Figures from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) today reveal that there will be nearly 26,000 construction jobs created in the South West over the next five years, with sector employment reaching record highs of over 257,000 by 2020.

CITB’s Construction Skills Network (CSN) report predicts that the biggest rises in the region will be logistics workers, with an annual average growth of 4.3%, followed by architects (3.9%) and other construction managers (3.4%).

Following a recent slowdown in 2014, growth is expected to return to the region this year and average 4.4% annually over the forecast period. This will be driven by a very strong 14.2% expansion in infrastructure projects – with the new Hinckley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset leading the way.  

The proposed construction of Avon power station, a gas fired power facility in Bristol, could add a further £1.4bn to construction output in the forecast period if it goes ahead. The Government road-building programme across the region should contribute £2bn.

The commercial and private housing sectors are expected to grow at annual average rates of 3.9% and 3.4% respectively in the 2016 to 2020 period. Housing will benefit from a number of large home-building developments across the region including the £2.3bn Westwork affordable housing framework scheme in Bath.

To help deliver this pipeline of 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.

Roger Stone, CITB sector strategy manager for the South West, 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 solid, sustained growth, to inspire more people across the South West 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.”