The UK’s design and construction industry is facing a “serious skills and knowledge gap” according to a report by the National Heritage Training Group (NHTG).
Even though the shortage of skills to work on England’s historic buildings has been reduced since 2005, the NHTG says the future of five million pre-1919 buildings could be at risk due to an unskilled workforce unable to carry out maintenance and repairs.
The knowledge gaps also affect the majority of building professionals who specify, commission and oversee this work, which is exacerbated by recruitment difficulties, says the NHTG.
According to the Traditional Building Craft Skills in England study, backed by ConstructionSkills and English Heritage, the shortage of craftspeople in this sector has reduced by 3,000 since 2005, when the NHTG announced a skills shortage of 6,590.
The NHTG says it will be working to increase demand for suitably skilled and building-conservation accredited professionals by increasing the number of high-quality entrants into the sector through better education and training courses.
By Ozge Ibrahim