February 2017 has already seen two announcements in the UK trade press concerning the construction industry; and it’s potentially good news all round.
UK Government has unveiled its plans to see 250,000 new homes a year as part of handing over local housing needs to councils across the UK; and the latest “Industry Insights - Construction Skills Network Forecasts 2017-2021” report from the CITB predicts a growth of 1.7% over the next five years.
The Next Five Years
So what can the industry expect over the five year growth period?
For local councils Affordable Housing is the key phrase and it is expected that the Government’s Housing White Paper will focus on ensuring that first-time buyers will have a better range of Affordable Housing options available to them; along with freeing up land to build.
For the CITB the main area of growth is expected from the Infrastructure sector along with an estimate 179,000 new jobs being created; making the number of individuals employed in construction 2.6 million by 2021.
How Do We Prepare
Sarah Beale, Chief Executive of CITB, knows only too well that it’s the skilled workforce that will carry Britain’s Construction Industry to its growth conclusion.
“As a sector, we need to be proactive, not reactive, to close the skills supply gap”
The Construction Skills Network report highlights key specialist trades which it believes will be in demand over the coming years:
“In terms of overall numbers, the largest ARRs are predicted for wood trades and interior fit out (3,850), electrical trades and insulation (2,250), and other construction professionals and technical staff (2,240). Taken as a proportion of base 2017 employment levels, the highest ARRs are for logistics personnel (3.8%), construction trades supervisors (2.9%), and civil engineers (2.7%)”
Providing the Right Tools, For the Right Job
There may still be a skills gap, but there is clearly a plan. Sarah Beale knows that to see the Industry through this period of growth, and to continue into the future, workforce planning is a major element.
Now we know where the Government is pushing we can focus on these areas. We can help source a Site Manager for a company with its own Affordable Housing Build Sector; and likewise we can help an Estimator find their next role within a company focused on Affordable Housing.
Though the Infrastructure sector is typically less labour intensive, there are still recruitment requirements and 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting time for Construction; one that we haven’t seen since 2009.
Office Manager, UK