The construction industry is going to need nearly a quarter of a million new recruits by 2021.
That’s according to an updated analysis published by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
The CITB’s 2016 Construction Skills Network (CSN) report predicts growth in every nation and region of the UK. The rate varies across the three nations – Wales leads the way with a 7.1% annual construction growth forecast; England is predicted to experience a 2.5% annual expansion; Scotland will have just 0.5% annual growth. Across the UK as a whole, the figure is 2.5%, driven by the infrastructure and private housing sectors. This compares favourably with the pre-recessionary growth period (1995 to 2007), when it averaged 2.1% a year, the report says.
The report says that construction output growth slowed in 2015 from its very strong rate in 2014 but the industry is still expected to have posted an increase of around 3.5% in real terms last year, taking its level up to around 98% of the 2007 peak.
Over the next five years, new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point, and Wylfa, alongside rail projects such as Crossrail and HS2, are expected to drive year-on-year infrastructure growth of 6.1%. The commercial construction sector will experience growth of 3.4% per annum, while private housebuilding will also experience sustained growth across the forecast period. Output in the housebuilding is expected return to pre-recession levels by the end of the forecast period, reaching £26bn by 2020.
CITB policy director Steve Radley 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.”
He added: “We can’t build the Britain we want without growing apprenticeships – and the careers they lead onto. 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.”