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Blog | 27. Oktober 2017

DEMAND FOR HOUSING FUELS CONSTRUCTION BOOM IN BERLIN

There’s life in the old dog yet. Admittedly a cliche, but it most definitely applies to Berlin’s construction industry. From little more than treading water in the early days of the new millennium, the industry has since evolved into one of the German capital’s most successful economic sectors. Last year alone, Berlin’s major construction companies (i.e. those with 20 and more employees) generated revenues of EUR 2.6 billion – up by 17.1 percent in just 12 months. The sector’s boom is largely being fueled by a sharp uptick in residential construction. Berlin is growing non-stop and needs more and more homes to meet the needs of its rapidly growing population. As a result, the number of residential construction contracts skyrocketed by more than 40 percent in 2016, which drove revenues more than 38 percent higher. There was also more work to be done in civil engineering, road construction and commercial/industrial civil engineering, with revenues in these sub-segments also posting double-digit growth of between 10 and 13 percent.

 

ORDER BOOKS ARE FULL, SPIRITS ARE HIGH

Construction company order books remained full in the first half of 2017. By the summer, the Berlin construction industry had posted revenues of EUR 1.4 billion. The ongoing construction boom in the City on the Spree is having an ever greater impact on the size of the sector’s workforce. In comparison to the first half of 2016, the expanding construction industry employed an average of 13,376 employees per month, almost ten percent more than just one year earlier. In July 2017, more than 13,700 people were employed on construction sites across the city and worked a combined 7.3 million hours – an increase of more than eight percent over the first half of 2016.

 

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TURNS TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION

With Berlin’s economy growing and the construction industry following suit, local construction companies are confronting a whole new set of challenges. The city urgently needs more skilled workers. Across the Berlin-Brandenburg region as a whole, 1,000 extra apprentices per year are needed in the construction industry  – as construction plant operators, bricklayers, road builders, tunnel and sewer builders, specialist civil engineers, railroad and pipeline constructors, well diggers and concrete and reinforced concrete specialists. Even in a city as hip as Berlin, skilled workers are getting older and older. The latest employment data reveals that almost 31 percent of construction workers are over the age of 50. The same number have already celebrated their 40th birthday. Worryingly, less than 12 percent of all construction workers are below the age of 31.

Construction companies are doing everything they can to counter this development and to secure the future viability of their companies by ramping up the amount they are investing in training and apprenticeships. For Berlin’s construction industry, the new training year began in September. The agency responsible for promoting vocational training, Fachgemeinschaft Bau Berlin und Brandenburg, estimates that around ten percent more trainees were recruited this year than last (2016:188 contracts). This continues the growth trend of the past five years. When it comes to developing the next generation of talent, Berlin’s construction industry is clearly building for the future.

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Blog | 27. Oktober 2017

DEMAND FOR HOUSING FUELS CONSTRUCTION BOOM IN BERLIN

There’s life in the old dog yet. Admittedly a cliche, but it most definitely applies to Berlin’s construction industry. From little more than treading water in the early days of the new millennium, the industry has since evolved into one of the German capital’s most successful economic sectors. Last year alone, Berlin’s major construction companies (i.e. those with 20 and more employees) generated revenues of EUR 2.6 billion – up by 17.1 percent in just 12 months. The sector’s boom is largely being fueled by a sharp uptick in residential construction. Berlin is growing non-stop and needs more and more homes to meet the needs of its rapidly growing population. As a result, the number of residential construction contracts skyrocketed by more than 40 percent in 2016, which drove revenues more than 38 percent higher. There was also more work to be done in civil engineering, road construction and commercial/industrial civil engineering, with revenues in these sub-segments also posting double-digit growth of between 10 and 13 percent.

 

ORDER BOOKS ARE FULL, SPIRITS ARE HIGH

Construction company order books remained full in the first half of 2017. By the summer, the Berlin construction industry had posted revenues of EUR 1.4 billion. The ongoing construction boom in the City on the Spree is having an ever greater impact on the size of the sector’s workforce. In comparison to the first half of 2016, the expanding construction industry employed an average of 13,376 employees per month, almost ten percent more than just one year earlier. In July 2017, more than 13,700 people were employed on construction sites across the city and worked a combined 7.3 million hours – an increase of more than eight percent over the first half of 2016.

 

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TURNS TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION

With Berlin’s economy growing and the construction industry following suit, local construction companies are confronting a whole new set of challenges. The city urgently needs more skilled workers. Across the Berlin-Brandenburg region as a whole, 1,000 extra apprentices per year are needed in the construction industry  – as construction plant operators, bricklayers, road builders, tunnel and sewer builders, specialist civil engineers, railroad and pipeline constructors, well diggers and concrete and reinforced concrete specialists. Even in a city as hip as Berlin, skilled workers are getting older and older. The latest employment data reveals that almost 31 percent of construction workers are over the age of 50. The same number have already celebrated their 40th birthday. Worryingly, less than 12 percent of all construction workers are below the age of 31.

Construction companies are doing everything they can to counter this development and to secure the future viability of their companies by ramping up the amount they are investing in training and apprenticeships. For Berlin’s construction industry, the new training year began in September. The agency responsible for promoting vocational training, Fachgemeinschaft Bau Berlin und Brandenburg, estimates that around ten percent more trainees were recruited this year than last (2016:188 contracts). This continues the growth trend of the past five years. When it comes to developing the next generation of talent, Berlin’s construction industry is clearly building for the future.

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