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Infrastructure and commercial boom demands 230,000 additional construction workers

More than 230,000 workers will be required by 2020 to meet the skills gap, according to the CITB.

The training body said more apprentices were needed as it forecast average annual output growth of 2.5 per cent for the next five years and the creation of 232,000 jobs.

In its annual Construction Skills Network report, the CITB said infrastructure and private housing would drive sustained growth until the end of this decade.

Among the major programmes set to contribute to predicted year-on-year growth in infrastructure output of 6.1 per cent are new nuclear stations at Hinkley Point and Wylfa, alongside rail projects such as Crossrail and High Speed 2.

The CITB expects commercial construction to grow by 3.4 per cent annually, while it predicts housebuilding output will return to pre-recession levels by the end of the forecast period, reaching £26bn by 2020.

Policy director Steve Radley said: “All types of training, and especially apprenticeships, will be vital to delivering this pipeline of work. This positive forecast should inspire more people to start apprenticeships, and more firms to take them on.

“We can’t build the Britain we want without growing apprenticeships – and the careers they lead onto. That’s why it is vital that these new statistics, showing solid, sustained growth, inspire more people join the construction industry.”

Mr Radley also called on workers who have left the industry to return, as well as employers to help upskill those already employed in construction.

Wales will see the largest overall growth, at 7.1 per cent annually, followed by the South-west (4.4 per cent), London (3.5 per cent) and the North-west (2.6 per cent).

Mr Radley said: “We are seeing a western wave of growth in the industry with significant growth in Wales, the South-west and the North-west.”

CITB head of research Gillian Econopouly said: “There is definitely a rebalancing of growth across the country, which can only be seen as a good thing for construction.

“In terms of Wales, nuclear is very important, with the Wylfa plant set to begin in the coming years, but there are also things happening in energy with a major biomass plant in Anglesey and the tidal lagoon in Swansea.

“There are also a number of housebuilding programmes across Wales, in addition to some big road projects on the M4 around Newport.”

She added: “Growth in the South-west is largely linked to work at Hinkley, but there are also some major roadworks happening around Bath.”



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