Construction sales boom for Germany
Construction on up to 300,000 new homes looks set to increase the German construction sector by 3.4 per cent this year, the highest in 20 years, according to the HDB construction industry association.
The increase looks to be the result of a boom in residential building and higher state spending on roads, with construction investment being one of the major contributors to German growth in 2016.
"Construction will contribute to a stabilisation of the overall economic upswing which is under pressure from a struggling world economy and slackening exports," HDB president Thomas Bauer said.
Sales look set to increase to 104.7billion euros this year, the highest sales figures sin 1997. The association is also reporting record-low borrowing costs as a key factor in encouraging Germans to buy their own flats and homes, with property becoming an attractive and sustainable investment.
The German government has introduced tax incentives for private investors who build properties in urban areas as well as an increase in spending on social housing, which will add to the increase in construction sales for 2016.
217,000 extra workers needed to meet COVID-19 recovery
As the construction industry’s recovery progresses, the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) Construction Skills Network (CSN) forecasts have led the organisation to believe the industry will reach 2019 levels of output in 2022.
The CSN says there will be an increase in the number of construction workers in “most English regions” by 2025, with demands forecasted at a 1.7% rise for the East Midlands, and a 1.4% rise for the West Midlands.
Scotland and Wales are also predicted to see a surge in demand for construction workers with a total increase of 1.4% and 0.7% respectively. The North East is the only region to see a slight decline in workforce demand at -0.1%.
Wood and interior fit-out trades among the most desirable during COVID-19
According to CSN’s forecast, the trades that are the most wanted are those of wood and interior fit-outs, with both requiring around 5,500 workers per year. Other in-demand trades include technical staff and other construction professionals, requiring 5,150 workers each year, construction managers at 3,600, and the electrical installation trade, which requires 3,400 staff per year.
There is also expected to be demand for 7,850 non-construction, office-based professionals and technical and IT support staff each year. Steve Radley, Policy Director at CITB, said: “It’s great to see construction coming back so strongly and creating lots of job opportunities.
“We need to adopt new approaches to meet these growing skills needs and deliver these quickly. We are working closely with the government and FE to build better bridges between FE and work and make apprenticeships more flexible. We are also making significant investments in supporting work experience that make it easier for employers to bring in new blood.
“We must also make sure that we invest in the skills that will drive change and meet new and growing needs such as Net Zero emissions and Building Safety. We will be announcing plans soon to tackle specific skills and occupations such as leadership and management, digital skills, and skills related to energy efficiency”, he said.