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Failure on female site workers a 'time bomb'

THE CONSTRUCTION industry is facing a 'demographic time bomb' due to its failure to attract more women, the Chartered Institute of Builders has warned.

New research from the organisation said occupational segregation and backward company policies were behind the poor recruitment and retention of women in the industry.

It says: 'Construction is facing a demographic time bomb - the pool of traditional male applicants is contracting and the current workforce is aging, leading to problems of skills shortages and retentions.

There is a need to tap into the talents of the 'other half' of the workforce - children and ethnic minorities.'

The report highlighted that just 15 per cent of construction firms give women more than the statutory 18 weeks of maternity leave. This compares with 27 per cent across all sectors.

Women in the UK construction industry currently account for less than 10 per cent of the workforce, with just 1 per cent in manual trades.

The study concludes: 'It is absolutely clear that there could be many more women in the industry if it adopted better recruitment and retention policies.

'The main factor that hinders the absorption of more women in the sector remains the organisational work culture of the industry, which needs to become more flexible to encompass a good work-life balance.'

www. cnplus. co. uk