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Building back: construction needs 217,000 new workers by 2025

After a rapid recovery in construction this year amid the slow easing of lockdown restrictions, the Construction Skills Network (CSN) has reported that by 2025 the sector will need to have recruited an additional 217,000 new workers just to meet the demand.

According to the CSN, most English regions will experience an increase in construction workers by 2025, with East Midlands (1.7%) and West Midlands (1.4%) forecast to lead demand.

Scotland (1.4%) and Wales (0.7%) are also predicted to do well. The only region forecast to see a slight decline in workforce is the North East (-0.1%).

The most in demand trades are forecast to be in wood trades & interior fit-out (5,500 per year), other construction professionals and technical staff (5,150), construction managers (3,600) and electrical installation trades and (3,400).

Major projects such as HS2 will be driving growth in some regions, and private and infrastructure should see the most positive and healthiest expansion by 2025.

In addition, the CSN are also expecting a growing contribution to come from repair, maintenance and improvement work, as retrofitting existing buildings to meet net zero emissions targets becomes more important than ever.

Unfortunately, the commercial industry is expected to face significant near-term risks as public sectors could be impacted by tighter government finances.

Despite this, the CSN forecasts UK output to grow annually at an average rate of 4.4% across 2021-2025.​

CITB policy director, Steve Radley, said: “It’s great to see construction coming back so strongly and creating lots of job opportunities. We need to adopt new approaches to meet these growing skills needs and deliver these quickly.

“We must also make sure that we invest in the skills that will drive change and meet new and growing needs such as Net Zero emissions and Building Safety. We will be announcing plans soon to tackle specific skills and occupations such as leadership and management, digital skills and skills related to energy efficiency.”

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