CITB predicts four years growth for construction

CITB, economic forecast

A resurgence in the regions and nations of the UK is driving a strong comeback for the construction industry, according to research by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). Over 200 000 construction jobs are expected to be created by 2019, with the sector expanding by up to 2.9% a year on average.

The reports predicts an increase of over 8000 jobs a year on last year’s forecast, and the annual demand for workers increasing to 44 690.

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 of England.

The annual forecast shows that the commercial sector and the private-housing sector are set to continue growing at a rate of 4.6% over the forecast period to 2019.

The report also expects a resurgence of growth and employment in the north of England having the potential to create an economic power base in the region. The north west of England is set to grow by 2.5% a year up to 2019, the north east by 2.3% and Yorkshire and Humber by 2.3%.

Growth in Wales is predicted to be nearly 6% a year, with as many as 5320 jobs being created in the next five years.

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 redevelopment of the M8 and the Commonwealth Games. However, infrastructure development remains at historic levels.

Steve Radley, CITB’s director of policy and strategic planning, said: ‘Our Construction Skills Network 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.

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.’

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