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Private housing sector to drive construction output growth in the UK

World Cement,

The CITB’s Construction Skills Network (CSN) has released research on the construction industry and construction sector employment across the UK. Highlights from the research data focusing on the UK, Wales and Scotland can be found below.


  • According to the CSN’s report, 37% of annual construction output to 2018 will be due to the housing sector.
  • Construction industry output will experience the highest growth in the South West, Wales and East Anglia, at 3.5%, 3.4% and 3%, respectively.
  • Private housing will provide the biggest boost to the construction industry. Output in this sector is expected to increase by 7% in 2014 and by 5% in 2015.
  • Subsequent drivers of growth will be infrastructure (3.6% annual growth), industrial (3%) and public housing (2.2%).
  • Employment across the UK construction sector will vary regionally. Construction jobs in East Anglia are predicted to rise by 2% pa on average. At the other end of the scale, jobs in the construction industry will contract by an average of 0.2% pa in the West Midlands. Plant mechanics, civil engineers and construction process engineers will be the most sought after within the sector.

James Wates, Chairman of CITB, stated: “Clarity and certainty of future projects is an important element of a sustained recovery. That gives employers the confidence to train and to plan. The CSN report shows that the economy is turning the corner and the UK construction industry will benefit from that. But growth needs to be sustainable; underpinned by long-term infrastructure projects and continued investment.”


  • The Welsh construction industry is forecast to grow by 3.4% pa to 2018.
  • Infrastructure will be the main growth driver. Private housing will be the second biggest driver of growth in Wales.
  • The CSN expects around 17 850 new jobs in the construction sector to be created over the next five years.

“The CSN report shows that things are starting to look more positive for Wales, following a challenging few years. However, employment levels in 2018 are still forecast to be below pre-recession levels, so we need to ensure that measures are put in place now to secure sustained growth in the long-term,” said Wyn Prichard, CITB Wales Director. “We need committed and targeted investment in infrastructure projects in Wales, such as the nuclear power station in Wylfa, as well as innovative measures, such as the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan (WIIP) and community benefits, which are helping to maximise growth opportunities.”


  • Approximately 29 800 extra construction jobs are likely to be generated in Scotland in the next five years.
  • At 4.7% annual output, the private housing sector is expected to be the fastest growing sector in Scotland between now and 2018.
  • Construction output fell by 5% in 2011 and by 13% in 2012.
  • Average output in Scotland is forecast to lag behind the rest of the UK at 2% compared to 2.2% over the coming five years.
  • According to the CSN report, private housing, infrastructure and the industrial sector will be the greatest drivers of growth this year.

“Projected growth across Scotland’s private housing sector growth will be pivotal to the industry’s growth over the next five years and we note the early success of the Scottish Government’s Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme since its introduction in September 2013,” stated Graeme Ogilvy, Scotland Director for CITB.

“As the second largest driver of growth, infrastructure will be every bit as significant for Scotland’s construction industry, with major projects, such as the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and the new Forth Replacement Crossing, to name just two, driving employment and output opportunities.”

Adapted from CITB CSN press releases by

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