The construction industry expects to return to pre-pandemic levels of output in 2022, and by 2025, the industry will have needed to recruit an additional 217,000 new workers just to meet growing demand according to new forecasts from the Construction Skills Network.
Construction Skills Network (CSN) 2021-25 forecast, said the industry’s annual average recruitment requirement is 4.4% a year between now and 2025 – far outstripping the current prediction of an annual growth rate of just 1% over the same period.
According to the CSN, most English regions will experience an increase in construction workers by 2025, with East Midlands (1.7%) and West Midlands (1.4%) forecast to lead demand. Scotland (1.4%) and Wales (0.7%) are also predicted to fare well.
The only region forecast to see a slight decline in workforce is the North East (-0.1%).
In terms of annual average recruitment requirement (ARR), the most in demand trades are forecast to be in wood trades and interior fit-out (5,500 per year), other construction professionals and technical staff (5,150), construction managers (3,600) and electrical installation trades (3,400).
There will also be a demand for non-construction, office-based professional, technical and IT support staff (7,850).
Major projects such as HS2 are driving growth in some regions and infrastructure (5.2% per annum) and private housing (6.7%) should see the healthiest pace of expansion by 2025.
The commercial sector faces significant near-term risks while the public sectors could be impacted by tighter government finances.
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.”