The number of apprentices coming in to the construction industry has dipped over the last few years and employers have struggled to keep up with surge in demand – driven mainly by the sharp increase in output in the private housing market.
Thankfully however, many now feel we are on the road to recovery. In fact, according to the UK’s Office of National Statistics, in the three months to the end of February 2014, construction output grew 0.3% compared with the previous quarter.
Overall the UK construction market is looking extremely promising. When looking at the statistics, there are between 1.7 and 2.5 million new homes set to be built by 2025, meaning that thousands of skilled workers are going to be required to build them. To help support this housing growth, construction work is also needed on Crossrail, which is Europe’s largest infrastructure project that will employ 14,000 people at its peak, up until 2015.
Encouraging new people into the industry and addressing this skills shortage is something we’ve long advocated. For instance, we work closely with many colleges in the UK, hosting seminars about what it means to work in construction, the different opportunities available as well as supporting initiatives at regional levels. We also regularly work with our partners to offer work experience at our merchant branches, which can prove invaluable providing the chance to build up skills, qualifications and confidence.
The construction sector is without doubt a fantastic market to work in – and with so many opportunities on the horizon, there has never been a better time to think about a career in construction.
To view an infographic looking at the UK construction market visit: http://www.jewsontools.co.uk/foundationplus/