Construction resurgence to create over 200,000 jobs by 2019

citbThe resurgence in construction across the UK is driving a strong comeback that is set to create more than 200,000 construction jobs and expand the sector by up to 2.9% on average, year-on-year, according to new research from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

The CITB’s latest industry forecast, the Construction Skills Network (CSN) report, predicts an increase of over 8,000 jobs per year compared to last year’s estimates, with the annual demand for workers increasing to over 44,600.

Adrian Belton, chief executive of the CITB, said:

“New jobs are required not just to deliver on growing order books, but also to deliver a step change in costs and delivery times. These additional jobs – 224,000 according to this report – will be pivotal in driving our industry forward.”

The report states that the ongoing recovery of the construction industry will continue to be fuelled by the UK’s private housing sector, which is expected 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.

It has also been revealed that for the first time since the economic downturn, investment boosts in housing, leisure and infrastructure will deliver growth in every region. This will be felt most in Wales, which is expected to experience 5.8% growth in construction output over the next four years, with employment rates increasing by 2.4% in this time. Greater London follows with 4.2% growth in output forecast by the CITB, while rates of employment are expected to also grow by 2.4%.

While it too will experience a boost in output between 2015 and 2019, Scotland is expected to experience the smallest growth over this period, with an output increasing by 1.1% and employment growing by just 0.1%.

The CITB believes that 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 Humber by 2.3% annually, over the forecast period.

Simon Carr, managing director of Henry Boot Construction, private sector board member of the Sheffield Local Enterprise Partnership and incoming chair of the National Federation of Builders, said:

“After a period of decline for construction, it is reassuring to see a resurgence of growth in the north of England. Investment in infrastructure, leisure, housing and commercial projects in the northern regions has the benefit of creating thousands of jobs where they’re needed the most and boosting local economies, having a profound impact on the UK economy in the long term.”

On a national level, total construction employment is projected to reach 2.74m in 2019, remaining below the peak level of 2.86m in 2008. Among this increase, the number of roofers needed will reach 48,560, marking a rise of almost 3,000 from 2015’s levels. More than 114,000 building envelope specialists will be needed, while 24,700 scaffolders will also be required to match demand.

Steve Radley, CITB’s director of policy and strategic planning, 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

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