Surprise construction recovery needs 217,000 new workers

The construction sector is bouncing back from COVID-19 so much faster than expected, it will need 217,000 more workers by 2025 to keep up with demand, according to the CITB’s Construction Skills Network (CSN).

The latest CSN predictions show the industry will be back to 2019 output by 2022 – shaving three years off the timeframe they predicted in December.

The CSN says demand for construction workers should rise in almost all regions of the UK, including Scotland and Wales, with the East Midlands seeing the biggest rise (1.7%) and only the North East of England seeing a tiny decline (-0.1%).

Construction workers in wood trades and interior fit-out are expected to be most in demand, with 5,500 extra jobs per year. Other construction professionals and technical staff won’t be far behind (5,150), followed by construction managers (3,600) and electric installation trades (3,400).

And desk jobs will see the biggest rise of all, with demand for IT support and other professional and admin staff hitting 7,850 a year.

The CITB is working closely with the government and further education to get more young people into apprenticeships and jobs in the industry, including looking at making apprenticeships more flexible.

CITB Policy Director Steve Radley has committed to investing in work experience to help employers take on school-leavers, and in training for in-demand, next-generation skills around needs like digital transformation, Building Safety, and Net Zero emissions. The CITB will shortly announce plans to tackle specific occupations and skills.