Construction in the North West is booming in the face of Brexit with 25,000 new jobs expected over the next five years, according to a major forecast out today (8 February) from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
The annual Construction Skills Network (CSN) five-year forecast reveals that massive infrastructure projects – such as Liverpool2 that will more than double the carrying capacity of the Port of Liverpool and the £1 billion expansion of Media City in Salford – will drive growth of 2.5% each year from 2017-2021. This is significantly above the UK average of 1.7% growth.
There will be high demand for traditional trades with an extra 3,450 carpenters, 3,250 electricians, and 1,900 bricklayers needed. There is also demand in white collar jobs with 550 architects, 1,000 process managers and 250 senior managers required.
Infrastructure is bolstering the North West’s construction industry as its best performing sector. The CSN forecasts an annual average increase of 7.9% in infrastructure projects in the region over the five year period. These include the enabling works for Moorside nuclear power station in Cumbria, the ports development at Liverpool and Wirral Waters, a six-lane toll bridge across the River Mersey and the HS2 Rail development.
Despite the sector being open to vulnerability due to uncertainty following Brexit, commercial building is predicted to see an annual yearly rise of 2.3% until 2021. Playing a key part in this increase is the BBC’s Northern home in Manchester and the new IKEA at Cuerden, just outside Preston. The new commercial development at Cuerden will encourage new businesses to the area and facilitate significant investment infrastructure including highways, pedestrian and cycle routes and improvements to public transport in the area.
The number of public non-housing projects in the pipeline is set to increase by 4.1% per annum for the next five years. Work at the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University along with several other smaller scale developments are driving this steady rise in output. The Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal is set to receive £434 million of public sector funding which will expand transport infrastructure in Preston and South Ribble and allow the development of more than 17,000 new homes over the next ten years.
Gillian Brewin, Partnerships Manager in the North West at CITB, says:
“Construction in the North West is well and truly booming and the outlook for the next five years looks prosperous. With so many new developments planned or underway, there will be thousands of new work opportunities opening up.
“Whether you are interested in onsite construction jobs, or = office-based roles, there are jobs in the region for you.
I would encourage anyone thinking about a career in construction to check out the Go Construct website. It provides all you need to know about career opportunities and the wide range of roles available in construction and the built environment.”