The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is calling for more apprentices as it releases new figures today (January 27th) that forecast annual average growth of 2.5 per cent for the next five years.
CITB’s Construction Skills Network (CSN) report – the industry’s most comprehensive and up-to-date – predicts sustained growth from 2016-2020, driven by infrastructure and private housing and a massive 232,000 jobs will be created.
Steve Radley, Policy Director at the CITB, says, “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.”
New nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point, Somerset, and Wylfa, Anglesey, alongside rail projects such as Crossrail and HS2, will drive year-on-year infrastructure growth of 6.1 per cent.
The commercial construction sector will experience growth of 3.4 per cent 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.
UK construction growth is set to be fourth in Europe up to 2017, with British builders outstripping those in Germany, France and Spain.
Annual growth is predicted in all the UK’s regions and nations up to 2020, with Wales faring best with year-on-year growth of 7.1 per cent, followed by the South West (4.4 per cent), London (3.5 per cent), and the North West (2.6 per cent).
In response to the ongoing skills challenge, the CITB is in 2016 launching a series of new partnerships with local and regional training providers to make sure the right training takes place where it is needed most.
It is also continuing to work closely with the construction industry to further develop Go Construct, an industry-led web portal, to showcase the opportunities in the industry and encourage more people to join the sector. This should help construction firms recruit the talent they need to grow, and help workers learn about all of the great career opportunities available.
“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,” added Radley.