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Infrastructure & Built Environment Growing Fast in UK But Skills Gap Large

The Construction Products Association has predicted a steady growth of 3% this year in the UK construction market, with longer term predictions coming in at a higher growth rate, which is good news for UK construction professionals and those looking to enter into the industry.

Infrastructure the Largest Growth Sector

Infrastructure work is expected to grow the most, expected to rise to a whopping 57% by 2019 based on predicted figures by the CPA if Government spending plans are stuck to. The construction market in the UK is seen as one of the main growth sectors of the UK economy, outpacing many other sectors’ growth at a predicted 3% this year and 3.6% next year in 2017.

Built Environment Growth Sectors

As well as infrastructure growth, the other two largest construction sectors of commercial and private housing are also anticipated to grow further. Growth in construction in the commercial office sector is set to rise by 7% in 2016 and a further 6% in 2017 due to a lot of large developments in the pipeline, across the 3 major cities of London, Birmingham, and Manchester. Private housing construction growth is set to rise 5% in 2016 and 2017 due to an increase in demands for homes, and warehouse construction work is also set to rise 10% in 2016 and a further 5% in 2017 due to the increased demand of online purchases in a shift away from in store purchases.

The Skills Shortage Issue

Despite these fantastic looking stats for professionals in construction, there is a real issue of skills shortages that need to be addressed if these figures that are based on investment in rail, energy, roads, water and sewerage are to be achieved. The construction industry still has over 300,000 less people in employment than it did over 7 years ago. If the industry is to cope with the predicted further £20bn in the construction industry that is predicted by 2019 then the skills shortage issue needs to be addressed.

How Maxim Recruitment Can Help

Maxim Recruitment have had a lot of success at bringing Expats back to the UK from overseas to find relevant and exciting work in UK construction based on their experience and preferences, due to our longstanding success in international construction as well as in the UK. We have connections with overseas and UK construction companies of all sizes and that operate in various sectors, which means that if candidates are well qualified and motivated to come back to the UK from a current overseas role we can definitely help if they are suitable.

 There are also a few cases where we have found work in the UK for people with no UK experience and / or need Visa Support from a company. For a candidate to be successful in this regard we find that they need to have certain attributes such as being well qualified, relatively experienced working for a reputable well known company in construction, be 100% motivated to move, and have minimal potential complications in the transition process. There is also a much higher chance of success of landing an interview if candidates are willing to have a face to face interview in the UK at some point in the interview process. Companies are less likely to spend their time speaking to candidates if they aren’t willing to commit to this from the outset if required for a second stage interview.

What are the Other Risks to UK Construction Growth?

There are a couple of other small risks involved which could potentially affect these figures, including the lead up to the EU referendum causing a slight investor doubt, and the small level of uncertainty of the wider global economy. However the UK construction market is still growing nicely and seems a safe haven with major projects kicking off in various sectors.

Summary and How to Action Your Next Career Move

Maxim Recruitment is also getting ever busier, correlating with the growth in UK construction. Being specialists in technical professional recruitment in construction we are experiencing a high demand for quality, exclusive candidates that want to speak to us for market advice and opportunities that we can help with.

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Adam Cadwaladr
Recruitment Consultant – UK

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