A total of 28,200 more recruits will be needed for the West Midlands construction industry by 2010 - 7,050 workers per year - according to a new report.
The Construction Skills Network report, published yesterday by Construction-Skills, forecast the sector would continue to experience strong growth, with output in the region expected to rise by an annual average of 1.9 per cent year on year.
It said the West Midlands had a need for both manual labour and managerial roles including carpenters and joiners, electricians, managers, clerical staff, architects, engineers, and other design and technical professionals.
The number of white collar workers the industry needs to recruit every year to 2010 in the region is forecast to be 2,900 - over 40 per cent of its annual workforce requirement.
However construction growth is expected to shift from the North to the South and East, driven by strong growth in the new build sector that includes some £36 billion of large projects including the Kings Cross redevelopments, ports projects at Shellhaven, Felixstowe and Harwich, the East London Line extension, Victoria Station redevelopment and the Olympics and Thames Gateway programmes.
The report, contrary to popular myth, says the indications at this stage are that the Olympics programme will not impact on the successful completion of regional construction projects.
Although the Olympics programme is high profile, has a value of around £2.5 billion over the next seven years and will need an average workforce of 5,000 each year, peaking at 9,300 in 2010, it is not enough on its own to significantly boost output. It will account for only 0.2 per cent of the UK's total construction workforce between now and 2010.
The report says the West Midlands construction industry will experience growth across all sectors.
This will be driven by the effect of the M1 widening and water and sewerage programmes.
The region's commercial sector is forecast to see the strongest performance rising by 5.7 per cent on average each year thanks to redevelopment projects.