‘Low growth forecast for construction sector’

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The Yorkshire and Humber construction industry will suffer from low growth rates over the next five years, according to the CITB’s new Construction Skills Network forecasts.

Figures suggest that construction output in the region will increase at an average of 0.8 per cent over the period from 2015 to 2019 – well below the UK average of 2.9 per cent. Output is not expected to return to its 2004 peak over the next five years and employment growth will continue to lag, according to the survey. Despite this, the data suggests that between 2015 and 2019, an average of 2,340 workers will be required in the region per year to deliver the forecast growth.

All other regions, apart from the West Midlands, are expected to see output and employment growth. The overall sector’s performance is characterised by strong geographical variation with Greater London, the South East and the East of England continuing to fare better than Northern England.

Steve Housden, sector strategy manager for CITB in Yorkshire and Humber, said: “The interim figures show that Yorkshire and Humber is significantly behind most other regions and has not benefitted as much as it could from the recent surge of activity in the sector more widely. Stronger and more sustainable growth in Yorkshire and Humber is dependent on long-term infrastructure projects and continued investment.

“We welcome the recent announcement from the Government’s Affordable Housing Programme that over £200m is to be invested to help build over 8,000 homes in the North East and Yorkshire and Humber.”

Mr Housden said that employers were seeking “clarity and certainty” about future projects, so they could feel confident about training and planning.