Last edited 27 Jan 2016

UK construction set for jobs creation

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In January 2016, The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) released a report as a part of its call for more apprentices. The Construction Skills Network (CSN) report, forecasts that infrastructure and private housing will drive an annual average growth of 2.5% for the next four years to 2020. It is anticipated that this will help create 232,000 new jobs.

This is seen as further evidence of the need to tackle the skills shortage, which threatens the construction industry's potential for growth. During 2016, the CITB is set to launch a series of new partnerships with local and regional training providers. This is intended to enable the right training to be held in the right region. In addition, Go Construct, an industry-led web portal, is being developed to encourage people to join the industry, to assist firms recruiting talent and to showcase opportunities.

Within Europe, UK builders are set to overtake those in Germany, France and Spain, with UK construction growth likely to be fourth overall up to 2017. Across the UK the top 4 annual growth rates are predicted for:

  • Wales (7.1%)
  • South West (4.4%)
  • London (3.4%)
  • North West (2.6%)

It is anticipated that the commercial sector will see 3.4% growth per annum, together with private housebuilding which will experience sustained growth and is predicted to return to pre-recession levels of £26bn by 2020.

Big infrastructure projects such as Crossrail and HS2, as well as new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Wylfa, Anglesey, will help fuel year-on-year growth of 6.1%.

It is thought that each year for the next five years more than 44,000 jobs could be created, some of which include:

  • Non-construction professional, technical, IT and other office based staff - 9,400
  • Wood trades and interior fit out - 4,320
  • Bricklayers - 2,870
  • Building envelope specialists - 2,510
  • Senior executives, business process managers - 2,120

Steve Radley, CITB Policy Director said: “All types of training, and especially apprenticeships, will be vital to delivering this pipeline of work. This positive forecast should inspire more people to start apprenticeships, and more firms to take them on.

“We can’t build the Britain we want without growing apprenticeships – and the careers they lead onto. That’s why it is vital that these new statistics, showing solid, sustained growth, inspire more people join the construction industry.

"We also want to attract workers who have left the industry to return, and upskill those currently in the sector, so we can deliver major projects and new housing faster and better.”

Employment Minister Priti Patel said: “With record employment and rising numbers of people working in construction, this is a fantastic time to take up apprenticeships and gain practical experience.

“We’ve got Britain building again with a 25% increase in the number of new homes delivered over the past year alone and construction workers are benefiting from growing wages too – giving families the security of a regular paycheck.

“Today’s report highlights the great opportunities on offer for people to take advantage of the three million new apprenticeships this Government is delivering.”

You can read the report here.