We still face the challenge of around one in six construction workers due to retire within the next 10 years and yet the number of people in the industry is more than half it was since the beginning of the downturn.
It has long been recognised that the construction industry is facing a skills vacuum, but are things changing, is anything being done about it?
One of the most effective ways of fighting back against a loss of skills in the construction industry is to encourage more young people to consider an apprenticeship as a route into employment.
With the initiative driven by government, quality apprenticeships are more readily available and accessible, these can help people to progress and succeed: whilst they can also help address the missing skills that businesses require and create the skilled workforce that are needed to compete.
It has been shown that businesses investing in their staff are far more likely to survive an economic downturn than those that don’t. Investing in training can give huge rewards - improved service, contented clients and staff loyalty.
What else can we do?
- Training: up-skill your workforce via apprenticeships, personal development and employability skills.
- Recruitment: ensure that your recruitment strategy includes all ages young and old, helping to provide a sustainable workforce.
- Performance improvement: work alongside your partners and suppliers to develop your management capacity, improve production and efficiency.
- Education engagement: engage with schools, colleges and universities to explain to young people the possibility of great career in our industry.
- Sector engagement: work with others to develop and promote the messages about opportunities within your sector. Work with others to develop and maximise what is on offer from the new style apprenticeships that are available and needed to provide employers with the right people with the right skills.
We don't have to do all these, but just those that appropriate to the size of your business and the resources available.