The UK is now the 10th most Attractive Economy for Infrastructure Investment

The Global Infrastructure Investment Index, published by Arcadis today, ranks 41 countries by their attractiveness to investors in infrastructure.
Since the first index in 2012, the UK has risen three places (see table, attached) up to 10th and is the third-highest ranked European country in the Index, after Sweden (5th) and Norway (6th).
In order to gauge each nation’s appeal, the study looked at criteria including the ease of doing business in each market, government policy, tax rates, the quality of the existing infrastructure, GDP per capita and the availability of debt finance.
The UK managed to break into the top 10 following improvements across all of these business indicators, while Arcadis also found that an improved financial and taxation environment has increased its appeal to investors.
Optimism has returned to infrastructure investment in the UK, with the government planning to increase capital spending by £3bn per annum from 2015, which will lead to an additional £18bn of investment by the end of the next parliament.
Arcadis UK head of infrastructure Steve Bromhead told Construction News: “The government needs to provide long-term clarity over infrastructure policy and look at the over-prescriptive nature of regulation in several key sectors.
“We will see investment from all over – particularly China, the Middle East, and the US – but the government needs a clear policy on infrastructure.
“It does not matter whether it is the current policy or Sir John Armitt’s alternative proposal, for example; the most important issue here is consistency and clarity to provide security for infrastructure investment
“Otherwise we risk experiencing a stasis in infrastructure investment and .economic growth due to lack of investor confidence.”

Are you guilty of Answering Work Phone calls at Inappropriate Times?

Over half (54%) of Brits have admitted answering work calls while in bed according to a new survey.

The survey from professional call answering service, alldayPA found that UK staff even struggle to switch off on Holiday with 41% of those surveyed answering business calls while on a break and 40% breaking up a trip to the pub to take a work call.

Almost a quarter revealed they were capable of handling more than one piece of business at a time as 24% claimed to have taken a call while on the toilet while three percent had taken a call while on a rollercoaster.

Men were the most likely to pick up a call while in bed with 40% saying they have done so compared to 27% of women.

Reflecting on the survey results, Gareth Jeffery, operations manager at alldayPA says, “We know that technology means we can be connected to work 24/7 but none of us expect employees to start taking calls on roller coasters!

“It’s clear to see from this survey that employees are embracing technology to get on top of their jobs but, looking at the results, there has to be a concern over the quality of work being completed over the phone when so many people are taking calls in the middle of social activities.”

CIB Report on Construction Activity during the Recession

London was the only region in the UK where the construction industry grew during the recession according to the Chartered Institute of Building
The report, “The Real Face of Construction”, said construction output in the capital grew more than 20 per cent in cash terms between 2007 and 2013 and made up more than 20 per cent of the British construction industry by the end of the period. London was the only region to grow in that time once inflation was taken into account.
The report also highlights an alternative way of measuring the size of the industry, developed by Dr Stephen Gruneberg at Westminster, which would put it at 15.3 per cent of the economy – £250bn – rather than the 6.3 per cent gross value added attributed to it in official statistics.
The official construction GVA figure just counts work done on site and does not include other inputs into construction, such as the work of consultancy and design, real estate activities plant rental and manufacture of building material, which are included in the figures for other industries in order to avoid double counting.
The report accompanies a guide for MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates on the importance of construction to the economy.
Chris Blythe, chief executive of the CIOB, said: “Construction is often simplistically viewed in terms of employment statistics and visible work on building sites, but this overlooks the increasingly high-tech nature of an industry that is leading on innovation and contributing directly to national productivity.
“The quality of our buildings has a lasting impact on the wellbeing of individuals and communities across all regions and sectors.
“Much political and media attention focuses on house building and, while this is an extremely important issue, it actually accounts for a minority of total UK construction output. We would like to see discussions become integrated into a much wider agenda. The decisions made today will be felt for decades and generations.”