The Construction Skills Network – the Skills Council and Industrial Training Board for the sector – has predicted that the construction industry will take until 2022 to reach the level of activity just before the recession started. The network describes the present situation as “one of the most difficult periods since World War II”.
Last year 60,000 jobs were lost and output fell by 9 per cent, mainly owing to public spending cuts. Employment is expected to fall every year until 2016, reaching 2.36 million, the lowest level in the industry since 2000. Public sector construction fell 20 per cent, infra-structure (roads, bridges, etc) by 15 per cent and private housing by 5 per cent. ■