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Skills to build: creating the houses and jobs our communities need

This 2015 paper looks at trends in the construction industry’s demand for skills, compared with trends in the number of qualifications awarded to take jobs in the construction sector.

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Among other things, it finds that:

• Government has set out an ambitious house building and infrastructure programme which will put demands on the construction industry. 

• Employment in the construction sector is growing at a slower rate than in the economy as a whole despite it being a major contributor to growth. Record low numbers of construction workers are unemployed, suggesting little spare labour capacity. 

• The construction industry’s forecasted annual recruitment needs have increased for the last three years consecutively, up from 29,050 a year in 2013, to 44,690 a year from 2015. 

• More than half (56 per cent) of skilled trade vacancies in the construction sector were hard-to-fill in 2013, up from 46 per cent in 2011. In contrast, just 19 per cent of skilled trade vacancies across the economy were hard-to-fill, down from 21 per cent in 2011.