25 JAN 2023


New figures from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) have revealed that despite a backdrop of economic challenge and rising costs of materials and labour, around 225,000 extra workers will be required to meet construction demand within the next four years.

If the projected growth is met, 2.67m people will work in the construction industry by 2027.

To support this need, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has invested almost £50m of levy to support over 22,000 apprentices to help them join the industry.

The CITB’s annual Construction Skills Network (CSN) report shows that 44,980 extra workers a year (224,900 in total) will be needed between now and 2027.

Tim Balcon, CITB chief executive, said the report shows that “the need to recruit and retain talent in the sector has never been greater”.

“To bolster industry’s resilience, CITB will strive to attract and train a diverse range of recruits for industry, equipping them with modern skills for rewarding construction careers,” he added. 

The report claims construction output is set to grow for all nations and regions; however, recession is expected this year with slow growth returning in 2024.

The major sectors for demand are private housing, infrastructure, and repair and maintenance.

Training, development and upskilling remain major priorities for the industry. CITB is investing in apprenticeships, launching a range of targeted initiatives, and working collaboratively with industry, to help the construction sector have a skilled, competent and inclusive workforce.

CITB continues to provide targeted support to SMEs through grant and funding and through support in accessing training and funding. Since April 2022, CITB’s engagement team has supported SMEs on 26,976 occasions. 

They also offer funding aimed specifically at smaller companies such as the Skills and Training Fund. Companies with fewer than 250 PAYE employees can access up to £25,000 annually (depending on their size). 

By the end of quarter two 2022, £3.9m had been invested in companies via this fund. CITB’s Scottish Academy for Construction Opportunities (SACO) commission has awarded £1.3m across the Highlands and Islands; while England Construction Opportunities (ECO) commission has awarded a total of just over £1.8m.

Experience Hubs across England and Wales are creating a talent pipeline to meet the needs of local construction employers and to support construction career opportunities for people from local communities. 

Further CITB initiatives range from localised solutions for funding and training like the employer network pilot project, available to more than 3,800 levy-registered construction businesses across five locations in England, Scotland and Wales; to a £10.5m leadership and management commission which will provide funded courses for businesses of all sizes to equip supervisors and managers with a recognised leadership and management qualification. 

Training remains a key focus, so CITB has invested in National Construction College (NCC) sites, to meet the industry’s specialist training needs. 

By focusing the curriculum on unmet demand, they have seen a 25% increase in the number of people trained to date. Their data shows that 96% of CITB apprentices have secured employment or progressed in education, with over 90% remaining in the sector. 

Click here to read the full Construction Skills Network report.


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