Construction firm boom in Humber but skills shortage concern lingers

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 19 Mar 2019

More than 400 new construction businesses were launched in Hull in just three years.

New figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, showed 405 companies in the sector were established in the city between 2015 and 2017.

They accounted for almost 15 per cent of new businesses in Hull in the three-year period.

Despite the construction boost though, concerns remain in the sector over a growing skills gap.

Just under a quarter of all workers in construction are aged over 50, with 15 per cent in their 60s.

Mark Scott, president at the Yorkshire Builders’ Federation, spoke at an event at Bishop Burton College about the challenges facing the industry.

The Humber Construction Hub hopes to create new jobs and training places in Hull

He said: “I have been in the construction industry for 35 years, and for that long we have been complaining and complaining about the skills shortage.

“While we have been complaining, construction has fallen out of the top careers kids want to get into – we should be ashamed.

“Construction needs to stop talking about shortages, and start listening to clients and get better results for them.”

Read more: Job boost as construction training scheme launched in north Hull

The Humber region has moved to tackle the skills gap problem by launching a new specialist hub.

The Humber Construction Hub aims to provide 767 training opportunities, and almost 300 new jobs, in the sector.

The Hub will help train and create jobs

It will provide on the job training provisions in an outdoor classroom environment in the hope of an employment boom.

Apprentice services provider EN:Able Futures has been given the go-ahead to build the hub in north Hull.

Lee Parkinson, chief executive at Efficiency North, said: “EN:Able Futures’ position in this important initiative continues the company's expansion into the provision of high quality training and apprenticeships through a site based construction skills hub.”

Read more: Boost for construction sector as region's property demand hots up

As the government sets ambitious house building targets across both the region and the UK, it is more important than ever that a talent pool in construction exists.

More than a million homes are expected to be built across the country by 2020.

Watch: Drone footage of Beal Homes' new Goole development site

It has also been predicted that more than 150,000 new construction workers will be needed by 2021, to keep up with the targets.

After construction, food businesses were the most popular start-ups in Hull between 2015 and 2017.

There were 300 new firms in business administration and support services, and 230 in retail.

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