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CSN Industry Outlook - 2023-2027

Published 18 January 2023

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Although the UK economy is facing a recession in 2023, an extra 225,000 construction workers may be needed by 2027, according to the latest Construction Skills Network (CSN) report. The report provides insights into the UK construction economy and its future labour needs.

The data it produces highlights forecasted trends and how the industry is expected to change year-on-year, allowing governments and businesses to understand the current climate and plan for the future.

Looking at the next five years, the report released on Wednesday 18 January 2023, acknowledges the substantial recruitment and training challenges facing industry and has made the following key predictions for 2023 - 2027:


Additional workers will be required to meet UK construction demand by 2027 (45,000 workers per year, down from last year's figure of 53,200).

UK-wide growth

All nine English regions plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are set to experience growth however, recession expected in 2023 with slow growth returning in 2024.


The major sectors for demand are:

  • Private housing
  • Infrastructure
  • Repair and maintenance.

2.67 million

Workers in construction industry by 2027 if projected growth is met.

Tim Balcon, CITB Chief Executive said: “The latest CSN report clearly shows that despite current economic uncertainty, recruiting and developing the workforce remains vital to ensure the industry can contribute to economic growth.

“We know the next 18 months won’t be easy, however, I remain inspired by the construction industry’s resilience shown in the pandemic and throughout 2022.

“From building the homes the country needs, to constructing energy and transport infrastructure and retrofitting the built environment to help drive down energy bills and meet net zero targets, the need to recruit and retain talent in the sector has arguably never been greater.

“To bolster industry’s resilience CITB will strive to attract and train a diverse range of recruits for industry, equipping them with modern skills for rewarding construction careers. I look forward to working with and supporting industry and stakeholders in the challenging times ahead, emerging stronger when the recession ends.”

UK summary*

Access the full report including nation and region plans:

Construction Skills Network – UK 2023-2027 (PDF, 5.59MB)


Key predictions:

  • 1.0%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 19,550: Extra workers needed in Scotland by 2027
  • 3,910: Scotland’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £5bn Scottish Water’s capital investment plans: Main growth driver.

Construction Skills Network – Scotland 2023-2027 (PDF, 1.70 MB)

Northern Ireland

Key predictions:

  • 1.4%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 4,450: Extra workers needed in Northern Ireland by 2026
  • 890: Northern Ireland’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £700 Belfast Region City Deal: Main growth driver.

Construction Skills Network – Northern Ireland 2023-2027 (PDF, 1.57 MB)


Key predictions:

  • 1.1%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 9,100: Extra workers needed in Wales by 2027
  • 1,820: annual recruitment requirement for Wales
  • Major projects in Wales include the £1bn Shaping Swansea regeneration project.

Construction Skills Network – Wales 2023-2027 (PDF, 1.52 MB)

English regions

East Midlands

Key predictions:

  • 1.6%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 17,500: Extra workers needed in East Midlands by 2027
  • 3,500: East Midlands’ annual recruitment requirement
  • £1.5bn Midland Main Line Railway project will upgrade a 155km stretch of track from Market Harborough to Sheffield.

CSN – East Midlands 2023-2027 (PDF, 1.30 MB)

East of England

Key predictions:

  • 2.2%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 19,050: Extra workers needed in East of England by 2027
  • 3,810: East of England’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £18- 20bn Sizewell C project looking to construct a new nuclear power station.

CSN – East of England 2023-2027 (PDF, 1.31 MB)

Greater London

Key predictions:

  • 1.9%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 22,800: Extra workers needed in Greater London by 2027
  • 4,560: Greater London’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £8bn Thamesmead redevelopment and Brent Cross Town redevelopment represent two very large-scale long-term projects.

CSN – Greater London 2023-2027 (PDF, 1.30 MB)

North East*

Key predictions:

  • 0.9%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 7,900: Extra workers needed in North East by 2027
  • 1,580: North East’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £200m: Teesworks Freeport project.

CSN – North East 2023-2027 (PDF, 1.30 MB)

North West

Key predictions:

  • 1.1%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 25,400: Extra workers needed in North West by 2027
  • 5,080: North West’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £560m: The JV North consortium “building back fairer” framework to deliver new homes.

CSN – North West 2023-2027 (PDF, 1.30 MB)

South East

Key predictions:

  • 1.8%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 17,800: Extra workers needed in South East by 2027
  • 3,560: South East’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £8.2bn: Lower Thames Crossing project.

CSN – South East 2023-2027 (PDF, 1.32 MB)

South West

Key predictions:

  • 0.6%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 38,200: Extra workers needed in South West by 2027
  • 7,640: South West’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £25bn: Hinkley Point C nuclear new build.

CSN – South West 2023-2027 (PDF, 1.35 MB)

West Midlands

Key predictions:

  • 0.8%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 25,350: Extra workers needed in West Midlands by 2027
  • 5,070: West Midlands’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £96bn: worth of investment will go towards the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP).

CSN – West Midlands 2023-2027 (PDF, 1.30 MB)

Yorkshire and Humber

Key predictions:

  • 2.2%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 17,800: Extra workers needed in Yorkshire & the Humber by 2027
  • 3,560: Yorkshire & the Humber’s annual recruitment requirement
  • 3.7GW: of power generation capacity from Hornsea Two, Dogger Bank A, and Dogger Bank B wind farms.

CSN – Yorkshire and the Humber 2023-2027 (PDF, 1.31 MB)

How we create the CSN reports

An overview of the underpinning methods that are used by the CSN, working in partnership with Experian, to produce the suite of reports at a UK, national and regional level.

Construction Skills Network Explained (PDF, 1.18 MB)

Our methodology and service

Discover how we conduct our research and the services we provide to industry.

*Please note, the reports were prepared before the announcement that Britishvolt had gone into administration, with plans for the car battery Gigafactory in the North East of England being cancelled. We will take account of this when the forecast is next updated.