South West Powerhouse: A Devolution Revolution?

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by Rebekah Valero-Lee on

Everyone has heard of the Northern Powerhouse. Ever since George Osborne unveiled his grand plan to re-position the economic centre of the UK out of the capital, there has been much discussion concerning whether other areas of the UK might benefit from a little decentralisation, with regions seeking to further spread the focus of power and use their resources and capabilities to get a bigger slice of the pie. Could the Northern Powerhouse concept be a starting gun for a devolution revolution across the UK?

The South West

Let’s talk about the South West. Historically, Devon and Cornwall have always had an element of separation about them – particularly Cornwall, many of the residents of which ardently refer to themselves as ‘Cornish’ not English and seek nationalism.

It’s also home to an often surprisingly sizeable variety of engineering industries. The vast majority of the largest aviation companies in the world have sizeable bases in the region (including Rolls Royce, Airbus and Augusta Westland) making up 25% of the UK’s aerospace industry.

Then we have the marine industry and Devonport docks in Plymouth. The largest naval refit dockyard in Europe, it’s the sole nuclear repair and refuelling facility for the Royal Navy. The wide variety of other industries located in the area provides excellent opportunities for cross-skilling into marine without having to relocate. As Morson’s Paul White said in a recent Spotlight on Plymouth feature, our recruitment teams see a lot of contractors moving from surprising industries, such as petrochemical, into marine work because of the transferable skills. Check out the latest opportunities here

The Big One

Then, of course, there is Hinkley Point C. Given the green light last year, this £18billion project will be the first nuclear new-build in many years and will provide the whole region with a substantial economic boost. It will also be a huge task to recruit the workforce for this project throughout its lifespan, but when you look at the regions own cross-skilling opportunities that task starts to look a little less daunting.

When you consider what the South West has to offer, it’s easy to see how it could lay a claim to being its own self-contained powerhouse. These aren’t empty words based on regional identity or nationalism. It stands on its own as a gem of industry – one of several across the UK.

The Northern Powerhouse scheme heralded the start of an era of investment in the region, with work on road and rail infrastructure all part of the master plan. With a project like Hinkley Point C now on the horizon, there is a loud argument to suggest that a similar infrastructure boost might be just as warranted.south-west-powerhouse-marine

Perhaps in the future, we’re going to see more regional devolution, with a capital city that many see as being increasingly impenetrable, expensive and unattractive becoming less and less relevant as regions play to their strengths and become hubs all of their own. This could have economic – and social – benefits that are as yet unconsidered.

Read more about these exciting projects and what jobs are available in marine and nuclear.


Cx Jobs

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Looking for 4 finishing operatives able to install: * plasterboard, * a wraptite membrane * and a sealant strip to the inside of a commercial building in SW London

SPC - Site Person in Charge - Rail Construction

Working on a project to replace sidings and increase the number of roads, a civils gang to support the site manager and construction team to ensure that the daily operation and safety of the site is kept correct and in line with the safe systems of work. At times there will be a requirement to assist the track gang in the planned works on site. The majority of these works is planned for Monday to Friday 07:30 to 15:30Essential* Hold ICI-LU Licence* Hold LU Basic Track Awareness(BTA)* Hold Site Person In Charge (SPC)Desirab;e* Previous Experience in construction projects and the construction environment* Previous Experience in working with machinery and on track vehicles* All trained/Competent in Cat Scanning RD 8000* All trained/Competent in Banksman/Slinging* All trained/Competent in working from height* All trained/Competent in Disc Saw & Concrete Saw cutting* All trained/Competent in Belle Mixers/ Concrete Mixing* All Hand Arm Vibration trained* At least 1 No. First Aider* All fully face fitted staff

Rail Construction

Working on a project to replace sidings and increase the number of roads, a civils gang to support the site manager and construction team to ensure that the daily operation and safety of the site is kept correct and in line with the safe systems of work. At times there will be a requirement to assist the track gang in the planned works on site. The majority of these works is planned for Monday to Friday 07:30 to 15:30Essential* All to Hold ICI-LU Licence* All to Hold LU Basic Track Awareness* Previous Experience in construction projects and the construction environmentDesirable* Previous Experience in working with machinery and on track vehicles* At least 1No. Forklift Operator trained/competent staff* All trained/Competent in Cat Scanning RD 8000* All trained/Competent in Banksman/Slinging* All trained/Competent in working from height* All trained/Competent in Disc Saw & Concrete Saw cutting* All trained/Competent in Belle Mixers/ Concrete Mixing* All Hand Arm Vibration trained* At least 1 No. First Aider* All fully face fitted staff

Storeperson (Rail) - Feltham

Vital are recruiting for a Storeperson - RailLocation: FelthamStart Date: ASAPDuration: 4 months plus min 40 hours a weekRate: £17+ Essential skills and competencies:PTS (ideally)Forklift with counterbalancePrevious stores experience in a rail environmentIdeally signalling based storesMust be within 30 miles of Feltham, London If you think you may be suitable for this role, please email your CV to steve . bradley @vital .uk .com

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