Whitepaper: The Construction Market - Global Hot Spots

NES Global Whitepaper

The construction industry is one of the
largest contributors to the world’s gross
domestic product, although the drivers
for growth are wide and varied and make
for a very complex patchwork of local
markets, all working on their own cycle of
boom and bust.

It is not uncommon for one region to be
thriving, whilst neighbouring regions and
cities are in the doldrums. That said on a
macro level the ability to borrow money
easily and fund projects always has a
positive effect, and with interest rates
across most of the world at some of their
all-time lows much of the industry is now
showing signs of recovery.

With a global footprint of offices supplying
recruitment to the construction and
infrastructure industry, NES Global Talent
assesses some of the key hot spots around
the world, and looks at the skills that will be
needed to meet demand.




Following the resources boom of the last ten years
the Australian government is pumping a lot of
revenue into the infrastructure market to stimulate
the economy and promote jobs.

Coupled with the availability of funds through low interest
rates and an influx of inward investment from China both
commercial and residential construction is booming in this
region. With work drying up on the resources rich states in
the West and North of the country, money is being drawn
back to the traditional centres of growth in the Australian
economy in Sydney and Melbourne. Inward migration into
these population centres is requiring new infrastructure,
housing and services.

A number of major road projects are underway such as the
Pacific Highway Upgrade, along with infrastructure projects
in new rail developments including the North West Rail Link,
West Connex, and the Sydney Light Rail Project. Major
commercial projects include the Queens Wharf in Brisbane
and the Aquis Casino in Cairns. Supporting these multibillion
dollar projects are a vast array of large scale residential
projects which in turn have supported a variety of hospitals,
schools and entertainment developments.

Which skills are in demand?
Civil engineering experience in both design and project
management is now in demand, as are skills in overseeing
residential and medium sized commercial projects.

NES Global Jobs

The UK
Meanwhile in the northern hemisphere the UK
market is experiencing a similar boom period
buoyed by lower interest rates and increased
investment from both the public and private sector
and overseas. There has been huge investment from
China and a series of Government initiatives such as
“Construction 2025” and the planned HS2/3 rail link,
which will provide a further boost.

This upward trend has been given further impetus by large
projects such as the Hinkley Power Station, the Thames
Tideway and the Asset Management Programme (AMP6)
gathering steam.

The UK Construction industry has now surpassed its
pre-recession peak in 2008 and is actually facing a new
problem of a skills gap rather than a dearth of work. In its
2015 “National Infrastructure Plan for Skills” report, the UK
government stated:

“With the growth in infrastructure investment, the pipeline
creates a demand for over 250,000 construction and
over 150,000 engineering construction workers by 2020,
driving a need to recruit and train nearly 100,000 additional
workers by the end of the decade.”

*The government has introduced initiatives to tackle
this problem such as a commitment to deliver 3 million
apprenticeships and establish a network of Institutes of
Technology to enable young people to follow a more
technical educational pathway. While a proportion of the
skills needed will be met through new entrants to the
sector, others will need to be delivered through retraining
and up-skilling the existing workforce, which could lead to
some exciting new opportunities for all.

Which skills are in demand?
To resource these projects there will be a demand for
Construction Managers, Contracts Managers, Project
Managers, Estimators, Quantity Surveyors and Architects.
New technical skills, including digital and technologybased
skills will also be in demand as major projects such
as High Speed 2 move into delivery.


The Middle East
The construction market in Qatar is one of the
rapidly growing markets in the Middle East and
is a popular destination for investments. The
country is poised for increased activity in its
construction sector, driven by the upcoming
FIFA World Cup competition in 2022 and the
government’s long-term economic development
plan Qatar National Vision 2030.

In addition to the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and the scaling
up of its investments to deliver the Qatar National Vision
2030 there are also a number of major other projects on the
horizon, including the US$7 billion deep water port and a
US$1 billion transportation corridor in the capital city Doha.
New roads, stadiums and facilities will account for a further
US$200 billion in spending over the next 10 years. Nearly
US$350 billion of projects are currently in the planning
or construction phase. Alongside the infrastructure and
construction markets, around US$60 billion is expected to
be spent on hotel, leisure, tourism, sports, recreational and
infrastructure projects including the US$15.5 billion Long
Distance Rail and Doha Metro Project.

