A report released today by the Construction Skills Network suggests that employment in the UK construction sector is to fall during 2012, with 45,000 skilled workers and tradespeople losing their jobs. Figures also show that by 2016 output and employment will still be 5% below their 2007/8 peaks despite a predicted increase in construction in late 2013 onwards.
Judy Lowe, Deputy Chairman at the Industry Training Board and Sector Skills Council, comments: “The Construction Skills Network clearly shows that our industry is in for a tough time. Infrastructure investment, the first nuclear power plants and the revival of private housing will help, but the hard fact remains that despite an increase in growth from 2013 onwards, output and employment levels in construction will not have reached their 2007/8 levels by the end of the forecast in 2016.”
Changes to working practices are being blamed for a portion of this shift, with manual trades being worst affected. By 2016, demand for painters and decorators is expected to be 6,300 below 2010 figures, manual labourers 3,000 below and bricklayers 2,500 below.