Despite the gloom around Carillion and Brexit, it is predicted that 150,000 jobs are set to be created in the construction sector over the next five years.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) predicts that 15,350 carpenters and 9,350 labourers plus jobs for other trades will be needed as more homes are built.
The Federation of Master Builders reported that 48% of small and medium sized companies were also struggling to hire electricians and plumbers, with a further 46% finding it difficult to hire plasterers.
Chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders Brian Berry said: “Skills shortages are skyrocketing and it begs the question, who will build the new homes and infrastructure projects the government is crying out for?”
“The government has set itself an ambitious target to build 300,000 homes every year in England alone.”
“More than two-thirds of construction SMEs are struggling to hire bricklayers, which is one of the key trades in the building industry. This has increased by nearly 10% in just three months which points to a rapid worsening of an already dire situation.”
“What’s more, nearly as many are facing difficulties hiring carpenters and joiners. These figures are the highest we’ve noted since records began a decade ago.”
“As a result, the wages for these increasingly scarce skilled tradespeople continues to rise sharply; that’s a simple consequence of supply and demand.”
“On the domestic front and in the longer term, to ensure we have an ample supply of skilled workers in the future, the government must continue to work with industry to set the right framework in terms of T-Levels and apprenticeships.”
For the fourth year in a row employment is set to grow
Industry experts have forecast that output within the industry will also rise by 1.3% annually creating 158,000 jobs in the next five years. Infrastructure remains the strongest sector with an annual growth of 3.1%, with housing output also expected to grow.
However, it is also expected that commercial building will stagnate over the next five years, as investors are holding back due to the level of uncertainty with regards to England leaving the EU.
Despite this the CITB predict that for the fourth year in a row employment will grow by an average of 0.5% until 2022, which would equate to a massive 2.77 million people working in the construction industry, slightly below the peak reached in 2008.
The CITB Policy Director Steve Radley said: “Though growth is slightly down on 2017, it’s looking more balanced with housing and infrastructure both expanding significantly. And the range of job opportunities is growing. While we need to bring in lots of people in the trades, the fastest growth will be for professionals at 7.8 per cent and for managers and supervisors at 5.6 per cent.”
“By 2022, employment will be in touching distance of the heady 2008 peak so we face a massive recruitment and training challenge, which is likely to get harder after Brexit. So while we can take some comfort from weathering the recent storms, it’s vital that we make the investment in skills today that will shape our own destiny for tomorrow.”