There are a lot of experts making predictions for the construction sector in 2020, especially with all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the general elections. As news emerges from No. 10, forecasts change, but on the whole we’ve found the following predictions to remain fairly constant.
- Real Estate will remain an attractive investment
- Underlying demand for new build housing will continue, with help for buyers through the Help to Buy scheme.
- Build to Rent will also be a game changer in the next 5 years
- Particular real estate growth in the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands
- Slow construction growth in the next 12 months, with Brexit uncertainty being named as the cause
- That said, growth is still forecast, at a rate of 0.5%
- Drops in commercial sector output as spending shifts to online purchasing, with less retailers looking to open new stores or offices.
- Infrastructure forecast to rise by 3.7%
Construction Skills in 2020
There will be a continued demand for construction skills going into 2020 and investment will continue into ensuring the workforce can meet this demand. This will include current workers and new entrants into the sector.
We have covered various investments into plugging the skills gap on our blog previously, and it is certain that the monies invested previously will not be allowed to go to waste; for example, the £20m+awarded by the Construction Skills Fund in 2018 to 26 construction hubs across England is currently being spent on ensuring that over 15,000 individuals are being trained so when their training finishes in March 2020, they will hit the job market fully trained in their respective area. It has been estimated that around 7,000 of these individuals will be offered a permanent job by the end of their training.
Construction Skills training hubs are still being built across the country, such as the one opened in October this year in Wolverhampton. £100,000 was invested in the build by the West Midlands Combined Authority and the aim is to put trainees through a 4-week course including hands on experience, designed to help them take their first step onto a career in construction – 7/20 of the first ‘batch’ of trainees who sat the course found work upon finishing the course.
Internal workplace training is also key; 44 UK organisations were awarded the Princess Royal Training Award this year for exceptional training and development programmes for staff within the organisation. Amongst these were 6 construction companies; Balfour Beatty, Bouygues, Barlows (UK) Ltd, Bouygues Energies & Services UK, Walker Construction and Cyfle Building Skills Ltd.
As of November 5th, the government has launched the UK’s biggest ever investment into an offsite manufacturer to boost production (£30m into ilke Homes), appointing Mark Farmer as Champion for Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) in housebuilding. Part of this is to ensure the UK becomes the global leader in housing standards.
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