in terms of growth. However, this will mean that talent in the industry will have to keep their skills up to date as technology advances. Working with innovative companies and individuals, who embrace data and digitalisation, in order to promote sustainability alongside social and environmental responsibility, is exactly what we at ALLEN & YORK thrive on. If you’re looking for 3D visualisers or 3D CAD modellers, we can help, get in touch to find out how. Get in touch *https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48760799 **https://www.technative.io/5-construction-industry-trends-for-2019-and-beyond/ ***https://connect.bim360.autodesk.com/virtual-reality-in-construction
We’re all four flexibility
The UK is a world-leader in Smart Grid technology and Flexibility has a key role to play as we move towards a decarbonised, decentralised and digitised network. Claire Perry, Energy and Clean Growth Minister, recently announced four smart energy systems demonstrator projects across the UK. They range from charging electric vehicles and managing heating and power through machine learning to storing power with lithium ion batteries and using heat pumps. The projects are designed to show how the very latest in energy innovation can help to provide cheaper, cleaner energy for us all. The projects include: The Energy Superhub, Oxford, led by Pivot Power LLP Incorporating what is claimed to be the world’s first transmission-connected hybrid battery system using lithium-ion batteries alongside redox flow machines supplied by redT. A network of 320 ground source heat pumps will be installed and AI-powered software will be adopted to forecast energy demand and supply. ReFLEX Orkney, Orkney, led by the European Marine Energy Centre Establishing a virtual energy system on the isle, combining local power transport and heat networks into centrally controlled system. Peer-to-peer energy trading networks will be introduced alongside storage and electric vehicle-related technologies. Project Leo (Local Energy Oxfordshire), led by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Establishing a local energy marketplace in Oxford, enabling virtual aggregation of loads and the dispatch of flexibility on the Oxfordshire distribution grid. Smart Hub SLES, West Sussex, led by Advanced Infrastructure Work on the integration of energy management technologies across council housing, private residential properties, commercial properties and transport infrastructure throughout West Sussex. Looking local These projects are designed to show how businesses can develop local energy approaches at scale. All with the aim of creating better energy outcomes for consumers and promoting economic growth for the UK. Working to a deadline of the early 2020s, their aim is to prove that smarter local energy systems can deliver cleaner and cheaper energy services. Claire Perry stated: “We are at the start of a green revolution, as we move to more digital, data-driven smart systems that will bring us cleaner and cheaper energy. These projects, backed by government funding, are set to spark a transformation and change the way we interact with energy for the better as part of our modern Industrial Strategy. We’re excited to see how these businesses and project partners reveal how innovative tech, such as energy storage, heat networks and electric vehicles, can set us on the path to a smarter energy future. This is tomorrow’s world, today”. The Government is investing in a new “Prospering from the Energy Revolution Challenge” and UK Research and Innovation has announced further details of its fund for research and industry to develop future smart energy systems and prove their use at scale. Rob Saunders the Deputy Challenge Director from Prospering from the Energy Revolution, UK Research and Innovation said: “We all need energy systems that are cheaper, cleaner and consumer-friendly. We have a great opportunity with these demonstrators to show just how innovation can deliver this energy ambition for the future. These projects can drive investment, create high-quality jobs and grow companies with export potential”. Which is great news for the UK and the energy industry as a whole. The £102.5 million Prospering from the Energy Revolution Challenge will develop cutting-edge capabilities locally that deliver cleaner, cheaper and more resilient energy for consumers, while also creating high-value jobs for the UK. Cleaner energy aligned with jobs growth appears – there’s nothing not to like in this scenario! Bringing together businesses working with the best research brains and technical expertise will transform the way energy is delivered and used. Providing energy that customers want by linking low-carbon power, heating and transport systems with energy storage and advanced IT to create intelligent local energy systems and services. This really is tomorrow’s world, today! Employment opportunities With the projects mentioned above demonstrating new, smarter, local energy approaches at scale, providing cleaner, cheaper energy which leads to more resilient and self-sufficient communities, they will also prove the models work and can be replicated. Ultimately leading higher levels of investment and growth in the sector – and therefore jobs. The funding has allowed the UK to create the best environment for research and innovation to flourish, creating more jobs and opening up opportunities. However, for this to be sustainable market expertise and knowledge, and people who are used to operating in the marketplace, need to be nurtured and training put in place to ensure skills are available for the future. Investment also needs to be made in training and education to ensure that we’re not only leading the field today but are well