Infrastructure Projects ‘Key’ To Construction Growth

The construction industry is set to grow in the next five years, but only if there are no delays to major infrastructure projects in the UK.

That’s the conclusion of the latest report released by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), which stressed the need for the likes of HS2 and the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant to stay on track.

In its construction skills network report, it predicted 1.7 per cent growth for the sector over the next five years, and estimates that 179,000 jobs will be created as a result.

While this is a better outlook than was predicted in the immediate aftermath of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, the CITB highlighted the importance of three major projects in achieving this growth – HS2, and the Hinkley Point C and Wylfa Newydd nuclear power stations.

Steve Radley, director of policy at the CITB, commented: “These huge projects give our industry a great chance to seize the initiative on skills and start investing in the next generation and upskilling the current one.”

Last month, transport secretary Chris Grayling stressed the importance of HS2 to the UK’s engineering and construction sectors, stating that the project will create 25,000 jobs and lead to 2,000 new apprenticeships.

He made the statement as the government announced its search for a company to design, build and maintain a fleet of high-speed trains that will be used on the network.

Mr Grayling added that the government had been in discussions with UK suppliers to ensure they are “in the best possible position” to land the contracts available.

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