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Construction and the Built Environment

Future Trends

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  • Although there are currently problems in the construction industry - and in particular in the housing, commercial and industrial markets - caused by the downturn in the housing market and lack of investment opportunities, moderate employment growth is still predicted for the industry as the sector recovers. Current prediction is that growth will be an average of around 2 percent per annum over the period up to 2020.
  • The Government has committed to a whole range of funded or part-funded projects over the medium term such as the 2012 Olympic build, new community housing, rail network projects such as the one at Birmingham New Street and environmental commitments such as the funding or part-funding of energy conservation in the current housing stock. This will support growth in the industry.
  • General construction workers will increasingly need to offer a range of skills - as the sector moves towards more use of factory-built (prefabricated) components.  This move means that new builds will be quicker and need on-site workers who have a range of skills rather than specialist skills at a high level. This will mean less growth in some of the traditional skilled construction trades. However, there will also be a big replacement demand as many skilled craft workers are nearing retirement age. The estimated replacement demands for this group are nearly one third of a million.

Projection figures from 'Working Futures 2010-2020' Warwick Institute of Employment Research -