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A Bright Future For UK Construction

After the devastating collapse of Carillion earlier this year there is some positive news on the horizon for the UK construction industry. A new report has been released which predicts there will be job growth of 1.3% per year. That’s a whopping 158,000 new jobs over the next 5 years, an average of over 30,000 each year.

This prediction comes from a new report by The Construction Industry Training Board or the CITB for short. They predict that 15,350 joiners/carpenters and 9,350 labourers will be needed as more homes are built in the UK.

craftsmen jobs in the UK

One of the biggest growth areas will be in professional and managerial jobs as the industry looks to boost productivity. Adding all of this up means that the CITB predict that by 2022 there will be 2.77 million people working in the UK construction industry. So, despite the Carillion collapse and the threat of Brexit uncertainty, it looks like the UK Construction Industry is fighting back and will grow.

The Director of Policy at the CITB, Steve Radley has said that whilst growth is slightly down on 2017, the future is looking more ‘balanced’ with both housing and infrastructure significantly expanding and the range of job opportunities growing.

Breakdown by Trade

For manual trades, there’s mixed predictions in this report. Aside from Carpenters and Labourers who come out on top, in the next 5 years there’s estimated to be a need for nearly 7,000 Plumbers, 6,000 Bricklayers and 3,000 Roofers. Here’s the full breakdown by trade:

  • Wood Trades 15,350
  • Labourers 9,350
  • Painters & Decorators 7,900
  • Bricklayers 6,200
  • Plasterers: 3,250
  • Roofers: 2,950
  • Floorers: 800
construction hats

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Nations and Regions

It’s a mixed picture both across regions and across borders with local economic performances tending to play a big part in forecasts. There is good news for Wales who lead the output growth for the fourth consecutive year whilst Scotland is predicted to remain flat. Here is the full 'Annual Recruitment Requirement' by region and country:


  • North East - 840
  • North West - 5,470
  • Yorkshire & Humber - 2,010
  • East Midlands - 1,720
  • West Midlands - 3,390
  • East of England - 4,540
  • Greater London - 2,010
  • South East - 2,250
  • South West - 4,480

Scotland - 2,130

Wales - 2,450

Northern Ireland - 310

There is plenty of estimates and figures to get your head around but you may be asking what it all actually means? Well, the Chief Executive of the CITB, Sarah Beale has said that in order to recruit the extra 158 thousand construction workers in the UK, the construction industry must do a couple of things. First up, there needs to be a boost in apprenticeships and work placements. Secondly, work must be done to reduce the skills supply gap and ‘accelerate the pace of modernisation’. In short, that means the construction industry needs to pull its finger out and invest in training and resources to upskill a new workforce. Otherwise, the jobs will be there but the skilled worker won’t be!

Want to read the report for yourself? Get it here.

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