East Midlands’ construction sector growth over the next five years could deliver over 3,000 new jobs each year, according to the industry’s most reputable forecast from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
The annual Construction Skills Network (CSN) report suggests that the strong comeback could amount to growth of 2.2% over the period 2015-2019, and 3,120 new jobs each year.
The private housing sector is the main driver in the region with non-public housing and the industrial sector also showing steady growth over the forecast period. Projects helping drive this growth in East Midlands include Northampton University’s £1bn waterside campus and the beginnings of construction work on the £1bn conversion of Willington C power station from coal to gas. The strength of the housing sector will also require a significant number of skilled workers each year.
However, the report warns that the sector’s recovery is threatened by a widening skills gap, and CITB is now urging tradespeople who left the industry during the downturn to return and take advantage of the increasing opportunities in the sector.
Meg Hankinson, CITB Sector Strategy Manager for the East Midlands, said, “This report is terrific news for the region and shows the construction industry is making a strong comeback.
“Worryingly, though, 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.
“This positive forecast shows that now is the right time to start, or return, to a rewarding career in construction.”
Nationally, more than 224,000 jobs will be created by 2019 as the sector expands. The annual forecast shows that the UK’s private housing sector is set to continue growing at a rate of 4.6% over the forecast period, with the commercial sector set to grow at the same rate up to 2019.
To support the period of growth, CITB is calling for:
- Continued commitment from all parties to deliver the National Infrastructure Plan
- Improved careers advice to raise the status of construction and attract the next generation of construction workers.
- Government investment in the energy efficiency and retrofit market, to complement the many new-build projects and help the UK meet its environmental targets.
For more information on the CSN and to find out about exciting opportunities in the construction industry, please visit www.citb.co.uk/csn.
The annual CSN report can be seen at citb.co.uk/research/construction-skills-network/