Will Brexit really impact on the Construction Sector?
With Brexit still a massive unknown, there has been a lot of uncertainty in the construction sector and what the future may hold across the board. Bodies such as the CITB and CSCS have been putting focus behind opening opportunities for those interested in a career in construction, with events like Open Doors Week aimed at inspiring young people to broaden their horizons and consider construction as a field to work in. Reception has been overall encouraging, but with a Brexit decision looming, has this been overshadowed?
Construction Sector Growth
The CITB released a statement in February that 168,500 new construction jobs are to come in the next 5 years, despite Brexit and worries over growth. If this forecast is correct, this would lead to 2.79m jobs by 2023, only 2% lower than the peak reached in 2008. With housing demand now the largest area in the construction sector, having overtaken infrastructure by just under 2%, it seems that fears over tighter post-Brexit migration rules are less than perhaps first anticipated.
Open Doors 2019, which took place 18-23 March, has seen some really positive feedback from all over the country across its social media channels and on local news pages, so it seems that enthusiasm to join the sector is keener than ever. In addition, data released from the Office of National Statistics shows that Britain is enjoying an employment boom, with the UK employment rate from Nov-18-Jan-19 estimated at 76.1% - the highest figure on record and higher than the same date range for 2018, which was 75.3%. From this, it is estimated that around 175 new jobs for carpenters, builders and bricklayers are created every day, with their skills in high demand across the country. With apprenticeships across the construction sector in all areas, from site supervision to bricklaying, plastering to steel work, our young people have more opportunities than ever before to enter the sector as an apprentice and build their career up from the inside.
Digitalisation in the Sector
In another news piece released by the CITB, advances in digital technology will also be critical to pushing the sector forward; by embracing cutting edge skills, both the existing workforce and new recruits will be more productive, find it easier to grow their own skillset and as such see improved mental wellbeing, as well as benefiting from improved health and safety on the job.
The CITB has already committed near on £7m to help the construction industry modernise in a digital environment, with the CLC Future Skills Strategy to provide more detail on how the next 5 years will look upon it’s publication in April 2019.
Whatever the future holds for the country and the construction sector, it’s apparent that efforts to counteract any potential impact in terms of recruitment and skill shortage are stronger than ever, with a positive reception from those involved with the ongoing events and training.