Citing labour market research by the Office of National Statistics, CITB points out that 19% of the UK construction workforce is aged 55- plus and set to retire in the next 5-10 years and 24% (equivalent to 518,000 people) currently aged 45–54 will retire within 20 years. Just over a third of the workforce is self-employed and of these 23% (equivalent to 182,800 people) will also retire from the industry in the next 5-10 years.
According to the CITB, the East Midlands and the South West will be particularly badly hit, with 22% of construction workers leaving the industry over the next 5-10 years. Greater London, with the greatest concentration of construction workers in the UK, is likely to perform better than the rest of the country with only 12% (equivalent to 38,500 workers) retiring over the next 5-10 years. The number of people retiring in Scotland and Wales over the next 5-10 years will be similar to the total number of people retiring in the North East and South West combined – approximately 56,000 people.
CITB’s interim chief executive William Burton, said that employers must start recruiting and training more young people if the industry is to avert a crisis: “The construction sector is essential for local and national economic growth and to avoid the similar skills crisis that affected the industry in the early 1990s, we urge employers to act now.”