A resurgence of growth in the regions is driving a strong construction comeback, which is set to create more than 200,000 construction jobs and expand the sector by up to 2.9% on average, according to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
According to CITB research, for the first time since the downturn investment boosts in housing, leisure and infrastructure will deliver growth in every region, casting aside perceptions of a recovery driven only by the South-east.
Its latest industry forecast, the Construction Skills Network (CSN) report, predicted an increase of over 8,000 jobs per year on last year’s figure, with the annual demand for workers increasing to 44,690.
The report also found that over the period to 2019:
- the private housing sector is set to continue growing at a rate of 4.6% over the forecast period to 2019, with the commercial sector set to grow at the same rate;
- a resurgence of growth and employment in the north of England has the potential to create an economic power base in the region, with the North-west set to grow by 2.5%, the North-east by 2.3%, and Yorkshire and the Humber by 2.3% annually;
- the biggest regional growth will be seen in Wales, which is predicted to grow by almost 6% year-on-year and create as many as 5,320 jobs over the next five years; and
- Scotland is expected to see a drop in growth from 2% to 1.1% over the next five years as a result of completed infrastructure projects associated with the re-development of the M8 and the Commonwealth Games, but infrastructure investment remained at historic levels.
Director of policy and strategic planning Steve Radley said: “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. 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.”