CONSTRUCTION jobs across the West Country are back in demand following the six-year recession, according to one of the region’s largest employment agencies in the sector.
Berry Recruitment, based in Falmouth, Cornwall, has seen the number of jobs in the industry rise by 35% compared with the same period last year.
It is an important indicator that the health of the wider economy is picking up and that companies are growing in confidence.
Construction workers, drivers and plant operators are needed as building projects grow in number through Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and into Bristol and Avon.
There are an increasing number of opportunities for work, with Berry Recruitment's on-the-ground evidence supporting findings from the National Careers Service’s Job Confidence Index.
The index revealed that the number of people in the South West who are feeling confident about finding work or holding on to their job has increased by 5% since November last year; 84% of people in the region are now feeling ‘job confident’ as a result of the economic upturn and increased optimism among employers.
Berry Recruitment in Falmouth employs six staff but is likely to take on more this year as demand grows.
Branch manager Sarah Strippel said they have a growing number of construction jobs, both temporary and permanent.
She said: “From the start of this year we have seen a leap in the number of vacancies across the construction sector, including blue and white collar.
“It is great news for the regional economy - we have positions becoming available on a daily basis, in stark contrast to times during the economic slump, and we’d love to hear from people looking for work because demand is high.
“It does seem as though confidence and optimism are returning as Britain shakes off the shackles of the six-year recession.
"All across the construction industry there are an increasing number of opportunities, from labourers and trade staff to CPCS machine operators and HIAB and tipper drivers.
“We are based in Falmouth but serve the whole of the West Country, where the situation happily appears to be the same."
GDP figures released recently by the Office for National Statistics showed that the UK economy grew by a healthy 0.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2014, and the construction industry grew by 5.1 per cent despite the wet winter.
Berry Recruitment operates in the private and public sectors from 26 locations across the UK, employing over 150 people. In the last three years it has doubled its turnover to more than £42m.