The North West's construction sector growth could deliver as many as 3,110 new jobs a year for the next five years, according to the latest figures from the Construction Industry Training Board.
Interim figures from the Construction Skills Network suggest that construction output in the North West will increase at an average of 2.5% over the period 2015-2019 (UK average 2.9%). The infrastructure and commercial sectors are the main drivers in the region with public housing also showing steady growth of 2.5% over the forecast period.
The full annual CSN report will be available in January 2015.
All regions are expected to see output and employment growth with the exception of the West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber. The sector's performance is characterised by strong geographical and sectoral variation with the greater south east (Greater London, South East and East of England) continuing to fare better than Northern regions of England.
Steve Housden, CITB sector strategy manager for the North West, said: "The forecast suggests that the overall picture is positive for the region. The strength of the housing sector and the planned work on the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Carrington Power Station will require a steady stream of skilled workers each year. Work on Moorside Nuclear Power Station is also expected to start, giving a much needed boost to the area.
"But, with a better economic outlook comes challenges and CITB and industry must find a way to respond to a changing industry. New technologies, a new generation of nuclear power stations, Business Information Modelling and offsite manufacture means that we need to adapt if we are to exploit the opportunities that present themselves as the industry continues to grow.
"Skills are the oxygen of the sector and construction needs to invest in its workforce – upskilling those who already work in the industry and attracting new talented recruits to offset those who are due to retire in the next five years.
"We are working closely with industry and government to proactively address these challenges through Construction 2025, the Industrial Strategy."