56,000 construction professionals needed by 2020

01/12/2016
Highways Reporters

More than 50,000 construction professionals, including 15,000 in the roads sector, are needed to deliver key infrastructure projects.  

Chris Grayling *DfTSpeaking to civil engineering contractors at the London Transport Museum yesterday (30 November), Transport Secretary Chris Grayling (pictured) said the highways industry will need an extra 15,000 professionals by 2020.

“2020 is the the year that road investment hits peak construction, he remarked. “By then, we’ll need an extra 15,000 road-building professionals of all kinds, including thousands of new engineers.”

Also in 2020, Transport for London hits a peak construction phase, and will need a further 8,000 construction professionals, including thousands more engineers.

Mr Grayling also pointed to Phase One of HS2 which will need an extra 27,000 construction professionals, including over 8,000 engineers.

He continued: “In total, we think to get all this work done, we’ll need an extra 56,000 skilled workers. And the demand won’t fall once we get past 2020. That’s also the year we begin our second Road Investment Strategy.

“And we’ll be preparing for the start of construction for HS2 Phase 2 – the two lines to the North, a far bigger project than Phase 1. And we’ll be pressing ahead with plans for Crossrail 2. And we should expect Heathrow’s 3rd runway to start construction around 2022. This shortage we’re facing is one compounded by demography.”

The Transport Secretary wants to see greater diversity in engineering, adding: “I would like to see more women engineers. And more black and minority ethnic engineers. Fewer than one in 10 engineers in our country are women. And just four per cent are from ethnic minorities.

“Yet look at the other professions, such as law, or medicine, the situation is very different indeed. If we’re going to solve the skills shortage, we need that kind of parity in engineering, too.”

Despite this, Mr Grayling remains confident that the skills shortage will be solved and called on companies operating in this field to play their part.

“If you want to win contracts in transport and want to be part of the government’s investment programme then you must prepare to leave a skills footprint in this country.

We want to see that you’re thinking about the future of the industry. We want to see that by the end of the contract, your company will have greater depth in skills than at the beginning.

“That means investing in training. It means hiring more apprentices. It means hiring from a wider pool of talent. And it means we’re setting some minimum standards.”

Earlier this year the government published its Transport Infrastructure Skills Strategy, which pledged to create more than 30,000 apprenticeship places across the road and rail industry by 2020.

Firms bidding for transport contracts must:


  • Either hire and train one apprentice for every £3 to £5 million of the contract’s value;


  • Or, for every 200 people employed under the contract, create five apprenticeships for each year of the project.


Every apprentice employed on a project, whether by contractor or sub-contractor, will count towards the target.

Mr Grayling confirmed that Mike Brown, commissioner of Transport for London, has agreed to chair the government’s Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce.

“We set up the taskforce this year to help address the skills challenge in a coordinated way, drawing on ideas and experience across the transport industry, and to monitor the progress we’re making. Mike will continue to drive the collaboration that we started when we published the strategy. And he will hold us all to account on progress, starting by publishing an Annual Report in the spring.”
Highways jobs

Engineer (Highways Scheme Design)

Medway Council
£31,888 - £37,646 per annum
The post-holder will be required to have highway engineering expertise in order to contribute to efficient and effective provision of... Medway City Estate, Rochester
Recruiter: Medway Council

Principal Flood Risk Officer

Lancashire County Council
£42,683-£46,566
We have an exciting opportunity for a Principal Floor Risk Officer Lancashire
Recruiter: Lancashire County Council

Resources and Waste Commercial and Contracts Manager

Northumberland County Council
£47,107 - £50,394
We are looking for a strategic, innovative and performance-focused leader to join us as Resources and Waste; Commercial and Contracts Manager. County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

SEN Travel Assessment Co-ordination Officer

London Borough of Bexley
£35,529 - £41,796
We are currently seeking an experienced officer administrator who will enjoy working as team and under their own initiative, with duties including... Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Bexley

Principal Planning Liaison Officer X3

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Principal Estate Roads Engineer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Principal Travel Plan Officer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Assistant Estate Roads Engineer x2

Somerset County Council
£25,295 to £28,785 per annum
We have 2 exciting opportunities for enthusiastic and committed individuals to join our Highways Development Management Team Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Highways Infrastructure and Maintenance Manager

Bridgend County Borough Council
£38,813 - £40,760 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arrived inside the Highway Asset Maintenance Team within the Communities Directorate. Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recruiter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Design Services Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£50,430 - £55,503
We are a team of mixed experience and skills, proud to serve the people of Lincolnshire and have fun whilst doing so! Lincolnshire
Recruiter: Lincolnshire County Council

Transport Planning Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
£29,636 to £32,029
We are looking for a Transport Planning Officer to join our Highways and Transportation service. Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Transforming Cities Fund - Project Delivery Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
£48,000 to £55,840
We are looking to appoint to the pivotal position of TCF Project Delivery Manager on a 3 year fixed-term contract, to... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Funeral Operative (Part Time)

Brent Council
£24,462 - £26,274 (pro-rata) p.a. inc.
The person will not need previous experience in funeral services as full training will be given but experience would be an advantage. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Brent Council

Field Officer

Northumberland County Council
£21,589 - £23,836
Field Officer, Permanent,  37 hours per week.  Closing date 29 May 2020 at midnight  Plessey Woods Country Park
Recruiter: Northumberland County Council

Solicitor - Planning & Transportation Team

Birmingham City Council
£34,788 - £42,683
This is an opportunity to join a team of specialist lawyers dedicated to the Council achieving... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recruiter: Birmingham City Council

Application Support Analyst

Redbridge London Borough Council
£34,794.00 - £36,711.00
Looking for an experienced Application Support Analyst to join our IT & Digital Services team.  Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Engineer (Drainage)

Medway Council
£31,888 - £37,646 per annum
The post holder will be expected to work closely with our term maintenance contractor to successfully complete schemes. Medway City Estate, Rochester
Recruiter: Medway Council

Refuse Drivers - Rolling Advert, applications checked weekly

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.377 - £23.607
It is an exciting time in Waste and Street Services at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Car Parks and Neighbourhoods Manager

Derbyshire Dales District Council
£36,876 - £39,782 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to lead and develop the Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Neighbourhoods team. Derbyshire
Recruiter: Derbyshire Dales District Council

Community and Environmental Support Officer – 10 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
You will be doing light maintenance work including removal of graffiti, dealing with overhanging vegetation and removal of... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Crossing the inflection point

COVID-19 recovery plans revealed

Modelling a changing world

The great reallocation

View the latest issue

Latest Video