Construction is an important source of jobs in Glamorgan, with around 5.5% of the workforce employed in the industry. The sector suffered badly during the economic downturn and looks set to make a slow recovery.
Research for a Construction Skills Network report concluded the Welsh construction industry would continue to decline until 2014, but that it would then begin to see a steady increase in the amount of new work and maintenance contracts available. The Welsh government's 21st Century Schools programme and planned upgrades to Cardiff's Llandough Hospital and Merthyr Tydfil's Prince Charles Hospital are likely to result in more employment opportunities for construction staff. The study also found the most in demand skills over the next few years would be bricklaying, HVAC, plumbing, joinery and construction management.
Many of the UK's largest construction companies have offices and depots in Glamorgan, including Laing O'Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Morgan Sindall and Kier, and they are among the major employers in the industry. There are also lots of small design and build contractors and repair specialists that require apprentices and experienced staff.
Salaries for permanent jobs in Glamorgan tend to be lower than the UK average, with quantity surveyors earning between £30,000 and £37,000 a year, and civil engineers paid £35,000 to £40,000. Skilled tradesmen working on short-term contracts via recruitment agencies can expect to be paid from £10 to £13 an hour.