Report by skills body also found 42% of firms struggling to recruit workers with right skills

James Wates

James Wates

More than 60,000 jobs are at risk because of the ticking ‘time bomb’ of too little fresh talent coming into the construction industry, skills body the CITB has warned.

In a new study the CITB found that 62,000 jobs are in danger with more than two fifths (42%) of firms struggling to recruit workers with the right skills and one in 20 of them claiming this is putting them at risk of going bust.

The study also found that almost one in five employers (18%) claim that this skills gap has hampered their growth over the past two years.

The problem could become more acute due to the fact that 19% of construction workers – more than 400,000 people – are due to retire in the next decade, according to the Office for National Statistics.

CITB chairman James Wates, who has written his latest Building column on the subject, said urgent action was now required.

He 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.”

“We need to show that construction is a high-tech, world class industry with outstanding career prospects.”  

In response to the findings, CITB and machinery firm JCB have launched a fresh Construction4Growth skills drive across England and Wales, to encourage a new generation of talented youngsters to explore career options in construction.