Facebook Pixel
Skip to content

CSN Industry Outlook - 2022-2026

On this page:

Overview

Over a quarter of a million extra construction workers may be needed by 2026, according to the latest Construction Skills Network (CSN) report. The report provides insights into the UK construction economy and its future labour needs.

The data it produces highlights forecasted trends and how the industry is expected to change year-on-year, allowing governments and businesses to understand the current climate and plan for the future.

Looking at the next five years, the report released on Tuesday 14 June 2022, acknowledges the substantial recruitment and training challenges facing industry and has has made the following key predictions for 2022 - 2026:

266,000

Additional workers will be required to meet UK construction demand by 2026 (53,200 workers per year, up from last year's figure of 43,000) 

UK-wide growth

All nine English regions plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are set to experience growth resulting in increased demand for workers 

Recruitment

As demand soars most affected sectors:

  • Private housing
  • Infrastructure 
  • Repair and maintenance  

2.78 million

Workers employed in construction industry by 2026 if projected growth is met. 

CITB CEO Tim Balcon, said: “Construction is vital in supporting the backbone of the UK economy. These future growth projections are encouraging after the stalling effects of the pandemic. However, this is set against a current backdrop of higher energy costs, material shortages, and associated price inflation that is currently hitting companies across the sector.    

“Recruitment and developing a highly skilled workforce will be by far the construction industry’s biggest challenges over the next five years. However, industry has a lot to offer and needs to use its many strengths to attract and retain top talent in a competitive recruitment landscape”. 

The largest increases in annual demand will be for occupations such as carpenters/joiners and construction managers, along with a range of technical roles. These include electronics technicians, civil engineering technicians, estimators and valuers, as well as office-based support staff. 

UK summary

Access the full report including nation and region plans: Construction Skills Network – UK 2022-2026 (PDF, 1.9mb)

Wales

Key predictions:

  • Annual average growth rate (AAGR): 2.8%
  • Extra workers needed by 2026: 11,500 
  • Annual recruitment requirement: 2,300
  • Main growth driver: £1bn Swansea regeneration project

Construction Skills Network – Wales 2022-2026 (PDF, 1.4mb)

Scotland

Key predictions:

  • Annual average growth rate (AAGR): 2.7%
  • Extra workers needed by 2026: 25,250 
  • Annual recruitment requirement: 5,050
  • Main growth driver: £5bn Scottish water capital investment

Construction Skills Network – Scotland 2022-2026 (PDF, 1.9mb)

Northern Ireland

Key predictions:

  • Annual average growth rate (AAGR):  2.5%
  • Extra workers needed by 2026:  5,650 
  • Annual recruitment requirement:  1,130
  • Main growth driver:  £208m Belfast transport hub

Construction Skills Network – Northern Ireland 2022-2026 (PDF, 1.4mb)

English regions

North East

Key predictions:

  • Annual average growth rate (AAGR): 2.6%
  • Extra workers needed by 2026: 9,250
  • Annual recruitment requirement: 1,850
  • Main growth driver: £2.6bn Electric car battery Gigafactory in Blyth

CSN – North East 2022-2026 (PDF, 1.2mb)

North West

Key predictions:

  • Annual average growth rate (AAGR): 2.9%
  • Extra workers needed by 2026: 28,450
  • Annual recruitment requirement: 5,690
  • Main growth driver: £560m JV North Consortium framework to deliver new homes

CSN – North West 2022-2026 (PDF, 1.2mb)

Yorkshire and Humber

Key predictions:

  • Annual average growth rate (AAGR): 3.9%
  • Extra workers needed by 2026: 20,950
  • Annual recruitment requirement: 4,190
  • Main growth driver: +3.7gw Power generation capacity from Hornsea Two, Dogger Bank A and B wind farms

CSN – Yorkshire and Humber 2022-2026 (PDF, 1.2mb)

East Midlands

Key predictions:

  • Annual average growth rate (AAGR): 3.2%
  • Extra workers needed by 2026: 19,350 
  • Annual recruitment requirement: 3,870
  • Main growth driver: £1bn tendered by Midlands Highway Alliance Plus

CSN – East Midlands 2022-2026 (PDF, 1.2mb)

West Midlands

Key predictions:

  • Annual average growth rate (AAGR): 2.8%
  • Extra workers needed by 2026: 30,050 
  • Annual recruitment requirement: 6,010
  • Main growth driver: £12bn of civils contracts for HS2 signed off

CSN – West Midlands 2022-2026 (PDF, 1.2mb)

East of England

Key predictions:

  • Annual average growth rate (AAGR): 3.8%
  • Extra workers needed by 2026: 24,600
  • Annual recruitment requirement: 4,920
  • Main growth drivers: £1.4bn A14 upgrade and East Anglia Hub wind farms

CSN – East of England 2022-2026 (PDF, 1.2mb)

Greater London

Key predictions:

  • Annual average growth rate (AAGR): 3.4%
  • Extra workers needed by 2026: 26,000
  • Annual recruitment requirement: 5,200
  • Main growth drivers: +£1bn Thamesmead, £7bn Brent Cross Town and £5bn Old Oak Park long term developments

CSN – Greater London 2022-2026 (PDF, 1.2mb)

South East

Key predictions:

  • Annual average growth rate (AAGR): 3.4%
  • Extra workers needed by 2026: 23,000 
  • Annual recruitment requirement: 4,600
  • Main growth driver: £1.2bn Manydown housing development in Basingstoke

CSN – South East 2022-2026 (PDF, 1.2mb)

South West

Key predictions:

  • Annual average growth rate (AAGR): 2.5%
  • Extra workers needed by 2026: 41,950
  • Annual recruitment requirement: 8,390
  • Main growth driver: £25bn Hinkley point C nuclear new build

CSN – South West 2022-2026 (PDF, 1.3mb)

How we create the CSN reports

An overview of the underpinning methods that are used by the CSN, working in partnership with Experian, to produce the suite of reports at a UK, national and regional level.

Construction Skills Network Explained (PDF, 204 KB)

Our methodology and service

Discover how we conduct our research and the services we provide to industry.