If you've been paying attention to what's going on in UK construction, then you already know about the industry's skills shortage. We've talked about this before, of course, but the bottom line is that there aren't enough boots on the ground to cope with upcoming demand.

There's a lot being done to tackle that problem already, from giving school kids the chance to learn about construction to attracting people in from other industries. More than anything, though, it means there's good work to be found out there, if you've got the skills for it.

Growth leads to new job opportunities

Right now, for instance, the North-West is looking to recruit an extra 5,000 construction workers every year between now and 2021.

That's 25,000 jobs opening up for people with the right training for the work. The demand for new workers is coming from growth in the UK's construction industry in general.

The North-West is feeling the effects of that more than anywhere else, growing at about 2.5% a year. London, by contrast, is only looking to take on a little under 4,000 new workers each year. That's still a decent figure, but the North-West is where the real action's happening in the next few years.

Construction workers needed per year in the UK

Here's how the big picture breaks down:

  • North-West: 5,140
  • South-West: 4,180
  • East of England: 3,970
  • South-East: 3,940
  • Wales: 3,890
  • London: 3,870
  • West Midlands: 2,800
  • Scotland: 2,340
  • Yorkshire & the Humber: 1,860
  • East Midlands: 1,770
  • North-East: 1,270

Large scale construction in the North West

As for why this is happening, it's all about how dynamic the North-West is. At a time when the industry's growth and output is actually falling short of last year's predictions, some areas are bucking the trend harder than others.

Large-scale projects like Hinkley Point C and High speed 2 are boosting demand around the country, of course. On top of that, the government's big push on construction is aiming to shake up the whole way the UK's supply chain works. All of this means the demand for skilled workers won't be dropping any time soon and it may even mean a rise in wages as companies do more to attract the skills they need.

RIFT is doing its part, as always, teaming up with Build UK to help construction make the most of the upcoming changes.

We're the UK's leading experts on tax refunds and tax returns, and have been protecting construction workers' cash since 1999. Our handy to use tax refund calculator even gives you an estimate of how much your HMRC tax rebate could be worth.

Listen out for our radio spots across the North-West, and get in touch to find out more about how we tackle the taxman for you.