Which skills are in demand?
All engineering disciplines and project management
personnel will be required for the projects. Whilst the majority
of projects are managed by the PMC employees there are
still opportunities for 3rd parties to support these activities.

NES Construction Jobs

Despite the recent drop in the oil price, there is
strong growth in civil infrastructure, healthcare,
and education related projects which is keeping
commercial construction strong in the US.
There are a number of major sports facilities projects
underway and in design phase including: NFL stadiums in
Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Washington
DC and Las Vegas with project values from $1B-$3B.
Supporting these multi-billion dollar projects are a vast
array of large scale residential, hotel, restaurant and retail

Large infrastructure projects are also underway, such as
The Grand Parkway in Houston which consists of 38 miles
of high access roadway, more than 120 bridges, intermittent
frontage roads and comprehensive utility infrastructure
which will cost approximately $1.1B. Another infrastructure
project of note is the expansion of the Panama Canal which
has been reported to be $5.3B in value and has ports
along the Gulf of Mexico and East Coast investing in their
infrastructure to support the increase of traffic and size of
vessels that will be coming through.

Other industries that are growing are Healthcare and
Education, with states releasing funds to provide for
new K-12 and higher education projects. Texas, Florida,
California, and the East Coast are building an abundance of
healthcare and medical office buildings to accommodate the
aging population and meet demand for flexible services.

Which skills are in demand?
Construction experience in project supervision and project
management is in high demand as well as candidates
with large healthcare and infrastructure project experience
who have civil engineering or construction management


Over in Malaysia Kuala Lumpur is still suffering
under the strain of limited public transport
options and stifling traffic congestion, which
means rail transport has been identified as a
key area of investment. The Government has
highlighted public transport to have a modal
share of 40% by 2030, compared to the current
20-25% at present.
There are also a number of infrastructure projects currently
underway in Malaysia including the LRT Extension
of Kelana Jaya, and Ampang lines, which are due for
completion in the summer of 2016. MRT 1, the first line of
the Klang Valley MRT which is 51km long and consists of
31 stations, phase 1 is due for completion in Dec 2016 with
phase 2 expected to be completed by summer 2017.
There are also three further high profile rail projects
planned including Phase two of the MRT. LRT 3 has
already begun in early 2016 and is expected to be
operational by August 2020. LRT 3 is the first rail project in
Malaysia that uses green technology applications including
water retention, energy efficient and natural air flows.
Looking to the future the HSR (High Speed Rail) between
Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and the Pan Borneo Highway
are two further projects ready to be given the green light.
Which skills are in demand?
Design engineering including Civil, Structural, M&E, Track
and Alignment, Signalling, Rolling Stock, Tunneling are
all skills in demand. We are also looking for Construction
Managers, Contracts Managers, Deliver Managers, Quality
and HSE personnel.
There is a growing effort and emphasis to hire Malaysians
for the listed key projects, however due to the number of
projects ongoing and the skills shortages that already exist
in many key areas the demand will outweigh the supply.

In Conclusion
If you are a construction and infrastructure
specialist looking for a new challenge it
appears your options are wide ranging and
there are some exciting projects underway in
the “hot spots” we’ve identified.

The picture is certainly not consistent the world over
however and some countries continue to suffer the effects
of the global recession. Government backing is always a
crucial ingredient to recovery and as other sectors (such
as Oil & Gas) begin to show signs of recovery the future is
certainly looking bright for construction candidates.

NES Global Jobs

We are an award winning manpower specialist that has placed over 70
different nationalities into 69 countries across the Oil and Gas, Power,
Construction and Infrastructure, Life Sciences, Manufacturing and IT sectors worldwide.

We provide guaranteed staffing solutions, sourced from a global
talent pool by a dedicated, discipline specific team of over 500 consultants.
Supported by our global network of more than 45 offices, across the world
we have the expertise and capability you need to help rationalise your
processes, and deliver a sustainable, efficient labour model.



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