Training organisation also predicts industry will see sustained output growth at yearly average of 2.5% driven by infrastructure and private housing

Construction site

The Construction Industry Training Board has upped its forecasts for the number of new recruits needed by the industry over the next five years, saying it now thinks a further 8,000 people will be required.

In its Construction Skills Network (CSN) report the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) said 232,000 additional job roles will be created over the next five years, revising up its 2015 estimate from 224,000.

The organisation also predicted the industry will see sustained output growth at a yearly average of 2.5% between 2016-2020, driven by infrastructure and private housing, which is actually down from the previous year’s prediction of 2.9%.

New nuclear power stations, including Hinkley Point, Somerset; and Wylfa, Anglesey; alongside rail projects such as Crossrail and HS2, are predicted to drive year-on-year infrastructure growth of 6.1%.

In addition to the overall job growth, the CITB said the industry now needed 4,320 new interior fit-out staff, 2,870 new bricklayers, and 2,510 new cladding staff each year between now and 2020. Despite this massive requirement for workers, the overall number of people employed in the industry is still predicted to be 5% below its 2008 peak by 2020, the CITB said.

Housebuilding output is forecasted in the report to return to pre-recession levels, reaching £26bn by 2020, while commercial building will grow 3.4% per year during the period.

Steve Radley, policy director at the CITB, said the positive forecast should inspire more people to begin apprenticeships and more firms to take apprentices on as “all types of training, and especially apprenticeships, will be vital to delivering this pipeline of work”.

Wales is to see the best growth in the UK at an average of 7.1% during the forecasted period on the back of the new nuclear power station Wylfa, the Wheelabrator energy recovery facility at Deeside, the Swansea Tidal Lagoon and an £800m biomass plant proposed for Anglesey.

It is followed by the South-west (4.4%), London (3.5%) and the North-west (2.6%).

In response to the ongoing skills challenge and projected job creation figures, the CITB plans this year to launch a series of new partnerships with local and regional training providers.

Radley added that the CITB also wants to attract back workers who have left the industry, as well as upskilling those already in the sector.