Demand for Construction Workers High Despite Economic Uncertainty

DEMAND FOR CONSTRUCTION WORKERS means 225,000 extra people will be needed by 2027, despite economic uncertainty, rising materials and labour costs, says the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

CITB’s annual Construction Skills Network (CSN) report, forecasting how the industry will change year-on-year, shows that:

224,900 extra workers (44,980 a year) will be needed to meet UK construction demand between now and 2027
Construction output is set to grow for all nations and regions, although recession is expected in 2023 with slow growth returning in 2024
The major sectors for demand are:
– private housing
– infrastructure
– repair and maintenance
If projected growth is met, by 2027 the number of people working in construction will be 2.67m

Demand for Construction Workers

The CSN report highlights that construction is expected to remain a sector where there is demand for workers despite economic uncertainty. As a result, recruitment, training, development and upskilling remain major priorities for the industry for 2023 and beyond.

CITB is responding by investing in apprenticeships, launching a range of targeted initiatives and working collaboratively with industry, to help the construction sector have a skilled, competent, and inclusive workforce.

CITB Chief Executive, Tim Balcon, said: “The latest CSN report clearly shows that despite current economic uncertainty, recruiting and developing the workforce remains vital to ensure the industry can contribute to economic growth.

“We know the next 18 months won’t be easy, however, I remain inspired by the construction industry’s resilience shown in the pandemic and throughout 2022.”

Tim continues, “In short, it makes clear that the need to recruit and retain talent in the sector has never been greater. Whether that’s for building the homes the country needs, constructing energy and transport infrastructure or retrofitting the built environment to help drive down energy bills and meet net zero targets.

“To bolster industry’s resilience, CITB will strive to attract and train a diverse range of recruits for industry, equipping them with modern skills for rewarding construction careers. I look forward to working with and supporting industry and stakeholders in the challenging times ahead and to emerging stronger when the recession ends.”

Construction Training Funding

CITB has invested almost £50m of Levy to support over 22,000 apprentices joining the industry; while grants have helped support over 16,000 learners to complete their qualifications.

Direct funding has provided grants for 269,000 training courses and in total £97m has been invested in grant funding by CITB.

CITB supported SMEs through grant and funding on 26,976 occasions since April 2022.

CITB also offers funding aimed specifically at smaller companies such as the Skills and Training Fund. Companies with fewer than 250 PAYE employees can access up to £25,000 annually (depending on their size). By the end of quarter two 2022, £3.9m had been invested in companies via this fund.

CITB’s Scottish Academy for Construction Opportunities (SACO) commission has awarded £1.3m across the Highlands and Islands; while England Construction Opportunities (ECO) commission has awarded just over £1.8m.

Experience Hubs across England and Wales are also aiming at creating a talent pipeline to meet the needs of local construction employers.

Further CITB initiatives range from localised solutions for funding and training such as the employer network pilot project in five regions; to a £10.5m Leadership and Management commission to provide funded courses for supervisors and managers to get a Leadership and Management qualification.

>> Read more about CITB in the news


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