placed for years to come. As we’re moving into new areas and different technologies, we need to ensure the skills are in the sector to keep up this momentum. The war for talent in this area is likely to increase (as roles in new technologies become ever more technical) and therefore getting smarter, skilled and experienced candidates is only going to become more challenging. That’s why at ALLEN & YORK we’re focusing on this area right now. With an Energy Sector specific team, keeping up with technical innovation, employment market movement, skills and technologies, we can provide businesses with the best candidates and those candidates with the best roles. Get in touch to find out how. Information sources: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/four-leading-edge-demonstrators-to-jumpstart-energy-revolution https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/government-unveils-cutting-edge-energy-tech-demonstrator-projects
Looking ahead to a greener 2050
Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from the UK economy by 2050 is the recommendation from the UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and this would certainly have an impact on the current energy systems. We would need four-times as much low carbon power output, doubling electricity demand and a more aggressive electric vehicle initiative than we’re currently seeing today. If we are to achieve the ambition of wide-scale deployment of low carbon power, especially renewables, we need to start in the early 2020s to meet the 2050 deadline. Starting with phasing out coal, the 2030s and 2040s would drive continued expansion of renewables and decarbonisation of peak power generation (developing hydrogen as a fuel for existing plants). Whilst the CCC hasn’t proposed the methods of generating cleaner power it does suggest that it’s possible to deploy 75GW of offshore wind power 2050, which is almost ten times the current output, suggesting wind and solar – the cheapest options – will be at the forefront of energy evolution. But how much will this cost? The CCC have forecasted that solar PV electricity could be as cheap as £41/MWh by 2050 with offshore wind reducing from £69/MWh in 2025 to just £51/MWh by 2050 – which is great news, but what about the subsidies? They’re not expected to decline any time soon. Current levies are expected to rise from £7 billion to around £12 billion by 2030, they should then fall however £4 billion per year will still be in place from 2050 onwards. The CCC caveat that the cost of low carbon policies has been more than offset by energy efficiency improvements and the expectation is for greater improvements in the future. Generation leads to distribution It’s not just the actual power generation we need to think of – it will all need to be transmitted and distributed to its destination, calling for a rapid expansion of infrastructure to support this over the next 30 years. Networks undoubtedly will need to be upgraded and the CCC suggests future-proofing to ensure this doesn’t need to be done multiple times prior to 2050 (to relieve customers of further costs and ensure the system can cope during peak demand). All of which will need to be supported by the government working in partnership with the National Infrastructure Commission Will driving Electric Vehicles (EV) help? By 2030 there could be 21 million electric vehicles on the road globally* and if the UK is meet the 2050 net zero target, the electric vehicle market needs a push right now to ensure further adoption of zero emission vehicles. We’re already falling short of our neighbours in Scotland and Norway with our 2040 deadline banning new petrol and diesel car sales. The growth in adoption of electric vehicles could cut annual net costs of transport by £5 billion by 2050 but these vehicles will require more comprehensive charging networks than currently available. As many as 1,200 rapid chargers (near major roads) and 27,000 public chargers (in and around towns), are needed by 2030 if we are to support this initiative. Whatever the future brings, with the diversification of technologies, fast-moving innovation and the looming deadlines ahead, this potentially could see excellent opportunities in this sector for new roles and prospects for progression. In offshore wind alone, Renewable UK predict they are looking to support 27,000** direct jobs by 2030. Jobs in this sector build the future energy systems to help the environment for years to come so the world is a better place to be. If you are part of this exciting, change driven sector, get in touch with Richard Hawkesford to talk about roles you need to fill or perhaps even your next career move. Source: www.current-news.co.uk/blogs/what-a-net-zero-compliant-energy-system-might-look-like *www.thedriven.io/2019/01/23/report-predicts-21m-ev-2030-price-parity-2022/ ** www.renewableuk.com/page/Careers
20 years at Allen & York
Cake and bucks fizz for breakfast – what better way to start the post-bank holiday week? Today we saw Lester Lockyer celebrate 20 years of working at Allen & York – from Recruitment Consultant to Managing Director. Starting his employment in 1999 - the year the Euro launched (strangely topical even today), when Westlife topped the charts with “Swear it again” (possibly one of their lesser known hits) and the year his beloved Spurs finished 11th in the FA Premier League - Lester has proven hard work and commitment pay off. With a speech from our CEO, Mark Allen, gifts included a personalised Snooker Cue, tickets to see Russell Howard and a (fake) voucher to become a Professional Musical Theatre Performer for the day, he was suitably embarrassed by us all. Congratulations on your work anniversary Lester – here’s to the next 20 years!
