Construction industry needs growth now

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The announcement that the Government will be committing more than £100 billion towards UK infrastructure projects is a much-needed long-term boost for Sheffield’s construction industry.

But anything announced today will not benefit the industry for at least two years. The sector needs growth now.

The recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures and Construction Industry Training Board (CITB’s) own labour market intelligence report, the Construction Skills Network, show that the UK output fell 9 per cent last year and is unlikely, without help, to attain 2007 levels until 2022. 60,000 construction jobs were lost in 2012 with a further 45,000 expected to go this year.

‘Shovel-ready’ projects in the repair and maintenance sector should be receiving similar investment with their ability to create jobs in the shorter term. Every £100m invested in repair and maintenance takes 3,200 construction workers off the dole.

Similarly, in the Sheffield City Region local enterprise partnership (LEP), 560,500 homes are in need of repair and maintenance over the next three years which will deliver 19,400 jobs for the area.

CITB is urging construction employers to sign up to its industry-led Construction4Growth campaign.

Steve Housden

Sector strategy manager for CITB in Yorkshire and Humber