Greater London’s construction industry growth over the coming 5 years could provide over 2,000 new jobs a 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 4.2% over the period 2015-2019, and 2,050 new jobs each year, which is higher than the national average of 2.9%.
The private housing and commercial sectors are the main drivers in the region with public housing also showing steady growth over the forecast period.
Projects helping drive this growth in Greater London include two on the Thames South Bank - the Carlyle Group’s 1.4m sq. ft. regeneration scheme and the £1bn Shell Centre, as well as the Westfield Group’s £1bn expansion of its Shepherds Bush shopping centre.
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.
Janette Welton-Pai, CITB Sector Strategy Manager for Greater London, 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.