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Construction will need 216,800 new workers by 2025

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The construction industry in the UK will need 216,800 workers by 2025 as demand bounces back from the covid-19 pandemic more quickly than expected.

That’s according to a new forecast from the Construction Skills Network (CSN), published by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) today.

CSN predicted that most English regions will experience an increase in construction workers by 2025, with an upsurge in demand in the East Midlands (1.7%) and West Midlands (1.4%), Scotland (1.4%) and Wales (0.7%). The only region forecast to see a slight decline in workforce is the North East (-0.1%).

Major projects such as HS2, as well as private housing, and the repair and maintenance sector are all expected to drive demand.

In terms of annual average recruitment requirement (ARR), the most in-demand trades are forecast to be in wood trades & interior fit-out (5,500 per year), other construction professionals and technical staff (5,150), construction managers (3,600) and electrical installation trades and (3,400). There will also be a demand for non-construction, office-based professional, technical and IT support staff (7,850).

The CSN’s forecasts are based on UK an average annual output growth rate of 4.4% across 2021-2025.

CITB policy director Steve Radley said: “It’s great to see construction coming back so strongly and creating lots of job opportunities. We need to adopt new approaches to meet these growing skills needs and deliver these quickly. We are working closely with government and FE to build better bridges between FE and work and make apprenticeships more flexible. We are also making significant investments in supporting work experience that make it easier for employers to bring in new blood.

“We must also make sure that we invest in the skills that will drive change and meet new and growing needs such as Net Zero emissions and Building Safety. We will be announcing plans soon to tackle specific skills and occupations such as leadership and management, digital skills and skills related to energy efficiency.”

Commenting on the findings, Hew Edgar, associate director of policy at the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), said: “Early on in the covid-19 pandemic, we witnessed significant growth in online learning and new entrants keen to gain professional accreditation, with an 18% increase on the previous year of 1,712 new members. However, as the industry has returned to work in larger numbers, we have noted that members have instead focused on traditional training and CPD in topics such as cost management, project management and health and safety. Our training figures also support the CSN’s findings around growth in sustainability and RMI, with many CIOB members preparing for a surge in work in energy efficiency.”

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