Construction is one of the biggest industries to work in, both in the UK and worldwide. The sector employs ten per cent of the UK working population and needs to recruit a further 185,000 workers over the next five years
People can have fixed ideas about certain careers and construction is no different. When many of us think about working in construction, we are most likely thinking about being on a building site. However, the reality of this sector is very different. Yes, there are jobs on building sites, but there are also other roles, including Civil Engineering, Building Energy and Plumbing and Heating.
For many years, the construction industry has been considered an area of work typically suited to men. However, there are many opportunities for women in construction. Currently, there are 300,000 women employed in the sector.
There are many benefits brought to society from construction, including the building of new hospitals, schools, roads and bridges; working on infrastructure projects that supply clean water, process waste or improve transport links and providing buildings and facilities for leisure and entertainment.
Television shows like Grand Designs show just how much work goes into creating or renovating a house. From the architect’s drawings to the interior design, many skilled tasks are required.
An Apprenticeship offers young people a route into the industry and provides them with the chance to learn on the job, gaining experience and skills in the sector, and earn a wage at the same time. There has never been a better time to consider an Apprenticeship. Young people can ‘get in and go far’ with an Apprenticeship. We want it to become the norm for young people to choose between an Apprenticeship or university as equally prestigious routes to a great career and secure finances in the years ahead.
Apprenticeships in the Construction sector are available across a number of areas, all developed to teach an apprentice about many of the trades that make our buildings work – from electrical engineering and plumbing to maintaining heating systems and gas networks.
Someone with practical building skills and a keen eye for design could become a Civil Engineer. Civil engineering deals with the design, construction and maintenance of the built environment. Civil engineers are in demand in the construction industry with around 1,400 people recruited into these jobs each year.
On an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship, Construction Operatives work on a construction site or public place, laying drainage, placing street iron works, laying pavements and excavating holes and trenches. As an Advanced Level apprentice jobs include Plant Mechanics, working on a construction site or in a workshop carrying out maintenance and repairs.
Skilled people are always in demand in this sector, and many job opportunities are set to be created over the next few years. Thousands of new homes need to be built, whilst many existing buildings need to be made more energy-efficient to reduce carbon emissions.
Practical skills are important in this sector, and many roles require physical work. But there’s a demand for creative talents in jobs like stone masonry, carpentry or even making the sets for plays and films. Being organised and self-motivated can help too – about a third of the people who work in the sector run their own business.
Opportunities in Construction exist at Higher Apprenticeship level as well – a Higher Apprenticeship in Construction Management creates a progression route for professionals in the construction industry.
Apprentices need to have either completed a relevant Advanced Apprenticeship, or have a significant level of prior experience. According to annual recruitment figures, 3,200 Construction Managers are required every year. A certain level of physical fitness is expected with the position, this being a job where you are often required to work outside in all weathers, and you could be asked to work both at height or underground.