There will only be modest growth in construction in the West Midlands over the next five years, it was claimed yesterday.
The third annual Construction Skills Network report, published by ConstructionSkills, found that, despite a strong performance in some sectors, growth will average just 0.6 per cent per year, much lower than the 1.7 per cent UK average.
There will also be low growth in construction employment between now and 2010, followed by a fall in 2011 and 2012.
The latest report, focusing on construction activity between 2008 and 2012, shows that growth in the West Midlands will be primarily as a result of investment in education. Work will continue on the Government's Building Schools for the Future programme. This, combined with a number of other further and higher education construction projects will aid growth in the sector.
The £550 million redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station will also boost construction growth in the region. Two large PFI health projects are planned between 2008 and 2012, worth almost £1 billion in total. Work is also well ahead on the £400 million Snowhill city centre development project in Birmingham.
As with most other regions of the UK, the private housing sector in the West Midlands is likely to see no real growth over the period, due to the tighter credit regime, precipitated by financial institutions' exposure to the sub-prime mortgage market. However the West Midlands seems to have suffered a downturn in the sector earlier than most other regions.
Construction employment in the region is expected to rise by 8,970. The likes of surveyors and civil and mechanical engineers will be in greatest demand.
Across the UK we are likely to see a peak in activity in 2011, followed by a year of little or no growth in 2012.
Output growth rates will vary from a high of 3.5 per cent in Northern Ireland to a low of 0.5 per cent in the South West Development continues to be South East-centric, driven by the Olympic build and related projects, as well as major infrastructure schemes such as Thameslink and Crossrail.
The Government's pledge to build 240,000 new homes each year by 2016 will be seen most in the South East and East of England.