Figures from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) today reveal that construction employment in the West Midlands is set to rise by 10,200 in the next five years, with an estimated total of 215,000 jobs predicted in the region by 2020. CITB’s Construction Skills Network (CSN) report forecasts that employment is set to rise at an annual average rate of 1% between 2016 and 2020, with the labouring trade seeing the largest expansion at a rate of 3.7%, followed by bricklayers (3.2%), steel erectors (3.1%) and civil engineers (3%).

Construction output in the region is predicted to grow at an annual average rate of 1.7%. The commercial and infrastructure sectors are expected to make the largest contribution with respective annual average gains of 4.1% and 2.6% over the forecast period. The former should carry on receiving support from robust levels of consumer spending driving demand for new retail outlets. One of the largest retail-orientated projects is the £500m redevelopment of Birmingham city centre. Infrastructure output should be buoyed by £1.8bn worth of investment into the Midlands’ roads network between 2015 and 2021.

The public non-housing and private housing sectors are also expected to register respectable annual average growth of 1.5% and 1.3% respectively between 2016 and 2020. One the largest projects for the former’s university sub-sector is the £80m development of the University of Warwick’s National Automotive Innovation Campus on University Road, Coventry.

To help deliver this pipeline of work, CITB has joined forces with the construction industry to expand Go Construct, a web portal that helps people find out about the range of great construction career opportunities available.

Lorraine Gregory, partnership manager, for the West Midlands, commented: “We can’t build the Britain we want without apprenticeships and the careers they lead to. That’s why we want these new statistics, showing solid, sustained growth, to inspire more people across West Midlands to start apprenticeships and more construction firms to take them on.

“We also want to attract workers who have left the industry to return, and upskill those in it, so we can deliver major projects and new housing faster and better.”