With only 2% of children in England cycling to school – less than the 3% of adults regularly cycling to work – does work need to be done on planning provision for cyclists? With buses, white vans and Chelsea tractors remaining prevalent across commuter hours - and the school run - it’s no wonder these figures are so low. Cycling environments are pretty hostile wherever you may live but especially in cities and large towns; yet planning for school cycling barely gets a mention. For many years’ children have been taught cycling skills, via the national Bikeability programme (cycling proficiency for those of a certain age!), but little is done to ensure they have somewhere to ride. During the school run the roads are often gridlocked, with drivers parked illegally - on double yellows or even on the pavement – whilst parents endeavour to drop their children off to get an education. Transport planning has been focused on traffic heading to work rather than children’s ability to cycle to school (which would have more effect than just reducing the school run traffic – think well-being both mental and physical). Getting this on the mainstream transport planning agenda will require leadership and funding (necessary to improve the 2%) but data and planning tools also have their part to play. We aren’t currently aware of how many children would cycle to school or which areas would have the greatest potential for cycle routes. In terms of data, there is the state-funded Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT) and based on analysis from the National School Census in 2011 (which included all state primary and secondary schools in England) if children in England cycled to school as much as Dutch children, more than two in five children would be biking to school. Using data from the Dutch travel survey, around a third of Dutch primary school children might cycle 2-3km to school, but the drop off rate is significant (one in nine) when the distance rises to 4km. However, even mirroring these numbers, would mean a 22-fold increase from the current levels. If you look at Cambridge, one of the best performing areas, the numbers would rise from 30% to 53%. If we could match the Dutch model, we could see at least 16% of trips to school cycled – even in more rural or undulating locations. Using the PCT to map cycling routes to schools, some roads could see over 500 or even 1,000 or more children pedalling along them and safety should be paramount. By prioritising children over cars, creating so called “school streets” whereby car access is restricted at school times will mean quieter streets for cycling (and walking, playing and socialising too!) without fear of traffic injury. In Enfield, Kingston, and Waltham Forest they are running schemes whereby some streets are closed to through motor traffic. When you take traffic out of the equation, so called “rat runs” can become play areas or provide bike parking, and results are looking promising – there has already been an increase in walking and cycling in these areas. The PCT shows that if we delivered the potential possible, physical activity among pupils would see an increase of 57% and carbon emissions would reduce by 81 kilotonnes per year. There’s a long way to go before cycling to school is the norm but the benefits could be a great motivator. Improved health and wellbeing, less cars on the road, greater child (and parental) mobility and independence. We need to see a shift in mindset, and priorities. Moving the focus from car-convenience to children’s health would be a start. The initial evidence is there (helped by the PCT data) so now we need to encourage local policymakers to plan for, and prioritise, child cycling for the good of us all. Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/transport-planning-cycling-school-bicycle-a8831561.html