The construction industry must find more than a quarter of a million extra workers by 2026 to keep pace with demand, says the Construction Industry Training Board.
According to the organisation’s latest Construction Skills Network report, an extra 266,000 workers – 53,200 per year – will be required to meet projected UK construction demands.
Growth is forecast across the whole of the UK with private housing, infrastructure and repair and maintenance most affected by staff shortages.
The CSN report says construction employment could reach a high of nearly 2.78 million workers by 2026 if projected growth is met.
The largest increases in annual demand are expected to be for carpenters and joiners, construction managers and a range of technical roles including electronics technicians, civil engineering technicians, estimators and valuers and office-based support staff.
The report comes as the CITB urges industry and government to come together in refreshing the way the industry hires and trains, making construction an attractive place for everyone to work.
CITB CEO Tim Balcon, said: “Construction is vital in supporting the backbone of the UK economy. These future growth projections are encouraging after the stalling effects of the pandemic. However, this is set against a current backdrop of higher energy costs, material shortages, and associated price inflation that is currently hitting companies across the sector. The industry has a lot to offer, and there is so much potential to engage in a career that sees you enter the industry as an apprentice and leave it as a CEO. The industry needs to use its many strengths to attract and retain top talent in a competitive recruitment landscape.”
He added: “Training routes into the industry will be a focus for us and we have to attract and retain those that are under-represented – in particular women and those from ethnic minorities. It will be a major task, but construction needs to evolve and reach its untapped potential for the national economy and our competitiveness on a global scale.”
The CITB’s latest business plan, launched last month, showed how it will invest more than £233m across Britain to support construction throughout 2022/23.
Key challenges will be responding to skills demands, developing the capacity and capability of construction training provision and addressing future skills needs.
CITB will create more accessible routes into construction, with a focus on apprenticeships providing first-hand experience of working on site through work experiences, tasters, and on-site experience hubs.
This year, a total of £110m in training grants reaching 14,000 businesses is available. This includes £60.3m in direct grants to employers who take on apprentices, supporting the industry to address its current and future need for a skilled workforce.