5 November 2012
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today visited construction of the new Forth Replacement Crossing as the project reached a major milestone.
Forth Replacement Bridge milestones
With activity underway across the full scheme, the project is now directly supporting its forecast peak complement of around 1200 construction jobs. Numbers on site will fluctuate with different phases of the works but this is the first time the peak has been reached since work started in the summer of 2011.
The Deputy First Minister was briefed on various key elements of the construction and met graduates and subcontractors working on the flagship scheme. Over 300 Scottish firms are already benefitting from the subcontracts awarded so far. Over 110 places for training and the long-term unemployed have also been generated to date by the construction.
Ms Sturgeon said:
"It was a privilege to visit the biggest transport infrastructure project in Scotland for a generation at such an exciting landmark moment. We have around 1,200 people working on the project site, which doesn’t include the significant number of people working for the 300 plus Scottish firms currently working in the subcontracting and supply chain for the project. This is clear evidence that the project is creating jobs for Scotland and benefitting the local and national economy. I was delighted to meet some of the young people employed by Scottish firms working on such a crucial phase of the project.
“It was also fascinating to learn of some of the most complex operations in the entire FRC construction process and I wish the team well over the coming weeks as the project continues apace on schedule and on budget to open as planned in 2016.
“We are only a quarter of the way into a six-year construction period so there are many more opportunities to come for the local and national economy. The supply orders and subcontracts are commercial matters for the Contractors, but the latest progress report shows Scottish firms are certainly benefitting from the project – and in huge numbers.
“Community Benefit clauses introduced by this Government mean that we will deliver an annual average of at least 90 vocational training places and positions for the long term unemployed during every year of construction, as well as providing further scope to maximise Modern Apprenticeship opportunities every year.
“Our new Sustainable Procurement Bill will enshrine even greater Community Benefit Clauses in future projects. We want to drive down the costs of tendering and are speaking to business, trade unions and those in the public sector who invest in infrastructure and buy goods and services to make sure we maximise all future opportunities. We are also keeping up pressure on the EU and UK Government in terms of calling for the consideration of economic impact to be considered in awarding tenders.
“Combined with our Infrastructure Investment Plan, which includes details of capital spending of up to £60 billion on ambitious projects such as the dualling of the road network linking all of Scotland’s cities, and 54 major infrastructure projects and 33 programmes, we are determined to continue to present major opportunities for Scottish firms."
Philip Cummings, aged 17, from Kirkcaldy, is currently on day release from Stow College working on the North structures of the bridge as a trainee civil engineer. He said:
“It’s been great experience working on a project of this scale and right on my doorstep here in Fife too. I hope to work as a civil engineer in the future and the opportunity to work on the largest infrastructure project in the country will really help me.”