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Construction growth unaffected by Brexit – CITB



The latest Construction Skills Network report has been released, revealing the sector forecast for the coming year.

As the UK’s most comprehensive and up-to-date forecast, published by CITB, the report gives an industry-wide view on employment and growth.

This year’s report is distinctly positive. Despite uncertainty over Brexit and worries raised since Carillion’s collapse, the report believes that over 150,000 construction jobs will be created over the next five years.

The housebuilding sector is pushing this growth, according to the report, where the need for new housing will see some 15,350 carpenters and 9,350 labourers on site. Infrastructure is not far behind, where massive projects like HS2 and Thames Tideway are bolstering job creation, with an annual growth of 3.1%. However, housing output, both public and private, is also expected to expand, by 2.8% and 2.2%, respectively.

In contrast, the commercial sector is not predicted to grow at all over the next five years, as investors potentially hold back decisions due to Brexit uncertainty.

The strongest job growth will be in a range of professional and managerial roles as the industry seeks to boost its productivity, which will grow by 7.8% and 5.6% over the next five years.

The CSN forecasts average output growth of 1.3%, with 158,000 jobs created.

CSN figures show employment is projected to grow for the fourth consecutive year at 0.5% a year on average to 2022. This would take employment in the industry to 2.77 million in 2022, only 3% below the 2008 peak.

CITB Policy Director Steve Radley said: “Despite all the gloom around Carillion and uncertainty from Brexit, our report’s message is that construction will continue to grow and create more jobs.

“Though growth is slightly down on 2017, it’s looking more balanced with housing and infrastructure both expanding significantly. And the range of job opportunities is growing. While we need to bring in lots of people in the trades, the fastest growth will be for professionals at 7.8% and for managers and supervisors at 5.6%.

“By 2022, employment will be in touching distance of the heady 2008 peak so we face a massive recruitment and training challenge, which is likely to get harder after Brexit. So while we can take some comfort from weathering the recent storms, it’s vital that we make the investment in skills today that will shape our own destiny for tomorrow.”

 

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