Industry warned to lay skills foundations
THE Scottish construction sector faces a ‘skills timebomb’ if it fails to recruit workers to replace more than 35,000 people due to retire in the next five to 10 years, says the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
Labour market r esearch, published by the Office of National Statistics, shows that across Scotland:
19%(equivalent to 35,389 people) of Scotland’s construction workers are aged 55+ and will retire in the next 5-10 years
25%(equivalent to 47,606 people) of Scottish construction workers are aged 45-54 and due to retire in the next 10 to 20 years
One quarter of the Scottish construction workforce is selfemployed and 23% (equivalent to 10,842 people) of those are due to retire in the next five to 10 years
CITB is encouraging employers to recruit from the emerging pool of talented young people who will be considering their next steps after receiving their Standard Grade and Higher results. Graeme Ogilvy, Scotland director for CITB, said: “Almost one in five workers is set to retire from the Scottish construction industry over the next five to 10 years, so not taking action to encourage young people to join the industry – and investing in the training to upskill our existing workforce – is no longer an option.
“The construction sector is essential for local and national economic growth, and to avoid the similar skills crisis that affected the indus- try in the early 1990s we urge employers to act now.”
The data also shows that UK construction generally has a higher age profile than other industries – 19% of the workforce is expected to retire over the next five to 10 years compared to 17% across the whole of the UK workforce.
Last year, CITB provided £78.2 million in grants to employers across the UK for training, and supported more than 17,000 construction apprentices.