THE region's construction industry is suffering one of the most difficult periods since the Second World War, with almost 8,000 jobs set to go between now and 2017.
According to figures released today, the North East’s construction industry saw a 9% fall in output in 2012 – meaning the region has remained in recession.
The region’s performance was among the worst in the UK and this is predicted to continue for at least another 10 years.
The Construction Skills Network (CSN) report – the industry’s annual skills forecast prepared by CITB-ConstructionSkills – shows the difficulties that the North East’s construction workers have faced.
However, the report also shows that the outlook for the North East is positive in other ways, with a healthy order book in place for the next four years.
According to the latest CSN figures, the North East’s construction industry will see annual growth of 1.7% between now and 2017, markedly higher than the national average of around 0.8%.
Steve Housden, sector strategy manager for CITB-ConstructionSkills for the North East, said: “There will be some growth anticipated based on the planning applications coming through.
“There are a number of construction activities in the North East including the £300m hospital in Teesside and the regeneration of Gateshead, which includes building nearly 2,500 homes as part of a £350m project.
“The infrastructure sector is also predicted to see a rise on average over the same period, boosted by the A1 upgrade plans outlined in the Government’s Autumn Statement.
“However, it’s important that local authorities use local building contractors wherever possible. This is something that we, as an organisation, will be pushing for over the next few years. We will also be looking at how the region’s housing sector can take advantage of the Government’s latest Green Deal where funding will become available.
“There are some significant projects taking place, including the new multi-million pound train-making facility in Newton Aycliffe, but it’s still a very difficult time for the industry.”