Employers in Lancashire and beyond are being urged to recruit and support a diverse workforce, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said today.
The RICS – a professional body which sets standards in the land, property and construction sectors - said on top of an ageing workforce, the region’s property industry is also facing a skills shortage.
And it said the lack of qualified candidates is causing many North West based firms to have problems recruiting.
The organisation said employers can improve such recruitment issues by hiring a diverse workforce and ensuring staff receive regular training and opportunities to upskill.
Richard Schofield, 65, managing director at Rider Hunt Management Services, and chairman of the Rider Hunt UK Group said: “No matter what your age, ethnicity, religion or gender - there should be no barriers to anyone’s aspirations.
“We must attract and retain young talent, but we must not forget about those with years of experience, including parents who took a career break to look after their children.
“Their invaluable knowledge and expertise can help address any skills shortages by encouraging young professionals through training and mentoring initiatives.”
The RICS believes that one of the reasons it has so few female members (15 percent) is that women struggle to get back in to the industry at the same professional level they left to have a child, unless they return to work within a year. The organisation said firms that aren’t willing to offer flexible working are leaving some parents with no alternative but to leave the industry.
Chartered building surveyor, Rebecca Hailey of Jones Lang LaSalle is a mum of a two year old little boy.
She returned to her role as associate director - project and development services after 13 months, and said attitudes needed to change.
Rebecca said: “Where women opt to take a career break, it is essential that they can re-enter the workplace at the appropriate level.
“There is also a culture that if you are not seen to be at your desk, then you are not doing your job. This attitude needs to change.”