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A bedrock sector which supports significant and diverse employment, creates well-paid jobs with ongoing training and progressive career opportunities, which makes it easily accessible for the average resident as it provides far more opportunity for social mobility than other industries.  

FTE jobs
(7.5% of PLY employment)

Additionally, the Sector supports 500+ Built Environment jobs such as architecture, quantity surveying, and specialised engineering design, head office/management etc. 

(82% of PLY average)

The sector has remobilised well following lockdown, however is vulnerable to levels of investment and demand, along with high cash-flow pressure due to payment in arrears system.

Productivity 86%
of GB average

There is a well-established local community with positive momentum through the Council-led Building Plymouth partnership.

GVA output of
(6% of Plymouth GVA)
Opportunities/Challenges to address
  • Sector urgently calling for visibility of the committed city’s capital project pipeline to build confidence in the continuity of forward workload over the next two years 

  • Plymouth facing high demand for new, affordable and specialist housing for local people

  • For every £1m spent on construction locally there is a £3m improvement in the local economy – there is an huge opportunity for the city to increase spend with both local consultants and contractors, as well as small to medium size enterprises

  • Improving local - spend in construction will result in increased local skills investment, sustainable employment (both protecting and creating jobs), and additional social value

  • Need to assess the skills and employment real-time Labour Market demand against the city’s committed capital project pipeline 

  • Adoption of digital and manufacturing technologies to transform the industry’s performance including net zero and building safety  

Identified courses of action

Map city wide public sector capital project pipeline. 

Outcome: Give sector confidence to protect existing jobs, create new jobs and invest in skills and increase capacity and capability of local supply chain.

Delivery of Joint Local Plan housing sites and Plan for Homes initiatives for the new and improved homes Plymouth people need. Engage with partner housing providers on pipeline of opportunities to stimulate industry. 

Outcome: Increased engagement with present partner housing providers and investment for new development, estate regeneration and refurbishment of existing housing stock thus protecting existing and creating more jobs, whilst creating more inclusive housing stock. 

Create Building Plymouth Expertise Directory to promote routes to market and maximise local spend opportunities.

Outcome: Increased local procurement spend through improved awareness of local expertise available and clients better informed about routes to market options. 

Analyse realistic new job pipeline and collate real-time Labour Market Intelligence to identify skills gaps and skills shortages (feed into Skills4Plymouth Pillar). Securing skills funding investment to respond to demand. 

Outcome: Targeted skills investment and recruitment efforts to create new employment opportunities for residents whilst helping to overcome the sector’s big people issues including an ageing workforce, poor image and diversity, and to address significant skills gaps/shortages.

Promote careers in construction and support employers to attract, recruit and retain new entrants.

Outcome: Increase Apprenticeship starts and completions, set up more traineeships and Kickstarts, create more new graduate opportunities. 

Support the industry with the skills needed to enable the adoption of digital and manufacturing technologies to transform the industry’s performance including net zero and building safety.

Outcome: Improved productivity and performance with demand informed local training provision and skills investment to create a new skilled/upskilled workforce. 

Feasibility study into Plymouth’s opportunity for new offsite manufacture capability.  

Outcome: New skills and new jobs created, attracting inward investment. 

Promote city’s response to the national ‘Green Deal’. 

Outcome: Improve energy efficiency of homes and buildings. Create new jobs, increase local upskilling and retraining opportunities.

Capitalise on the expected outcomes of project specific Employment and Skills Plans. Generate greater Social Value through increased weighting and improved assessment through procurement.

Outcome: New entrants supported to join the industry with a stronger focus on inclusive growth. Wider social value impact monitored and delivered (including environmental agenda), with non-compliance issues managed effectively.

Successes/Results to date


Building Plymouth has maintained support for local employers throughout the pandemic, published regular ‘COVID19: News and Information for the local Construction Community Bulletins’ to provide relevant and robust sources of official information, and led monthly briefings to assist the industry through economic recovery

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