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The construction industry will lose a fifth of its workforce to retirement.

With the construction industry facing its
biggest skills shortage since 2007, it’s more vital than ever that the industry
recruits new talent to its ranks. In fact, the Royal Institute of Chartered
Surveyors (RICS) believes that more than 200,000 skilled workers are needed by
the mid-2020s.

It doesn’t help that the industry is also
suffering from an ageing workforce. Data from the 2011 census showed that one in five employees
in the construction industry were aged over 55. This means that by 2020 the
industry will lose a fifth of its workforce to retirement — without enough
newcomers to replace them.

The clear solution is to attract young workers
to close the skills gap and ensure that there’s enough manpower for the
construction industry to hit its targets.

However, it’s not that simple.

Break down preconceptions

The industry is still seen as undesirable to
young people, with only 10% showing an interest in a career in construction.
This study by L&Q Group found that 50% of the young people surveyed were
interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), yet the
construction industry was described as “challenging and unexciting”.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Below,
health and safety experts 3B explores what steps can be taken by
construction companies, and the industry as a whole, to remove the stigma young
people have with construction and how to attract a new, vibrant workforce.

1. Pique their interest

Although manual labour is still a huge aspect
of construction, there’s a lot more on offer than hard hats and muddy boots.

Whether it’s drones, 3D printing or augmented
reality, the construction industry has embraced innovations in tech and can
offer exciting roles that simply aren’t available in other sectors. As a
generation that lives and breathes technology, there are plenty of exciting
opportunities for young people to get involved in.

The industry has already begun to better
educate young people on some of the exciting roles in construction. However, it
needs to start shouting louder about the revolutionary technology and range of
career opportunities available to attract the future talent it needs.

2. Perks are key

Perks were once seen as a retention tool for
employers as a way to keep their employees sweet.

Today, though, things are different., A survey
by Perkbox found that Generation Z (your future
workforce) value workplace perks more than any other generation. 36% claim that
it can make a big difference when choosing where to work.