A group of industry leaders has called on the government to consider proposals developed by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank on how the UK can implement teh skills needed to help achieve net zero by 2050.
In the new report, the IPPR warns that up to 750,000 construction workers could retire or be on the verge of retiring over the next 15 years and not enough is being done to replace those workers, with just 20% of construction workers currently aged under 30.
The letter is signed by leading industry figures including Mark Reynolds, the CEO of Mace Group, along with industry bodies including The Federation of Master Builders, The Chartered Institute of Builders, British Property Federation and the Construction Industry Training Board.
The organisations have said that the UK’s 10-point plan to achieve net zero climate emissions by 2050 is a shared responsibility. “Central to the plan is the construction industry, which will be responsible for designing, building and maintaining the infrastructure that will play a pivotal role in decarbonising our built environment,” said the group.
However, the entire construction industry is facing large and persistent skills gaps and skills shortages, that may hamper its ability to make good on the government’s ambitions. The issue of skills and employment encompasses recruitment, training and retention of workers, it added.
“To assess the performance of current employment and skills programmes, we conducted qualitative research among practitioners involved in the Thames Tideway Tunnel Project, and among stakeholders from industry.
“We discover that skills and employment programmes in the infrastructure sector are hamstrung by a lack of collective action among firms, and a lack of leadership in government. However, we also find that the workforce is already capable, at least in terms of its knowledge and technical capability, of building the infrastructure needed to achieve net zero.”
To read the full report click here: Skills for a green recovery: A call to action for the UK construction industry | IPPR