The construction industry will expand by an average of 2.5% over the next five years, according to the latest annual Construction Skills Network report.

But the forecast growth in output for 2016-20 has gone down from last year, when the Construction Industry Training Board said the industry would expand by 2.9% year-on-year between 2015 and 2019.  

However, more new jobs will be created over the next five years than the CITB predicted last year.  

The new growth forecast will create 232,000 additional jobs, according to the CITB. It says 80,000 new construction workers will be needed this year, with the remaining 152,000 required over 2017-2020.

This is higher than last year’s five-year forecast – which said 224,000 new roles would be created – suggesting that the skills gap is widening.

However, the CSN report says a slowdown in output expansion is “almost inevitable as the industry moves out of its initial recovery period and into one of sustained growth”.

But it adds that 2.5% average output expansion is better than pre-recession when it averaged 2.1% a year between 1995 and 2007.

However, the CITB’s figures contrast with the Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI in January 2016, which shows the weakest expansion of UK construction output for nine months.

The CIPS index fell from 57.8 in December 2015 to 55.0 in January 2016. This fall has signalled the slowest rate of expansion since April 2015, according to the data.  

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