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CITB forecast: Jobs and growth for East of England despite Brexit

""Almost 20,000 new construction jobs will be up for grabs in the East of England over the next five years, new figures from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) reveal.

The most in-demand trades include electricians, with an extra 2,500 needed, plus over 1,600 painters and decorators) and 1,600 carpenters according to the new Construction Skills Network (CSN) forecast for 2017-2021.

There will also be a need for an additional 1,100 civil engineers, 950 senior managers and 550 architects.

This jobs growth in the region will be driven by big infrastructure projects, with this sector set to grow by over 4% each year until 2021.

Key projects include: 

  • A new dual carriageway to be built between the A14 in Ellington and Milton Junction on the Cambridge bypass, worth £1.5 billion
  • A renewable energy park in Fengate, Peterborough, worth £450 million, due for completion in 2019
  • Plans to expand the Port of Felixstowe by 2020
  • £193 million of flood defence work in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, Lowestoft, Suffolk and the Thames Estuary, Essex.

Big commercial projects, such as the expansion of Lakeside Shopping Centre in Essex, set for a 2019 completion date, are also giving the region a boost.

Private housing is also set for growth, with big developments including 950 homes in Fakenham, Norfolk, the £345 million Trumpington Meadows site on the River Cam, and large-scale housing projects in Thurrock, Essex.

Construction output for the region is set to grow by 1% each year, due to a projected slowdown in overall activity in the years following the EU referendum vote.

Andy Barron, Partnerships Manager for the East of England at CITB, said: “It’s great to see that there will be growth in construction jobs over the next five years. This is not just in traditional trades but in a range of office jobs which people might not always associate with construction but are absolutely vital.

“It’s good news that infrastructure is leading the way, because we know that other economic benefits often happen off the back of this investment.

“While we are seeing something of a slowdown in overall activity, the construction sector in the region remains solid.

“Anyone interested in a construction career should check out Go Construct, to find out more about the wealth of different roles and professions available.”

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