Construction skills shortfall puts 62,000 jobs on the line
A lack of young talent coming into the construction industry is threatening more than 62,000 jobs, according to new research released by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
Their study shows that over two fifths (42%) of construction firms are struggling to recruit workers with the right skills and that this is having a serious impact on businesses up and down the country – with some even saying it could put them out of business.
Nearly one in five (18%) employers said that a skills gap has hampered their growth over the last two years, while over a tenth has lost out on work due to their competitors having a more skilled workforce. Staggeringly, one in 20 businesses claim that a lack of readily available talent is putting them at risk of going under.
In response to these findings, CITB has teamed up with iconic construction machinery firm JCB to launch the Construction4Growth Skills Drive across England and Wales, to encourage a new generation of talented youngsters to explore career options in the sector.
The urgent need for new talent is further highlighted by ONS figures which show that 19% of construction workers – over 400,000 people – are due to retire in the next decade.
Discussing the research, James Wates, Chairman of CITB, said: “Our report clearly shows that more needs to be done to address construction’s skills ‘time bomb’, to safeguard jobs and ensure that growth is possible.
"With major projects such as the new nuclear build programme coming online in the next five years, now is the time to start sparking the imagination of young people and harnessing their talent for the future of the industry – any delay now could be putting the industry’s growth on hold.
“It is for this very reason that CITB will be hitting the roads this week, visiting schools and skills academies across England and Wales with its Construction4Growth Skills Drive, to support the industry in recruiting more young people.
"We need to show that construction is a high-tech, world class industry with outstanding career prospects.”