Record highs in labour shortages now hampering large infrastructure projects.

An announcement this month from the CECA states labour shortages are at an all-time record high.

These announcements followed CECA’s Work Trends survey from the third quarter of 2022 and highlight that even though there has been successive growth in workloads, 3 out of 4 companies are complaining of shortages in skilled labour along with significant shortages in other operatives.

If we are expecting substantial growth to come through some of these major infrastructure investments there needs to be a substantive investment in skills to meet this challenge.

One of the largest infrastructure projects that could impact our local area will be The Lower Thames Crossing, if approved, this project will begin in 2024 with an anticipated opening in 2030. On our side, if the Thames the new tunnel will link to the A13 in Tilbury and the M25 in Havering.

The tunnel is expected to be the third-widest tunnel in the world, with the north tunnel being over 16 metres in diameter. There are still fears from locals on both sides of the Thames that this new road still won’t be the answer to the growing traffic problems in the area, leaving the Dartford Tunnel crossing which opened in 1963, one of the busiest transport road links in the UK connected the ports to the manufacturing centres. The aim of the new tunnel is to release up to 13 million journeys each year from the Dartford crossing, which currently sees 50 million vehicles use it every year.

It is essential for East London and South Essex that this area of congestion is improved as we see tailbacks of up to 10 miles around the M25 coming in North of the river.

The application was resubmitted at the end of October and if it gets permission, it is expected almost half the workforce will come from within a 20-mile radius.

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