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Growth forecast for UK construction

Words: Laura Edgar

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is calling for more apprentices as it releases new figures today (27 January) that forecast an average annual growth of 2.5 per cent for the next five years.

The CITB, which works with the construction industry to encourage training, says that as a result, 232,000 jobs could be created.

The report, Construction Skills Network (pdf), predicts sustained growth from 2016 to 2020 driven by infrastructure and private housing.

This, according to the report, means more than 44,000 jobs could be created every year for the next five years. People will be needed in several key areas, including:

  • 9,400 non-construction professionals – technical, IT and other office based-staff;

  • 4,320 wood traders and interior fit-out workers; and

  • 2,870 bricklayers.

The report also predicts a year-on-year infrastructure of 6.1 per cent because of new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point C in Somerset and Wylfa in Anglesey, alongside rail projects such as Crossrail and HS2.

Steve Radley, policy director at the CITB, said: “All types of training, and especially apprenticeships, will be vital to delivering this pipeline of work. This positive forecast should inspire more people to start apprenticeships, and more firms to take them on.”

The commercial construction sector will see growth of 3.4 per cent per year for the forecast period, while private house building will experience “sustained growth” during the same period.

Radley added: “We can’t build the Britain we want without growing apprenticeships – and the careers they lead on to. That’s why it is vital that these new statistics, showing solid, sustained growth, inspire more people join the construction industry.

“We also want to attract workers who have left the industry to return, and upskill those currently in the sector, so we can deliver major projects and new housing faster and better.”

In response to the continuing skills challenge, the CITB is launching a series of partnerships with local and regional training providers to ensure that the right training takes place where it is most needed.