A SPECIALIST team is accelerating recruitment activity at Russell Taylor Group as an increasing number of new build and infrastructure projects put London and the South East on course for major construction growth.
At a time when completion of new projects is more vital than ever as the industry sees a return to pre-Covid levels, recruiters’ focus is on channelling this growth into the UK’s economic recovery.
In a mood of great optimism, Steve Sockett, Russell Taylor Group’s London and South East operations manager, has restructured and rebuilt his team to cope with a forecast demand for construction and mechanical and engineering trades workers.
He said: “We’re now into our second year of post-pandemic recovery and the scale of infrastructure investment here is estimated to be higher than in any other part of the country.
“Like everywhere else in the UK, the region’s construction industry has suffered over the past few years – many sites shut down and those that did stay open had coronavirus restrictions in place and their supply chains were disrupted.
“Now, however, there’s a massive feeling of confidence in the air and the restructured London and South West Russell Taylor team will be putting their passion and energy into getting the right skilled workforce on board not only to get high value and iconic projects completed but also to help rebuild local communities.
“Our job is to make sure only the best people are put to work on these major projects – some of which have been affected by a shortage of skilled labour – so they are completed on time and can contribute to this upturn in the industry.”
New senior consultants - Christopher Forrester, Nikki Lister and Scott Buchanan - bring years of specialist experience to the Russell Taylor operation, recruiting for both temporary and permanent jobs in Construction, Electrical, Mechanical and Engineering and Trades and Civils as well as for permanent white-collar roles.
Joining them is consultant Carla Taylor while consultant Charlotte Lock will be specifically recruiting Mechanical and Electrical staff.
Construction Industry Training Board figures show that UK construction output will return to pre-Covid-19 levels in 2022, driven in part by the vaccination programme and government support. The positive outlook is also due to construction businesses which were able to stay open and adapt to a new working environment.
Output is expected to grow at an average rate of 4.4 per cent over the next five years, meaning the construction industry nationally needs to recruit an extra 217,000 workers in this period, or over 43,000 a year.
In Greater London alone, almost 18,000 new construction jobs will need to be created while the South East will require more than 13,000 new workers.
New large scale projects at locations such as London’s Square Mile – last year office development here increased by 70 per cent – and Battersea Power Station, the capital’s biggest regeneration scheme, are part of a buoyant construction market with jobs for bricklayers, joiners, carpenters, electricians, scaffolders and labourers.
Throughout the London and South East region, new housing developments, hotels, shopping centres and offices are also seeing an increased demand for traditional construction trades skills as well as for qualified engineers working in fire safety systems.
Steve added: “Due to this market buoyancy, our own operational growth has become swift. London and the South East are obviously major growth areas for us but there’s also strong activity in the construction sector in the Home Counties, Cambridgeshire, East Anglia and on into the East Midlands.
“It all adds up to a resilient construction sector where there’s an abundance of well-paid job opportunities for a range of construction skills.
“And it’s this huge surge in construction, with striking new commercial and residential building projects transforming the economies of town and cities, that makes our recruitment operations top priority to ensure the current mood of high optimism continues.”