CSN Industry Outlook - 2022-2026

23 June 2022

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Over a quarter of a million extra construction workers may be needed by 2026, according to the latest Construction Skills Network (CSN) report. The report provides insights into the UK construction economy and its future labour needs.

The data it produces highlights forecasted trends and how the industry is expected to change year-on-year, allowing governments and businesses to understand the current climate and plan for the future.

Looking at the next five years, the report released on Tuesday 14 June 2022, acknowledges the substantial recruitment and training challenges facing industry and has has made the following key predictions for 2022 – 2026:


Additional workers will be required to meet UK construction demand by 2026 (53,200 workers per year, up from last year’s figure of 43,000)

UK-wide growth

All nine English regions plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are set to experience growth resulting in increased demand for workers


As demand soars most affected sectors:

  • Private housing
  • Infrastructure
  • Repair and maintenance

2.78 million

Workers employed in construction industry by 2026 if projected growth is met.

CITB CEO Tim Balcon, said: “Construction is vital in supporting the backbone of the UK economy. These future growth projections are encouraging after the stalling effects of the pandemic. However, this is set against a current backdrop of higher energy costs, material shortages, and associated price inflation that is currently hitting companies across the sector.

‚ÄúRecruitment and developing a highly skilled workforce will be by far the construction industry‚Äôs biggest challenges over the next five years. However, industry has a lot to offer and needs to use its many strengths to attract and retain top talent in a competitive recruitment landscape‚ÄĚ.

The largest increases in annual demand will be for occupations such as carpenters/joiners and construction managers, along with a range of technical roles. These include electronics technicians, civil engineering technicians, estimators and valuers, as well as office-based support staff.

CITB CEO Tim Balcon talks about CSN 2022-26

UK summary

Access the full report including nation and region plans: Construction Skills Network ‚Äď UK 2022-2026

How CITB create the CSN reports

An overview of the underpinning methods that are used by the CSN, working in partnership with Experian, to produce the suite of reports at a UK, national and regional level: Construction Skills Network Explained (PDF, 204 KB)

CITB methodology and service

Discover how CITB conduct their research and the services we provide to industry.