BUILDING industry bosses in Yorkshire risk suffering a serious skills shortage due to its ageing workforce, training chiefs have warned.
Industry sector skills council ConstructionSkills said employers had to recruit and train from a wider pool of potential workers or face a “workforce timebomb”.
Construction Skills has launched Positive Image, a recruitment campaign which aims to tackle the problem.
It said: “Despite 20% growth in the construction workforce since the early 1990s, the expansion has been uneven across different age groups.
“The number of workers aged 60 and over in the industry has doubled over this period, while those aged 24 and under has fallen by 27%.
“While the increasing age profile is most pronounced in the manual workforce, professional trades such as architecture, mechanical and civil engineering could also lose 20% of their manpower to retirement in the next 10 years.”
ConstructionSkills said more women and people from ethnic minorities were entering the industry. But as a proportion of the total workforce the figures had remained almost unchanged since 1990, with women comprising 10% to 12% and ethnic minority workers making up 2% to 4%.
Ken Parker, area manager for ConstructionSkills Yorkshire and Humber, said: “We haven’t had a workforce this old since the Second World War.
“It’s time for employers to act.”