More than 180,000 construction jobs could be created in the next four years, although employment in the sector will still be well below pre-recession levels, a new report says.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) predicted that housing will account for over a third of construction output between now and 2018.
The industry lost 40,000 jobs last year as public non-housing work shrank by 13 per cent, and some areas of the country will continue to see job cuts, said the report. Private house building is predicted to increase by a 4.6 per cent a year to 2018. James Wates, chairman of CITB, said: “The report shows that the economy is turning the corner and the UK construction industry will benefit from that, but growth needs to be sustainable; underpinned by long-term infrastructure projects.
“The Government’s help-to-buy scheme has kick-started demand across the housing market and announcements on nuclear power, rail and roads have the potential to breathe fresh life into infrastructure and industry.
“Alongside this, we’d welcome fresh incentives to encourage house building, and the assurance that major infrastructure projects in the pipeline go ahead as planned.”
“Employment in 2018 is predicted to be 196,000 below pre-recession levels, which is why measures must be taken now to ensure growth is sustained over the long-term.”
The report warned of a shortage of skilled workers in jobs including civil engineers and plant mechanics.
• The way claimants’ benefit needs are dealt with by jobcentres is “haphazard” and prone to missing crucial information about barriers to work, the Government has been told.
The Work and Pensions Committee called for a more thorough initial assessment of a claimant’s barriers to employment so that those facing the biggest challenges received the most support.