Growth for regional construction sector

CONSTRUCTION growth in the East of England will grow at the third fastest rate in the UK, a survey has found.

CONSTRUCTION growth in the East of England will grow at the third fastest rate in the UK, a survey has found.

The third annual Construction Skills Network study, published by sector skills council ConstructionSkills, revealed an annual projected growth of 2.3% in the region, compared to 1.7% nationwide.

The report, focusing on construction activity between 2008 and 2012, showed the main driver for growth in the region is infrastructure investment, with activity in the sector set to increase.

Major works include ports expansion, a £1billion coal-fired power station at Tilbury, a £250million biomass power station at Norwich, a £600million M1 road-widening scheme between junctions 10 and 13, and £640million worth of improvements along the A14.

The public housing sector is expected to grow significantly and the private housing sector is also due to do well.

The repair and maintenance sector is also expected to grow by 1.6% between 2008 and 2012, and construction employment is set to increase by 11.4%, topping 300,000 by 2012.

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John Canton, regional manager for the Institution of Civil Engineers said: “As a civil engineer, I am particularly pleased to see the prediction that the fastest-growing market for the East of England is in the infrastructure and commercial sectors with combined output in 2006 at £1.7billion, well balanced with that for housing of £1.3billion. With investment in infrastructure and jobs matching that for housing, I think this starts to augur well for government's plans for sustainable development.”

Sir Michael Latham, chairman of the Construction Skills Network, said it was “essential” that they worked with employers and training providers to put in place on-site training to help local people get the skills they needed to fill the local job vacancies.

A full copy of the report is available at www.cskills.org/csn.