Yorkshire and Humber’s construction sector growth over the next five years could deliver over 3,000 new jobs each year, according to the industry’s most reputable forecast from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
The annual Construction Skills Network (CSN) report suggests that the strong comeback could amount to growth of 2.3% over the period 2015-2019, and 3,220 new jobs each year, which could help fuel a Northern economic powerhouse.
The commercial sector is the main driver in the region with private housing also showing steady growth over the forecast period. Projects helping drive this growth in Yorkshire and Humber include the new £600m retail quarter to be built in Sheffield city centre in 2016, 98,500 sq. metres in size, plus the £138m retail and country parks and new Castleford Tigers stadium, which should see work begin in summer of this year.
However, the report warns that the sector’s recovery is threatened by a widening skills gap, and CITB is now urging tradespeople who left the industry during the downturn to return and take advantage of the increasing opportunities in the sector.
Steve Housden, CITB Sector Strategy Manager for Yorkshire and Humber, said:
“This report is terrific news for the region and shows the construction industry is making a strong comeback.
“Worryingly, though, construction is facing a skills gap, with projects potentially held back due to a lack of skilled workers. That’s why CITB is working with industry to attract the next generation of workers and encourage skilled tradespeople who left the industry in the recession to return.
“This positive forecast shows that now is the right time to start, or return, to a rewarding career in construction.”
Nationally more than 224,000 jobs will be created by 2019 as the sector expands. The annual forecast shows that the UK’s private housing sector is set to continue growing at a rate of 4.6% over the forecast period, with the commercial sector set to grow at the same rate up to 2019.
To support the period of growth, CITB is calling for:
- Continued commitment from all parties to deliver the National Infrastructure Plan
- Improved careers advice to raise the status of construction and attract the next generation of construction workers.
- Government investment in the energy efficiency and retrofit market, to complement the many new-build projects and help the UK meet its environmental targets.