Construction growth in the East of England, incorporating Essex, is projected to rise at 1.2% per year to 2017. Lloyds Bank is reporting that construction growth in the East of England is increasing at a fast pace with 50,000 new homes needing to be built by 2021. In total 40,000 people in Essex are employed in the construction sector at over 11,000 companies. The larger construction companies include Kier Group PLC, Cadman Group, Hutton Construction, Keepmoat, Higgins Construction and Anderson Group.
This growth in the Essex construction industry is resulting in a large skills shortage as many skilled employees left the industry when the recession hit. Combine this with the fact that many young people are put off construction by the perception of the industry. There is a serious lack of qualified experienced workers in Essex. This industry growth and the skills shortage are pushing up prices in the sector as demand increases.
Exasperated further by large projects in the area such as East Anglian ONE Offshore Wind farm which will take in local labour. This construction project will last three years and provide 2700 construction workers with employment. EA ONE is the ‘largest renewable energy project ever to receive planning consent in England and Wales’ and will consist of 240 turbines across a 300km2 area of sea. Other projects in the Essex area include the continual development of Southend Airport. This £10m extension to the terminal building will include civils work, concrete frame structure, Mechanical and Electrical work and diamond drilling Southend Airport will become the 6th largest in the London Airport System.
In summary construction Growth is increasing at a fast rate in Essex but a large skills shortage exists as many large construction projects are undertaken in the region. This is likely to impact on Essex’s ability to deliver the required housing and infrastructure to support construction growth in the regional market.
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