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Construction industry to lose 45,000 jobs in 2012

Construction industry fears ‘lost decade’ as sector output falls, with painters and decorators taking the brunt

The construction industry will lose a further 45,000 jobs this year, signalling a “lost decade” for the sector, according to a report.

Manual trades will be worst hit, with 6,300 fewer painters and decorators expected to be working by 2016 than in 2010, 3,000 fewer labourers and 2,500 fewer bricklayers, CITB-ConstructionSkills said.

One area of growth will be among construction managers, with an expected increase of 30,000 in the next few years.

Construction output is set to fall by 3% this year, and growth will be “slow and uneven” in the next five years, the report said. This is because of economic uncertainty, as well as changes to working practices.

Judy Lowe, deputy chairman of CITB-ConstructionSkills, said the industry was in for a tough time.

“Infrastructure investment, the first nuclear power plants and the revival of private housing will help, but the hard fact remains that despite an increase in growth from 2013, output and employment levels in construction will not have reached their 2007-8 levels by the end of the forecast in 2016,” she said.

“The sluggish return to growth means that we could be talking about a lost decade in construction and a loss of key trade skills, but the real shock is the impact that cuts to public sector spending has had.” © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds