Routes into construction.
It’s well known that construction is in the midst of a skills shortage, in the UK and across most of the world. In recent years people entering the jobs market have tended to look away from the industry towards areas like IT and services. This is partly due to an outdated impression of construction as a whole; many people don’t appreciate that the industry is evolving all the time and is at the cutting edge of technology and innovation. To continue the period of sustained growth we are currently experiencing, more people need to enter the industry, and below are some of the various routes one can take.
Colleges throughout the country offer various courses and qualifications in construction, either a general course or one specifically tailored to a specialism from brickwork to plumbing to painting and decorating. At most colleges these courses are open to all ages and typically require GCSE level education and/or the passing of an aptitude test.
As well as advertising current vacancies, Jobcentre Plus offices offer personal assistance and support, so can guide and advise you how best to get into construction in your local area. Jobcentres often have links with large employers in the area so will be able to keep you updated on any developments with regards to vacancies.
A CSCS card enables you to work on any building site in the country. A basic CITB test clears you to work as a labourer and various other tickets and accreditations can be added to qualify you for more roles. Details on acquiring a CSCS card can be found here.
Work experience is an excellent opportunity to try a new career out with absolutely no obligation. Many companies offer work experience programmes – Go Construct, The Princes Trust, Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to name a few. A lot of companies use this as an extended interview and may even hire you at the end. While it’s by no means guaranteed, it is a very real possibility and something worth bearing in mind.