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News in Briefs – March 2006

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Severfield-Rowen Plc and Murray Metals Group, one of the UK’s largest structural steel and specialist metal suppliers, have launched a new joint venture company, Steel UK Ltd. Steel UK has been created to enable its founders, who will have a combined structural steel requirement of approximately 300,000 metric tonnes per annum, to conduct their structural steel purchasing activities, creating one of the largest buyers of steel in Europe.

A new consultation that aims to provide the Government with a framework to guide future progress in the construction industry has been launched by the Rt. Hon Alun Michael, Minister of State for Industry and the Regions. The draft Strategy for Sustainable Construction Report 2006 consultation will include a Stakeholder event on 7 March and it is hoped that the review will be completed by the early Summer of 2006.

The Institution of Structural Engineers is proposing to make health and safety training from graduation onwards a condition of membership. Health and Safety would have to form part of Initial Professional Development for graduates applying for membership. The move is in response to changes in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations.

Watch out for the Financial Times on March 8 which will publish a special “Steel Construction” report.

The latest DTi figures show orders for private new commercial construction  in the fourth quarter of 2005 30%  higher compared to the previous quarter, and  31% up on the same quarter a year earlier. Private industrial orders in the fourth quarter rose by 44% compared to the previous quarter, and by 27% compared to the same quarter a year earlier.

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