The Haven Gateway has a relatively high concentration of construction employment. The industry’s share of total employment is equal to, or greater than, in England as a whole in all Haven Gateway districts with the exception of Ipswich and Suffolk Coastal. Looking to the future, employment in the sector is likely to grow. Between 2016 and 2031, Cambridge Econometrics forecast an increase in employment of around 30% in the Haven Gateway (equivalent to around 7,800 additional jobs).
Future growth will be influenced by development demand. The Gateway has ambitious targets for new housing and commercial development, for example, the planned North Essex Garden Communities in Braintree, Colchester and Tendring have long term capacity for an additional 42,000 homes, and the Gateway is also in relatively close proximity to developments in London. However, in the shorter term, employment in the sector will be determined by current demand driving the pace of delivery. Positively, the industry reports rising workload expectations, particularly within the private housing sector, despite fears that Brexit could dampen demand.
Over the medium to long term, the Gateway will also host a number of significant infrastructure investments. These include the likely development of the Sizewell C nuclear power station, which will, at its peak, require a construction site workforce of around 6,000. In the longer term, significant construction demand may also be required in the event of the development of the Bradwell B site in Maldon. Substantial infrastructure investment will also accompany the area’s planned housing growth, with, for example, the planned dualling of the A120 east of Braintree and improvements to the A12.