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UK: 224 000 construction jobs forecast over next five years

World Cement,

The UK’s Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has released the ‘Construction Skills Network’ (CSN) report, which forecasts annual average growth of 2.9% over the next five years.

Greater investment in housing, leisure and infrastructure through the UK’s regions – rather than just the south east of England – is expected to provide a boost to the construction industry. Construction industry output is also predicted to improve in the north of England, rising at an average annual rate of 2.5% in the North West, 2.3% in the North East and 2.3% in Yorkshire and the Humber over the forecast period covered in the latest CSN report. Meanwhile, annual average output growth for Wales between 2015 and 2019 has been put at 5.8%. In Scotland, the growth rate is expected to fall to 1.1% over the forecast period. However, the CITB notes that ‘infrastructure output will still be higher than in any year between 1990 and 2012 inclusive in real terms’.

The research from CITB indicates that construction sector growth will generate 224 000 construction jobs over the next five years, up 8000 jobs per year on last year’s forecast.

“Our CSN forecast shows that construction is experiencing a major comeback – with a sustained period of growth set to make a positive impact on the wider economy,” said Steve Radley, CITB’s Director of Policy and Strategic Planning. “Leisure, infrastructure and housing are all driving growth, but this brings with it new challenges in meeting skills demand. Employers will need to pull every lever available to them to meet the skills challenge they face but government can play a vital role in giving them the confidence to invest in training for the long-term.”

“CITB is already identifying future skills needs and working with government and industry on the talent pipeline. But to help it plan ahead, industry needs a clear commitment from all political parties in the run up to the general election that infrastructure projects will be delivered on time and to plan in the next parliament,” added Radley. “Government can also help employers to develop the next generation of workers by sending out a clear signal that it will make it as simple as possible for companies of all sizes to invest in apprenticeships.”

In line with the latest findings, the CITB has called for the following:

  • Continued commitment from all parties to deliver the National Infrastructure Plan.
  • Renewed focus on improving the quality and delivery of careers advice in schools to attract the next generation of construction workers.
  • Government investment in the energy efficiency and retrofit market, given the anticipated future skills demand and the UK’s pressing environmental targets.
  • Industry and government to back CITB’s industry-wide campaign to create clear and accessible pathways into construction for people from all backgrounds.

The ‘Construction Skills Network’ report can be read here. Key points from the report are also highlighted in this infographic.

Adapted from press release by

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