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05May94 UK: MASSIVE JOB LOSSES ON THE CARDS IN ENGINEERING.

Up TO 1,300 engineering construction jobs are forecast to be shed within 12 months as investment in new power station projects dries up.At present about 9,000 construction workers are employed on new power station and petrochemical plants in Britain.But a forecast of manpower needs by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, which excludes offshore fabrication yards for the oil industry, predicts a 15 per cent fall in the next 12 months.The industry has already shed more than 3,500 jobs in the past year.The South-East and East Anglia will be worst hit as small rises in repair and maintenance work fail to offset falls in new construction.In the north of England and Wales work levels are expected to be maintained until 1995.Capital investment in power stations reached a high last summer during the 'dash for gas'. Work on oil refineries is predicted to peak at the end of this year.Engineering construction is usually the last sector of the industry to pull out of recession because it takes longer for planned increases in capital spending to work through to new starts.But clients believe the lag may be less pronounced this time because some projects have already been planned and prepared, ready for the go-ahead when the economic situation is seen to improve. CONSTRUCTION NEWS