31,000 expected to retire from Scottish construction industry over next decade

Ian Hughes
Ian Hughes

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has launched a campaign to get young people to join the construction industry as new statistics revealed 20% of the sector’s workforce is set to retire in the next decade.

Can You Dig It? has been timed to coincide with the exam results season, and encourages Scottish students to consider a construction career. Young people are being urged to take a special Personality Quiz on the Go Construct website to find out which of the over 150 construction careers is right for them.

The need for new talent is clear. CITB analysis of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Force Survey show that the industry in Scotland currently employs almost 16,000 people aged 60 or over and around 15,000 aged 55-59. As these workers move towards retirement, there is an excellent opportunity for young jobseekers, as well as more experienced people considering a career change.

The campaign also aims to make the industry more diverse – as construction currently has a workforce of only 14% female and 6% from an ethnic minority background, and that needs to change.

Ian Hughes, CITB strategic partnerships director in Scotland, said: “The reality in Scotland is that in five years’ time, around 10% of the industry workforce will have retired. Over the next decade, that total figure is closer to 20%, at nearly 31,000 people. The opportunities in construction are therefore truly vast for young people getting their exam results this August.

“The Can You Dig It? campaign sends a very clear message that the construction industry is open to all. With over 150 different jobs available – from drone operators to landscape architects, BIM managers to traditional stonemasons – there really is a career for everyone.

“With rapid and exciting changes in construction technology, the potential for offsite manufacturing to revolutionise the industry, and a 5.7% growth rate in Scotland’s private housing sector over 2017 and 2018, the industry needs young people – and their families – to give serious consideration to a career in construction.”

CITB is meanwhile working closely with industry to ensure that the construction industry continues to modernise and flourish with the recruitment of new, diverse talent of all ages and backgrounds.

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