More young people need to reinvigorate trades industry and avoid “retirement timebomb”

The construction industry is at a crossroads: with an abundance of older contractors and no one coming in to replace them, according to new research.

New figures from CITB-Construction Skills indicate that 1 in 6 contractors are set to retire within the next decade and there is not enough youngsters coming into the trades to replace them.

The statistics from CITB-Construction Skills show:

• 17% of the construction workforce are now within 10 years of retirement.

• The number of workers aged 55+ has increased dramatically, by 65% in the last two decades

• BUT the number of workers aged 24 and under has fallen by 40% and the total number of 16-19 year olds has halved since 2008.

Basically this has all resulted in too many of the older tradesmen, and although they are extremely competent with years of experience, it doesn’t exactly bode well for the future, as the trades could lose 19% of their workforce to retirement in the next decade.

Mark Farrar, the Chief Executive of CITB-Construction Skills, has spoken out about this alarming trend, saying:

“We are working hard to attract new blood into the industry because if we don’t act now this retirement timebomb could compromise our ability to benefit from the up-turn in the economy when it comes.

The risk is that the ageing workforce, coupled with a failure to train and attract sufficient people now, will result in a skills vacuum and manpower shortage in the future.”

And that’s what the construction industry needs – more young people entering the trades. The industry needs to evolve and stay with the times, and new recruits are the lifeblood of the industry.

What’s the alternative? Having no electricians, plumbers or builders in a few years time when we are out of the recession and construction activity is picking up – but there is no one to do the work?

The government are focusing on getting more young people into apprenticeships, as they highlighted in this year’s Budget that they plan to create 40,000 new apprenticeships this year and a total of 250,000 by 2015.

What we need is a gradual introduction of young people into construction to work alongside the older generation. The elder tradesmen can then show the youngsters the ropes and then when they retire in a decade, there’s a new generation that can take over the reigns.

What do you think of the construction industry at the moment – is it a retirement timebomb? Let us know what you think and comment below…



About Train4tradeSkills

Train4TradeSkills offer the only trade training skills courses that combine three great ways to learn, through a unique blend of book based theory, practical workshops and virtual reality PC based training, to help you qualify you as a plumber, electrician or gas engineer. No other learning provider offers our unique way to study, with full tutor support, easy to follow, step by step modules. Once you complete one part of the course and return your work for marking, the next stage of the course automatically follows. It’s as easy as that. It’s fun, it’s easy to follow... and it can be fitted around your existing work and family commitments!

Posted on August 4, 2011, in construction jobs, construction news, t4ts, train4tradeskills and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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