New figures from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) today reveal that construction output in the South East increased by 3% in 2014, and is predicted to achieve further growth in the period up to 2020 at an annual average rate of 0.9%.

CITB’s annual Construction Skills Network (CSN) report predicts output will be boosted in the short-term by the start of work on the £140m warehouse and distribution facility in Kingsnorth in Kent as well as GlaxoSmithKline’s new £100m pharmaceutical facility in Worthing.

However, construction employment in the South East is predicted to expand at an average rate of 0.1% between 2016 and 2020, notably below the UK rate of 1.1%.

The region’s total employment is projected to rise by approximately 2,100 in the five years to 2020, from an estimated level of 377,590 in 2015 to 379,700 in 2020.

By the end of the forecast period total employment is projected to be around 8% below its 2008 peak.

Logistics (3.2%), plant operatives (2.4%) and scaffolders (1.6%) are the occupations set to achieve the strongest growth in this period.

To deliver the pipeline of planned work, CITB has joined forces with the construction industry to expand Go Construct, a web portal that helps people find out about the range of great construction career opportunities available.

Janette Welton-Pai, CITB’s partnerships manager for the South East commented:

“We can’t build the Britain we want without apprenticeships and the careers they lead to. That’s why we want these new statistics, showing modest growth, to inspire more people across the South East to start apprenticeships and more construction firms to take them on.

“We also want to attract workers who have left the industry to return, and upskill those in it, so we can deliver major projects and new housing faster and better.”