The chief executive of Mouchel, the international infrastructure and business services group, feels that improvements to the road network will help drive economic growth in the UK.
In an exclusive interview with Highways Magazine, Grant Rumbles (pictured) welcomed a number of recent announcements made by the government.
Firstly, the government committed £10 billion of investment in road repairs between 2015-16 and 2020-21. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin then outlined details of a new policy paper entitled ‘Action for roads: a network for the 21st century’. This details new arrangements for the Highways Agency and commits to providing funding for roads.
Rumbles said: “One of the opening lines in ‘Action for Roads: a network for the 21st century’ states that the road network is vital to our economy and to our way of life. That’s what the government has said and I agree. Whether you like it or not people are using the roads. In large parts of this country there is no other choice but to use them. The fact that the government now recognise this and is investing in them is good news for us.”
Mouchel recently hosted a series of drop in events with the company aiming to recruit 600 engineers and consultants by the end of 2014. Prospective recruits were given an opportunity to speak with staff about career opportunities on offer.
“What we would like to see is a continuation of what has happened over the last year. For there to be increasing long-term investment made within infrastructure. That allows us as a business to make long term plans,” adds Rumbles. “At the moment we are recruiting 600 engineers, but if I knew that I might need to recruit 1,000 or 1,200 in the future it would make my life a lot easier because I’d already be aware of what’s going on. If I know in two or three years time that I’m going to need X amount of people I can take it all the way back to how many graduates I need to recruit. A lot of people have come out of the industry because there was so little spend going on. We need to recreate a lot of that workforce again. The longer-term view the better. I think we’ve made a good start, but I’d like to see it continue.”
To read the full interview with Grant Rumbles see the March 2014 issue of Highways Magazine.