A new report from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has found that the number of people working in construction in the UK is now over 2.6 million. The last time the number were this high was in 2009 before the full effect of the credit crunch had hit. The number of construction workers is predicted to continue rising over the next 5 years, albeit at the relatively low rate of 0.6%.
There are current shortages in the construction industry around carpenters and bricklayers. While these shortages are not predicted to disappear many of the roles that will need to be filled in the next 5 years will be technical or management. The table below shows the number of people working in various parts of the construction industry now and in the numbers predicted to be there in 2021.
|Senior, executive, and business process managers||172,930||177,710||4,780|
|Construction project managers||47,800||52,110||4,310|
|Non-construction professional, technical, IT and other office-based staff||356,430||373,120||16,690|
|Construction trades supervisors||49,010||52,980||3,970|
|Wood trades and interior fit-out||264,720||262,920||-1,800|
|Building envelope specialists||107,010||105,000||-2,010|
|Painters and decorators||112,180||111,080||-1,100|
|Steel erectors/structural fabrication||25,700||25,450||-250|
|Electrical trades and installation||183,470||175,440||-8,030|
|Plumbing and HVAC Trades||166,600||161,100||-5,500|
As you can see the areas with the biggest predicted increases are professional and office based staff including project managers, architects and surveyors. The biggest decreases are predicted to be in some of the more traditional trades such as electrical and plumbing work.
Part of the explanation for why more technical and professional construction roles will see the larger increases is down to the type of work expected to see most growth. The CITB report claims that government infrastructure projects will be responsible for 45% of all growth in the construction industry between 2017 and 2021. The Hinkley Point nuclear power station on its worn is estimated to account for 0.8% of construction output in 2021. With other new nuclear power stations and HS2 due to start in the next couple of years there is going to be a need for a large number of planning and support workers while less skilled labour is generally needed for this type of project.
The CITB projections do depend heavily on the government continuing with it’s current infrastructure spending plans and with Brexit not having a huge impact on construction. However, they are a useful guide for those involved in construction recruitment and skills training. For the professional and technical roles that the CITB are predicting will see the biggest growth it can easily take 4 or 5 years to train new people. Having a rough ideas of the likely construction recruitment needs in 2021 at least lets us start planning.
RedRock Recruitment are a specialist construction recruitment company serving London and the South of England. We do recruitment accross the construction industry, including for professional and technical roles. To find out more about our construction recruitment service give us a call on 01992 807911