Despite investment in northern regions being a key focus, more infrastructure and housing projects are currently proposed in the South, Randstad COO Owen Goodhead comments on today’s ONS Construction Output

Owen Goodhead, chief operating officer at Randstad, comments, “Construction is a clear priority for the Government, and they have been resolute that it must remain open for business. Infrastructure and housing delivery is a driving force in the economy with close to 60,000 projects expected to progress this year. There is a wealth of opportunity here for skilled workers to seize the jobs being created; our data shows that labourers, engineers and machine operators are currently the most in-demand across the construction, property and engineering sector.

“In a post-Brexit world, the productivity and attractiveness of UK Plc is vital to remaining competitive on the world stage. Despite investment in northern regions being a key focus, more projects are currently proposed in the South East and South West. Of the over 15,000 infrastructure projectsin the pipeline for the South East, 45% or 7,064, have guideline commencement dates of 2021.

“2020 was a challenging year, and 2021 will not be without its challenges. The UK has just left the European Union and while a deal has been struck, companies are having to navigate additional red-tape when accessing supplies and labour from the EU. A combination of Brexit and Covid-19 has also seen some EU-born workers return to home countries. When you consider the pipeline of projects and the skilled labour required to deliver these, it highlights the pressure employers will be under to keep project delivery to time and cost.”

Randstad recently released a research report looking at project pipelines, average construction salaries and most in-demand roles, the research found that:

  • Construction salaries decreased 2% in 2020 to an average of £44,115
  • Between 2016 and 2020 salaries have increased by 12% on average
  • Despite the Government’s current levelling up agenda, a majority of infrastructure and housing projects are planned for the South East (20,986), with the least planned for the North East (6,116).
  • Of the top ten most in-demand roles Randstad is seeing, a third of vacancies are for labourers.

Today the ONS Construction Output showed that:

  • Monthly construction output grew by 1.9% in November 2020 compared with October 2020
  • Infrastructure and private housing has recovered above February 2020 levels
  • New work grew by 3.5% (£296 million) in November 2020 compared with October 2020, because of increases in most new work sectors, the largest contributors to which were infrastructure which grew by 9.6% (£174 million) and private new housing which grew by 4.7% (£138 million).