AFTER an already challenging few years, the construction industry looks set to go through another upheaval.
A recent report showed national construction levels will fall by 3% during 2012 with a further 45,000 skilled workers and trades people expected to lose their jobs.
The annual Construction Skills Network report, conducted by CITB- ConstructionSkills in partnership with a number of construction employers from across the UK, calculated a five-year forecast for the industry.
The main points of the findings show that although growth is expected, it will be slow and uneven.
In the first quarter of 2011, the number of people employed in the construction industry fell to just over two million, the lowest quarterly total in nine years.
Although it is stated that the industry should begin to see some growth in 2013, by 2016 employment will still be 5% below the industry’s high of 2007/8. According to The Office of National Statistics, in the first quarter of this year construction output fell nationally by 4.8% compared with the final quarter of 2011.
The area hit hardest was infrastructure, which saw output decline by 16% quarter on quarter. As expected, public sector output decreased, with public spending cuts beginning to filter through.
Figures also show that the volume of new work fell by 5.6% compared with the same quarter in 2011 with only the private housing sector seeing a slight growth of 1.3 %.
As in other professions, our region seems to be struggling more than other places with the output of the building industry in the North East likely to fall by 6 % from its current £3bn, around twice more than the national average. It’s estimated that this will equal around 2,500 jobs being lost in our region.
Speaking to colleague John Nielsen who through his chairmanship of Construction Industry Council North East (CICNE) has met with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) recently, it seems not everything is as dull as the report makes out.
John commented on the fact that construction is still a major part of our region’s economy, making up to 10 per cent of the regional GDP. The NELEP has been formed to create growth in the region and with this in mind they are developing a co-ordinated response to infrastructure requirements.
For more information on Constructing Excellence in the North East, please contact chief executive, Catriona Lingwood, on 0191 374 0233 or email@example.com.
Catriona Lingwood, chief executive of Constructing Excellence North East