CITB says rise in number of workers reflects housing boom.

The Construction Industry Training Board says the industry must recruit more than 200,000 extra workers in the next 5 years to keep on top of rising demand. For the first time since the downturn, rising spending on housing, leisure and infrastructure will deliver growth in every region of the UK. To deal with the upswing in workloads, the industry needs to recruit almost 45,000 workers annually, 8,000 more than predicted at the start of the recovery. The annual forecast predicts that commercial work will expand at the same pace as housing estimated at 4.6% annually over the forecast period to 2019. Total construction employment is projected to reach 2.74m in 2019, still a little below its peak level in 2008 of 2.86m.

With 200,000 homes a year needed to house Britain’s population boom and many people priced out of the Cities, there is growing pressure to create more garden cities, a movement that culminated in the creation of Letchworth Garden City, 37 miles north of London and a second garden city, Welwyn Garden City, which was started after WWI. These two cities were influential in the development of New Towns after WWII, producing more than 30 communities including Stevenage and the last, Milton Keynes.

Garden Cities were designed to avoid the downfalls of industrial cities of the time such as urban poverty, overcrowding, low wages, and dirty alleys with no drainage, poorly ventilated houses, toxic substances, dust, carbon gases, infectious disease and lack of interaction with nature.

Garden cities were used as the model for many suburbs we see across the UK today. Now, the Government plans to open up brownfield sites to build affordable housing for first time buyers under the age of 40.

All the indicators are that it is an exceptionally good time to invest in land ear-marked for housing development, particularly land that provides easy access for commuters to London and other big conurbations such as Manchester and other cities in the “Northern PowerHouse”.

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