The UK construction industry is facing a major labour crisis! Therefore, it is vital that more and more young people are encouraged to choose jobs within the sector.
The construction industry generates almost £90 billion annually and is a major sector within the UK economy. They employ over 2.9 million people! This represents around 10% of UK jobs. But this is not enough. There are now not enough skilled workers to help keep the country on track with its housebuilding targets. Therefore, the industry needs to fill 182,000 jobs by 2018.
The shortage has particularly become an issue in recent months. Nearly two thirds of companies are reporting that they are struggling to hire bricklayers. 55% are also finding it hard to source joiners and carpenters. This is according to the Federation of Master Builders within the SME construction sector.
Not only this but the current construction workforce are also ageing. There is apparently a significant number of workers retiring, or due to retire, within the next ten years. Therefore, a focus needs to be placed upon encouraging younger individuals to join the sector.
For young people though, the construction industry isn’t seen as a glamorous sector to work in. It also tends to lose out to other industries that are better paid and more stable. Most individuals though merely don’t know about the type of jobs and the opportunities on offer in the sector. There is instead a preconception that the jobs are predominantly manual. This is not the case though. There are many other career types available that could suit just about anyone, regardless of their skills.
Therefore, it has been recommended that action needs to be taken in changing these perceptions. There instead, needs to be better communication about the positives of working within the industry. The government has already invested over £1 billion in training and apprenticeship schemes. However, the industry itself now needs to play its part in attracting new workers and incentivising young people.
So what do you think? Have you noticed a shortage of workers on site? Let us know in the comments below.