Older construction workers experience should be passed on
Many of the older workers in the construction industry should be used to mentor younger people to pass on their skills and experience, as the older workers experience is being wasted according to a new report.
The Chartered Institute of Building has released results on its latest survey Exploring the impact of the ageing population on the workforce and built environment. The new research found that construction companies not using the experience of older construction workers or passing skills down to the next generation of workers and the problem is being exacerbated by a lack of training for new recruits.
Bridget Bartlett, Deputy Chief Executive of the CIOB commented saying: “As our own research tells us, skills shortages in construction are compounded by those entering the industry not being suitably qualified for the position.
“We should take this opportunity to use older workers to tap into their skills and knowledge and ensure they are passed onto the next generation.”
The report added: “Retaining ageing workers’ knowledge and skills is crucial, and the report sends a clear message to policymakers and industry leaders: to be successful, construction needs to see far greater investment and recognition of ageing workers.”
Only 63% of firms said mentoring of younger workers but experienced colleagues was a regular feature of their companies.
Respondents highlighted the difficulties obtaining high-calibre staff to deliver and participate in such schemes.
Employers are warned that they need to do more to retain older workers with 19% of the construction workforce set to retire in the next five to ten years.
This will involve retraining and re-purposing jobs to retain older workers.
But the CIOB warned “this not be considered a substitute for investing in training, and should work hand-in-hand to help alleviate the ongoing skills crisis.”
Bartlett said: “If construction is to meet the skills crisis it faces and fill the 224,000 vacancies needed by 2019, employers should look to take additional steps to overcome the skills shortages they incur by reaching out to older workers.
“There is a huge opportunity to showcase to both young and old members of the workforce that construction isn’t all hard hats and hi-vis and that off-site opportunities are aplenty.
“We demand technical skills as much as manual skills.”
To read the full report please follow link Exploring the impact of the ageing population on the workforce and built environment