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CSN Industry Outlook - 2024-2028

Published 15 May 2024

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Overview

The UK economy is showing signs of improvement from what was seen at the end of 2023. Growth is forecast to be modest and there is a need for an extra 251,500 extra construction workers by 2028 to meet the expected levels of work. The latest Construction Skills Network report provides insights into the UK construction economy and its future labour requirements.

The data it produces highlights forecasted trends and shows 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 Wednesday 15 May 2024 acknowledges the substantial recruitment and training challenges facing the industry and has made the following key predictions for 2024-28:

251,500

Extra workers will be required to meet UK construction output by 2028 (50,300 per year, an increase on the 44,890 in the 2023-27 Outlook).

UK-wide growth

Output growth is forecast for all devolved nations and the nine English regions.  Modest growth is expected in 2024 which will increase from 2025.

Recruitment

The major sectors for demand are:

  • Private housing
  • Infrastructure
  • Repair and maintenance.

2.75 million

Workers in construction if projected growth is met by 2028.

UK summary*

Access the full report including nation and region plans:

Construction Skills Network – UK 2024-2028 (PDF, 5.29MB)

Scotland

Key predictions:

  • 2.1%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 26,100: Extra workers needed in Scotland by 2028
  • 5,220 : Scotland’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £200m Scottish Gas Networks mains replacement: Main growth driver.

Construction Skills Network – Scotland 2024-2028 (PDF, 1.73 MB)

Northern Ireland

Key predictions:

  • 2.8%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 5,200: Extra workers needed in Northern Ireland by 2028
  • 1,040: Northern Ireland’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £380m Strule Shared Education Campus, Omagh: Main growth driver.

Construction Skills Network – Northern Ireland 2024-2028 (PDF, 1.59 MB)

Wales

Key predictions:

  • 1.2%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 11,000: Extra workers needed in Wales by 2028
  • 2,200: annual recruitment requirement for Wales
  • £590m A465 Heads of the Valley Road: Main growth driver.

Construction Skills Network – Wales 2024-2028 (PDF, 1.60 MB)

English regions

East Midlands

Key predictions:

  • 1.9%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 17,500: Extra workers needed in East Midlands by 2028
  • 3,500: East Midlands’ annual recruitment requirement
  • £500m Midland Main Line Railway project from Market Harborough to Sheffield.

Construction Skills Network – East Midlands  2024-2028 (PDF, 1.70 MB)

East of England

Key predictions:

  • 2.9%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 19,750: Extra workers needed in East of England by 2028
  • 3,950: East of England’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £20bn Sizewell C nuclear plant development

Construction Skills Network – East of England 2024-2028 (PDF, 1.84 MB)

Greater London

Key predictions:

  • 2.9%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 26,500: Extra workers needed in Greater London by 2028
  • 5,250: Greater London’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £8bn Thamesmead redevelopment

Construction Skills Network – Greater London 2024-2028 (PDF, 1.60 MB)

North East*

Key predictions:

  • 1.5%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 6,850: Extra workers needed in North East by 2028
  • 1,370: North East’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £475m Crown Works film and TV studio development in Sunderland

Construction Skills Network – North East 2024-2028 (PDF, 1.75 MB)

North West

Key predictions:

  • 2.2%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 23,850: Extra workers needed in North West by 2028
  • 4,770: North West’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £1bn Bolton Town Centre masterplan regeneration

Construction Skills Network – North West 2024-2028 (PDF, 1.86 MB)

South East

Key predictions:

  • 2.7%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 10,400: Extra workers needed in South East by 2028
  • 2,080: South East’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £8.2bn Lower Thames Crossing project.

Construction Skills Network – South East 2024-2028 (PDF, 1.80 MB)

South West

Key predictions:

  • 1.9%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 42,400: Extra workers needed in South West by 2028
  • 8,480: South West’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £25bn Hinkley Point C nuclear new build.

Construction Skills Network – South West 2024-2028 (PDF, 1.82 MB)

West Midlands

Key predictions:

  • 2.0%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 35,600: Extra workers needed in West Midlands by 2028
  • 7,120: West Midlands’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £1.9bn Smithfield Development regeneration project

Construction Skills Network – West Midlands  2024-2028 (PDF, 1.79 MB)

Yorkshire and Humber

Key predictions:

  • 2.2%: Output average annual growth rate (AAGR)
  • 26,600: Extra workers needed in Yorkshire & the Humber by 2028
  • 5,320: Yorkshire & the Humber’s annual recruitment requirement
  • £400m New prison at Full Sutton.

Construction Skills Network – Yorkshire and Humber 2024-2028 (PDF, 1.69 MB)

How we create the CSN reports

Construction Skills Network Explained (PDF, 2.8 MB) provides an overview of the underpinning research methods that are used by the Construction Skills Network and Experian to produce the suite of reports at a UK, national and regional level.

 

Our methodology and service

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