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Construction sector boom as 10,000 new jobs expected in West Midlands

New report by Construction Industry Training Board suggests the region's sector will employ around 215,000 people by 2020 fuelled by retail and infrastructure projects

Wasabi in New Street Station has a great view of the new atrium roof over it and Grand Central
Major retail and infrastructure projects like Grand Central and New Street station are fuelling growth in the West Midlands construction sector

More than 10,000 jobs are set to be created in the West Midlands construction industry over the next five years.

New research by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) suggests around 215,000 people will be employed in the sector in the West Midlands by 2020, with an additional 10,200 people on the payroll.

The annual Construction Skills Network report forecasts that employment is set to rise at an annual average rate of one per cent between 2016 and 2020, with the labouring trade seeing the largest expansion at a rate of 3.7 per cent, followed by bricklayers (3.2 per cent), steel erectors (3.1 per cent) and civil engineers (three per cent).

Construction output in the region is predicted to grow at an annual average rate of 1.7 per cent, fuelled by a major investment in regeneration such as Paradise and Arena Central in Birmingham and the Friargate scheme to create a new business district next to Coventry station.

The commercial and infrastructure sectors are expected to make the largest contribution with respective annual average gains of 4.1 per cent and 2.6 per cent over the forecast period, the report says.

It is predicted the former would carry on receiving support from robust levels of consumer spending driving demand for new retail outlets such as Grand Central and The Mailbox, both of which reopened in Birmingham last year following multimillion-pound regenerations.

The CITB said infrastructure output should be buoyed by £1.8 billion worth of investment into the Midlands' roads network between 2015 and 2021.

The public non-housing and private housing sectors are also expected to register respectable annual average growth of 1.5 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively between 2016 and 2020.

In order to help deliver this pipeline of work, CITB has joined forces with the construction industry to expand 'Go Construct', a web portal which offers advice and information to people interested in a career in the construction industry.

Lorraine Gregory, partnership manager for the West Midlands, said: "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 West Midlands 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."



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