According to the latest annual forecast by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), UK’s construction industry is on its way to adding around 35,000 construction jobs per year over the next five years. However, such a growth would be dependent on disrupted infrastructure projects within the region.
Generally, the forecast predicted an annual growth of 1.7% that would total to 179,000 jobs created by 2021. Currently, there are about 2.6 million construction jobs in the UK.
With infrastructure accounting for the biggest part of the growth, the forecast suggested that huge projects, such as the Hinkley Point power station, Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant, and High Speed 2 rail link, should get under way. This is crucial to the success of the industry, considering that they cost billions of pounds, though they are not without certain challenges related to politics, the environment, and cost.
Giving his opinion on this matter, CITB policy director Steve Radley said:
“We expect construction to keep defying economic headwinds with almost half of the growth coming from Hinkley, HS2 and Wylfa and other infrastructure projects.
“It’s vital that we don’t throw away this opportunity by allowing these projects to slip.”
However, this good prediction pales in comparison to the one made the same time last year. The previous report expected 46,500 new construction jobs per year and an annual growth of 2.5%. The change is due to the headwinds the industry is facing today, such as the political uncertainty created by negotiations about the UK leaving the European Union (EU) or “Brexit”, an economic decline, and uncertain market stability in the Middle East and the US.
Immigration controls would also become another significant factor affecting the industry. CITB chief executive Sarah Beale explained, “While we have factored Brexit into this forecast, there remain many unknowns to life after leaving the EU. We will be working with our industry to understand what it means for our migrant workforce and what we must do to attract and grow more of our own.”