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Ministers welcome UK construction jobs boom

Published by , Editor - Hydrocarbon Engineering
World Cement,

New data from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has indicated that as many as 224 000 roles will be generated across the UK construction sector between now and the end of 2019. With private housing developments and major infrastructure and leisure schemes expected to increase demand for skilled workers, it is thought that around 44 000 new positions will need to be created annually.

Employment Minister Esther McVey noted that construction workers have already enjoyed improving job prospects over recent months. “My message for the bricklayers and builders – and all the trades in between – is that you work hard every day, and so are we to create more jobs. As part of our long-term economic plan, we're making sure even more hard-working people benefit from the growing economy and get the security of a regular wage,” said McVey.

Regional breakdown

Wales is expected to perform particularly strongly over the coming few years. The CITB expects to see the emergence of roughly 5300 new construction jobs in Wales before the close of 2019. However, the jobs boom is set to benefit experienced tradespeople and apprentices across the UK, and growth is forecast in every area.

The North West of England may achieve a construction employment total of 288 630 by 2019, which would represent the strongest reading since 2009. Similarly, the Yorkshire and Humber region is on course to deliver its best performance in a decade, with an employment total of 205 910 likely in 2019. In Greater London, the CITB predicts that construction employment will grow at an average annual rate of 2.4%, ultimately hitting 444 230 by the year 2019. While Scotland’s construction sector is likely to expand at a weaker average annual rate than the overall UK reading of 2.9%, it should still benefit from a 1.1% improvement.

Skills shortages

Steve Housden, Sector Strategy Manager for the North West at CITB, noted that the new Construction Skills Network report highlights the strong comeback that the industry is making. However, he told the Manchester Evening News that the risks posed by skills shortages will have to be addressed.“Construction is facing a skills gap, with projects potentially held back due to a lack of skilled workers. That’s why CITB is working with industry to attract the next generation of workers and encourage skilled tradespeople who left the industry in the recession to return,” said Housden.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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