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14 January 2022

Understanding how to attract the next generation and tackling the skills shortage in the current climate of today

  • UK construction output will return to pre-Covid-19 levels in 2022, growing at an average rate of 4.4% across 2021-2025.
  • Construction will need to recruit an extra 217,000 workers, or over 43,000 per year, between 2021-2025. The UK government’s commitment to achieving Net Zero will require the equivalent of 350,000 new construction roles by 2028.
  • More than 500,000 British construction workers are expected to retire in the next 10 to 15 years.

The Stace Next Gen Index has found that 8% of 16-18 year olds are considering a career in the construction sector compared to 7% 2 years ago. Disappointingly, the industry’s efforts to attract a more diverse workforce will continue to be a challenge, with only 3% females and 6% of BAME background targeting construction as a career.

This research compiled by Stace and the CITB has helped evaluate the property and construction industry and reflect on the challenges that we have had over the last two years, including Brexit and how the workforce has been dwindling due to dependence on labour skills.

  • 45% of our CO2 emissions relate to the built environment.
  • The construction industry has a vital role in meeting the government’s targets to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

Highlighting how the importance of the environment and sustainability is a major influence on the next generation, working in this industry shows how they can influence the sector and how they can possibly benefit the world.

Gareth Sinnamon, Partner at Stace comments: “The next generation is our biggest hope. However, our research shows that they still do not consider construction an attractive career. Perhaps, the problem is that the industry has been too busy stating ‘we need them’ rather than asking ‘what do they need?”

Growing diversity and influencers

Some of the key findings say that females prefer creativity to be a main reason with 51% and salary coming in second with 41%, the figures were partially reversed for males with salary and then with the opportunity to become an expert in their field coming in second. With Gen Z family or friends who’ve worked in the industry, social media or at school, college or university have been a key influence.

Lee Bryer, Research Strategy Lead at CITB comments: “Attracting entrants from Gen Z, the newest generation, born between 1997 and 2012 will also be good for industry in terms of the digitalisation of the sector and kickstarting the cultural revolution that is required to broaden the diversity of the industry. Gen Z are on track to be the most well-educated generation yet, they are digital natives, and more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation.”

Carol Lynch, Chief Executive, Construction Youth Trust comments: “As we return to something like normality, our previous priorities begin to re-emerge and take centre stage again. Our industry still faces a skills shortage, perhaps even more acute now with national labour shortages across many sectors, and there is still a long way to go to ensure that diverse young talent view construction and the built environment as an aspirational career choice.”

Gareth Sinnamon concludes: “The government is dictating to business to stop its reliance on labour from overseas. The need to invest in our workforce, both present and future, couldn’t be greater. The challenge of the last two years have shown that this great industry can pull together and be a force for good. It is time to focus our efforts on skills and do it again.”


How to attract the next generation – a step by step guide
Stace Next Gen Index
The Stace Next Gen Index is based on interviews with 810 young people aged 16–18, all of whom are living across the UK. The gender split for the research was slightly higher for females, with 54% of respondents being female and 45% being male. Full methodology is available in the report.

About Stace:
Stace is leading, multidisciplinary construction and property consultancy delivering our services across the UK. At Stace, we believe that there are very few other professions which present an opportunity to create and influence the environment around us and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

About CITB
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) was set up on 21 July 1964 to build a safe, professional and fully qualified construction industry.
It was one of 21 industrial training boards established in the wake of the Industrial Training Act 1964, primarily to address concerns about UK skills shortages.

About Construction Youth Trust
Construction Youth Trust is a charity whose aim is to inspire and enable young people to overcome barriers and discover a career in the Construction and Built Environment sector.

Media Enquiries:
Mita Mistry | Telephone: +4420 737 72391 | Email:


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