We know our industry has an age problem. In that we’re not not attracting anywhere near enough youth to our industry to support it in the years going forwards. So, in my usual end of year dig through my site’s stats I had a quick look at the breakdown of readers by age group. The results didn’t make for good reading. At all.

Less than 4%

That’s how many people who read this site are aged between 18-24. Here’s the full breakdown:

For clarity, roughly 95% of my site’s traffic is industry-facing and over two thirds of that are in installation, fabrication and systems companies. So the data is pretty accurate.

It’s depressing that three times of people reading this site are over 65 years of age. It’s great for those still working who are that all, all power to them. But it only highlights the enormous disparity our industry has in attracting young people into our industry.

Now I understand that I have to add a pinch of salt to how low those 18-24 figures are. I wouldn’t expect a school leaver to suddenly find their way to this site for example, after just joining the industry. But, given the accurate representation of the data of my readers, I’d say that this remains a fairly accurate picture of the state of affairs out there.

When you look at the stats, just about half of readers are aged 45 and above. If this was an industry good at attracting youth and new talent those figures should be much lower.

I’m highlighting this now as there is a renewed push, in the form of Building Our Skills, to try and make a serious push to capture a new generation of talent and young people that will see this industry through the next ten years.

If you think these stats aren’t great, consider this…

DGB Tech

A quarter to retire

At the FIT Show Exhibitors Day it was announced that a quarter of all people working within UK fenestration are due to retire within the next ten years, with little evidence to show that any of those people will be replaced by new talent.

Just think about that and the seriousness of the problem. A quarter of all those who work in this sector are due to leave the sector within the next decade. Imagine you’re a major fabricator or systems company for a second, and then just wipe off a quarter of your workforce. Could you still function as a business? No, would be the answer. Most of us work for SME’s in this industry, and we can’t afford to be just a couple of staff members down, never mind a quarter.

This was the stat that really did highlight the gravity of the situation. If we cannot reverse this trend, then I’m afraid the problem is going to very quickly become terminal. Perhaps in a couple of years, depending on the outcome of the various global events playing out right now.

The effort to turn the ship around however has to be an industry-wide one. Installers, fabricators, systems companies, IGU manufacturers, ancillary suppliers, industry media and all others in between. This industry has a lot to offer young people looking to make their way in the world. The pay is good so long as the effort and hard work goes into it. There are so many rewarding and influential positions in our sector. We’re far more than “double glazing”. Hopefully we can reach out to the next generation and show them that a career in fenestration is a good choice for them.

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