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Report sets out scale of civils skills shortage

Safety hard hat

More than 5,000 civil engineers will be needed to meet demand by the end of this decade, according to a report published today.

The Construction Industry Training Board found that 1,270 people were required to enter the profession every year to 2020 to replace those leaving and match rising levels of work.

Its Construction Skills Network report added that a further 250 civil engineering operatives would be required each year.

Infrastructure work levels were forecast to grow by 6.1% per year to 2020, led by a whopping 14% surge in output next year.

Nuclear new build schemes, the water sector’s asset management period six and the Thames Tideway Tunnel are expected to drive strong growth in the sector.

With the construction industry as a whole expected to grow in each of the next five years, the hunt is on for people to do the work.

Overall more than 230,000 jobs will be created in the UK construction industry over the next five years, according to the report.

Senior figures called for more apprenticeships.

CITB policy director Steve Radley said: “All types of training, and especially apprenticeships, will be vital to delivering this pipeline of work. This positive forecast should inspire more people to start apprenticeships, and more firms to take them on.”

Employment minister Priti Patel added: “With record employment and rising numbers of people working in construction, this is a fantastic time to take up apprenticeships and gain practical experience.
“Today’s report highlights the great opportunities on offer for people to take advantage of the 3M new apprenticeships this government is delivering.”

Infrastructure UK’s National Infrastructure Plan for Skills last summer set out a need to recruit and train 100,000 extra workers in the sector by 2020.

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