The construction sector in Greater Essex is the largest of all the ESB's priority sectors, employing more than 85,000 people.

Alan Cadman

Sector Lead Construction | Cadman Group

Alan is an partner and director of Cadman Group who are based in Colchester, Essex.

Cadman Group is a well established professional building company with a strong heritage going back over eighty years. The C.M. Cadman Group Ltd provide management services to two subsidiary companies tailored towards both Small and Major Works opportunities to meet the needs of a highly competitive industry. 

Careers in construction video

Construction is a career like no other. Take a walk through the huge variety of roles that the industry can offer. Go to to find out more.

Careers in construction video

Construction is a career like no other. Take a walk through the huge variety of roles that the industry can offer. Go to to find out more.


The challenge for the construction sector in Essex is huge. Detailed research suggests that the industry in Essex will need to grow its workforce by beween 12,000 and 24,000 people by 2021!

CITB research indicates that Greater Essex currently needs to increase its workforce from 85,000 to between 97,000 and 109,000 employees to reach the forecasted level of need. 

Key Stats

This sector employs more than 85,000 people in over 15,000 companies in Essex.

Essex Employers include: Anderson Group, Brennan Group, Cadman Group, Countryside Properties, EJ Taylor & Sons, Higgins Construction, Hutton Construction Ltd., Kier Group Plc., Keepmoat, Ringway Jacobs.

Find out more in our construction sector skills profile.


The sector has a number of skills challenges which include:

  • Not enough people want to pursue careers in the sector
  • Not enough people are training
  • Employers not investing in skills and see apprenticeships as a risk
  • Training providers have huge challenges in attracting tutors and assessors
  • Training provision is not always delivering what industry needs
  • An aging workforce

Construction Sector Action Group

The sector action group is made up of employers and other stakeholders who want to make a positive contribution to addressing the skills challenges within the sector. The group works together to identify and develop industry led solutions to the skills challanges within the sector.

Our ambitions are to:

  1. Increase the workforce in Essex from 85,000 to between 97,000 and 109,000 people by 2021. This requires a growth of between 2,400 and 4,800 people per annum.
  2. Increase number of construction learning aims delivered in Essex from 7.2% (6,100) to 10% (8,500) of all learning aims by 2021. This converts to an estimated growth in learner numbers from 4,700 to 6,500.[1] (Based on 2012/13 data).
  3. Increase proportion of construction apprenticeships starts from 3.5% to 10% of all apprenticeship starts by 2021, this equates to an increase from 530 to 1,170 apprenticeship starts (based on 2014/15 figures).

What is it doing?

The sector action group has worked closely with industry, local training providers and the CITB to develop a skills strategy and action plan for Essex which focusses on increasing the workforce, increasing apprenticeships and increasing the number of people training.

In order to do this a range of activities have been identified. These include:

  • Working with schools to inspire young people to take up apprenticeships or pursue careers in the sector through activities such as masterclasses, work experience and industry taster days - delivered via the ESB's Education and Industry STEM programme
  • Distributing careers information - via the ESB's 'What's Your Thing' resources
  • Providing Grants to upskill or recruit tutorrs - via the ESB's Golden Hello programme
  • Holding Jobs Fairs
  • Providing CPD sessions for construction teaching staff as well as careers guidance professionals.
  • Developing a marketing campaign to change the perception about careers in the industry amonst adults/young people

Get involved?

In order to make a difference and deliver the activities outlined below we need employeer engagement and involvement. We need employers to help us tackle the skills challenges in Essex. Can you help?


[1] Learner numbers are based on an assumptions made using SFA data that each learner accounts for 1.3 learning aims.



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