Welsh construction is set to grow faster than any other part of the UK, according to the latest forecast by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) released today.
The new CITB research estimates an annual average growth rate of 4.6%, more than triple the growth of the national UK average of 1.3%. It is also double the rate of the top English regions of the South West and North West, which are set for 2% growth.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Construction Skills Network (CSN) predicts Wales as having the strongest growth rates across the UK. Infrastructure remains the main driver, with a number of energy and transport projects in the pipeline including, Wylfa Newydd, M4 relief road and the South Wales Metro.
It is predicted that there will be 12,250 new jobs created over the next five years. The forecast shows a particularly strong demand for civil engineers, surveyors, bricklayers and carpenters.
Other areas providing a boost to the sector in Wales includes both the private and public housing sectors, with Welsh Government setting a target of 20,000 new affordable homes by 2020/21.
Like other parts of the UK this year’s predicted growth figures have taken a slight dip from last year’s forecast (2017-2021) of 6.2%. This is due in part to changes in the timings of projects and the electrification of the Cardiff to Swansea rail line no longer taking place.
Mark Bodger, Partnerships Director for CITB Wales, said: “The forecast in Wales remains strong and shows the confidence in the Welsh construction sector to deliver major projects.
“A skilled workforce will be at the forefront in delivering the variety of schemes planned and working with our industry and government we want to ensure the relevant training is delivered here in Wales.
“The opening of the new Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) this year will play a significant role in developing the future skills needs for our nation. The centre will aim to deliver training to over a thousand people per year, alongside additional training in CWIC hubs across the country.”
“We have the projects, we are developing the skills, but what our industry needs now is certainty in the pipeline of work forecast. That will allow Welsh businesses to plan their skills needs and take full advantage of the positive outlook for the sector.”