House building firm Redrow say they are looking forward to a more positive outlook as consumer confidence returns and the housing market emerges from a very challenging economic period.
At Redrow we believe training holds the key to maintaining a skilled workforce for years to come. Last year we took on more than 40 new apprentices in Wales and England, taking our total number to 80 plus, along with a number of graduates, undergraduates and sales and technical trainees. In fact, 14% of all our employees have official trainee status and we continue to offer varied vocational training schemes for all staff.
– Karen Jones, HR director for Flintshire-based Redrow Homes
The key to Wales' growth is to ensure that people have the right skills to deliver major projects, according to the Welsh Government.
Having the right intelligence on the demand for skills is critical to informing how we work with businesses to support their training needs. It is fundamental to our planning process and in giving the insight as to where industries like construction are going and what their future needs and priorities look like.
Making sure people have the right skills to deliver major construction projects is vital if we are going to create a strong Welsh economy. This alignment with the needs of employers is a central theme of our Policy Statement on Skills, which we'll be launching this week.
– Ken Skates AM, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology
Welsh Government investment coupled with the Help to Buy scheme, which is expected to boost demand for homes across Wales, are anticipated to help increase the strength of Wales's construction industry.
But while the research paints a generally positive outlook, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) says safeguards must be put in place to ensure that any growth is 'secure and sustained'.
Employment levels in 2018 are still forecast to be below pre-recession levels, so we need to ensure that measures are put in place now to secure sustained growth in the long-term.
We need committed and targeted investment in infrastructure projects in Wales, such as the nuclear power station in Wylfa, as well as innovative measures, such as the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan (WIIP) and community benefits, which are helping to maximise growth opportunities.
Our close working with the Welsh Government, employers and training providers to ensure initiatives are developed to meet the skills needs of the existing Welsh construction industry is further helping to develop the pipeline of skills.
Growth in Wales's construction industry is expected to be fuelled by the anticipated start of build work at the Wylfa nuclear power station in Anglesey.
It's thought infrastructure in Wales will be the chief driver of growth.
The private housing sector is set to be the second largest driver of growth in Wales, with key projects including the £1.2bn Coed Darcy development and the £75m regeneration works in Merthyr, Tydfil and Swansea expected to significantly boost employment and output prospects.
Owain Llywelyn, Welsh spokesperson for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors told ITV Cymru that today's figures are 'pleasing' and it shows there is an increased confidence in the construction industry across the UK.
He added Wales is beginning to witness an upsurge in this sector and the house building specifically has helped drive the recovery.
A new £10million Property Development Fund that aims to support smaller scale property ventures in Wales will boost the construction industry says the Welsh Government.
It says the loans could create around £19m for the economy and lead to 900 new jobs.
This Fund meets a real need to help small-scale property developers access much needed finance to fund development in both the commercial and residential markets.
Construction projects, for business, public and residential purposes, can be a significant driver of local regeneration, visibly improving local amenities as well as providing a significant number of jobs.
I am delighted to set up this Fund that provides an opportunity to help stimulate the market by supporting many construction ventures that would otherwise not be taken forward.