After years of skills shortages in the construction trade, 2017 brings some promising news for the industry. It is thought that up to 20,000 new construction jobs will be created in the east of England alone over the course of the next five years. Adding to this significant growth in the industry are the housing developments going up across Wales, along with building plans in the commercial and non-housing sectors. These optimistic figures are based on new research carried out by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and show a huge improvement on the figures it published last year.
The Construction Industry as It Stands
In recent years, the construction industry has been suffering from a shortage of skills. With the sector showing signs of difficulties, numerous local and nationwide initiatives have been set up in an attempt to solve the problems affecting construction jobs. However, it isn’t simply manpower in the traditional trades that is lagging – a number of vital office jobs are yet to be filled.
Following the Brexit vote in 2016, insider experts reduced their growth forecasts, which in turn cast a big shadow of doubt over the industry’s future. Though the CITB anticipates only a 1% growth per year, down from 2.3% last year, the future can’t be too bleak for the construction industry, as the same board suggests that the creation of thousands of jobs across all trades is now imminent.
A strong start to the year in terms of housing projects has led to a record rise in employment in the sector. This is due to construction companies dealing with a bigger volume of work and projects. The civil engineering sector, meanwhile, fell last month which contributed to an overall industry decline. So despite a slowdown in growth, staffing levels are gradually picking up. With a peak expected in the coming years, tradesmen will soon be finding themselves highly sought after again.
The Future of the Industry
Although last year the five-year glance into the future suggested only 14,000 new roles by 2020, the Construction Skills Network now confirms that this number will be surpassed by at least 5,000 before we enter the next decade. Further analysis into the demands of the industry shows that electricians will soon be highly in demand, with an extra 2,500 needed, followed by an additional 1,100 civil engineers and 950 senior managers. No fewer than 550 architects will also be required to meet the demands of the industry.
It is clear from statistics that the upcoming staffing rise will result principally from a range of housing development constructions. One of the reasons for this boost in housebuilding is action from the government. Offering a degree of mortgage indemnity to house buyers and making improvements to the planning process mean that more and more house hunters are snapping up homes, including brand new houses on the newly built estates.
Where Will All Of These Workers Be Placed?
The 20,000 new jobs will be dispersed around the regions with the greatest need for construction recruitment. This means that a large workforce will be required to fulfil the M4 relief road project Wylfa Newydd, the Newtown Bypass and the Eastern Bay Link in Cardiff.