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'Lost decade' for building sector

Thursday January 26th 2012

The construction sector could be due to undergo a "lost decade" as a report said it is set to lose 45,000 more jobs in 2012 with the economic outlook remaining uncertain.

Building output is due for a 3% fall and the next five years will see "slow and uneven" growth, said CITB-ConstructionSkills, the Industry Training Board and Sector Skills Council.

Manual trades will be hit with the biggest employment falls, with 6,300 fewer painters and decorators expected to be required by 2016, and 3,000 fewer labourers and 2,500 fewer bricklayers.

However, a rise of 30,000 construction managers is expected over the next few years.

The year after next is predicted to see a 4% rise in output with falls up to 2016, said the council, whose report also said the industry was "plagued" with uncertainty, working practice changes adding to the grim outlook.

"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," said council deputy chairman Judy Lowe.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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