The construction sector in Greater Essex is the largest of all the ESB's priority sectors, employing 65,000 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. 

Unlocking construction's digital future

CITB’s report, the first of its kind, reveals that for change to happen, new cultures and ways of working need to be driven from the top; leaders of companies large and small need to ‘think digital’ in everything they do.

Unlocking construction's digital future

CITB’s report, the first of its kind, reveals that for change to happen, new cultures and ways of working need to be driven from the top; leaders of companies large and small need to ‘think digital’ in everything they do.


The challenge for the construction sector in Essex is huge. Detailed research suggests that the industry in Essex will need to grow its workforce from 65,000 to between 76,500 - 88,500 by 2021 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, 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 Greater Essex by 2,400-4,800 per annum, a workforce target of 76,500 - 88,500 by 2021.
  2. Increase number of construction learning aims delivered in Essex from 7.3% (6,179) to 10% of all learning aims by 2021. This converts to an estimated growth in learner numbers from 4,700 to 6,500.[1] (Based on 2016/17 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 500 to 1,429 apprenticeship starts (based on 2016/17 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 plus developing a construction booklet for schools to use with their students, providing a flavour of roles in the sector.
  • Working with partners to deliver Construction Pop-up Shops supporting career changers and those furthest away from employment. 
  • Funding and supporting construction training for the ex-military and ex-offenders. 
  • Working with the FE sector, industry and partners to address the shortage and quality of construction tutors. 
  • An ongoing marketing campaign for young people, adults and influencers (careers professionals and parents) to dispel myths and promote the diverse nature of the sector. This campaign includes posters and targeted social media campaigns. 
  • Influencing or supporting curriculum/provision across Greater Essex including:
    • promoting delivery of Design Engineer Construct (DEC!) qualifications in schools.
    • investing and supporting FE and HE provision. This enables dedicated construction centres, courses in new skills such as modern methods of construction and pathways to support professional pathways.

Get involved?

In order to make a difference and deliver the activities outlined below we need employer 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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