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UK Construction Industry: Boom or Bust?


The Construction Products Association (CPA) released predictions earlier this year for at least four more years of sustained growth for the construction industry.

UK economic growth as a whole has slowed to 2.5% according to reports by PWC; however this figure still represents the strongest growth rate of larger European economies. The construction sector is set for 4.9% growth in 2015, which is almost double the rate of growth of the UK economy as a whole. Furthermore by 2019 close to 22% growth is expected in the construction sector. These figures represent close to £27 billion worth of extra economic activity, which will be driven by both private and public sector construction.

The main sub-sectors driving this growth are private housing, commercial and infrastructure. Annual 10% rises in infrastructure output will generate a surge in growth at nearly twice the rate of annual inflation. Of course there are potential stumbling blocks, namely a drop in public housing and a shortage of skills needed to sustain the sector growth.

Reports have identified that the skills shortage has mainly affected the house building sector - a sector which has been earmarked for big things over the course of the next five years. The UK government plans to build 1 million additional homes in England by 2020; however there is some scepticism over whether this level of growth is obtainable. Forecasts by the National Housing Federation showed that close to 1 million new home builds were needed between 2011 and 2014, but in reality there was a shortfall of around 500,000 homes. At the moment the current rate of house building in the UK is not enough to meet the ambitious growth target of 1 million new homes in the next five years. It will take more than just a strong statement of intention from the government; it will also take real investment and a comprehensive framework to support this growth.

When it comes to recruiting for projects,Tim Pereira, Senior Sales Manager at g2 Recruitment believes that the skills shortage should not be a cause for concern: “with access to the right candidates there’s no reason why companies should not be able to recruit talented staff.”

g2 Recruitment has seen a steady influx of demand over the last two years for construction skills right across the spectrum. Amongst the most sought after candidates have been quantity surveyors, estimators and site managers. With at least 100 contract and permanent roles always live and advertised across our various platforms, as well as an internal candidate database of over 500,000 active candidates, g2 is perfectly positioned to help both candidates and clients operating within the construction industry. 

Source: Construction Enquirer