A new report out today reveals a massive £13bn pipeline of work in the city region area, thanks to major new housing, infrastructure and commercial building projects.
The main drivers of this demand are new housing projects around the region, transport and infrastructure investment, flood risk management as well as commercial projects such as Leeds South Bank, an area of proposed development which could regenerate 180 hectares of land that lies south of the River Aire that would double the size of Leeds city centre and provide more than 35,000 job. Luxury coat manufacturer Burberry is among the businesses in line to relocate there. Other areas around the city region that have driven the growth include regeneration projects for Castleford Waterfront and the Kirkgate areas of Wakefield.
The research, by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), reveals a particular need for civil engineers, labourers, plant operatives and logistics professionals.
There is also high level of demand for people with cross-cutting skills like project management and finance. CITB’s analysis predicts demand an additional 13,000 workers, bringing the region’s construction workforce to 120,000.
In addition, more than 2,000 bricklayers, 3,000 painters and decorators, and 4,000 process managers are needed across the LEP area – which covers Leeds, Bradford, York, Kirklees, Barnsley, Wakefield, Selby, Calderdale, Harrogate and Craven.
The Construction, Labour and Skills report is being launched today at the Leeds College of Building, where construction firms, training providers and other key stakeholders will come together to devise a strategy for meeting this demand.
Jeremy Wright, CITB Partnerships Manager for Leeds City Region, said: “This report shows that there are real opportunities in construction in the area and beyond. Young people considering their career options should see that there are fantastic opportunities to be had in construction.
“This research reveals there is a strong pipeline of work in the region. We need people out there on site, but we also need a whole range of people doing vital back office and support jobs.
“We look forward to working with the industry, training providers, and government to make sure we have the skilled workforce we need to get all these exciting projects built.”
Gerald Jennings, president of Leeds Chamber, told The Yorkshire Post: “This uplifting research highlights the fantastic opportunities available across our region for young people looking to enter the construction sector.
“It also sends out a strong message for greater cooperation between the worlds of business and education in ensuring consistent and independent careers advice is delivered to all schools across the region.
“To deliver these projects we need a large and skilled workforce and the private sector working in partnership with our public sector has the ability to ensure we achieve that and benefit both this generation and the next”.