The construction sector offers the perfect start to your professional career

Doka UK, 11 June 2018.-The construction sector is an attractive and profitable way to develop a professional career. The data is compelling. The construction industry is one that is constantly evolving, with output expected to grow over the coming years. The Independent Online predicts that average output in construction will grow 1.3 per cent annually, with 158,000 UK construction jobs to be added over the next five years.


As reported by Planning & Building Control Today: The Minister for Employment has joined forces with Build UK and Class of Your Own, to launch a brand new guide that aims to attract the next generation through work experience placements. The guide provides employers with advice on how to tailor work experience and placement opportunities for school age students, interns and career changers to welcome them into a bustling industry.

In addition, the guide includes examples of good practice for newbies to adhere to. Alok Sharmer, Minister for Employment said that the construction industry plays a huge part in supporting the country, and that “construction is a hugely important sector adding £138 billion a year to the economy and employing 3.1 million people.”

Alok goes further by pointing out “it’s an industry full of opportunity for a new generation – but they have to know about it and be excited about a career there if they are to make the most of what it has to offer. “That’s exactly where work experience comes in, providing a stepping stone into the industry and a launch pad for the new generation.”

Chief Executive of Build UK, Suzannah Nichol MBE, started out on a work experience placement, “I am testament to the fact that work experience really can make a difference and it is up to each and every one of us to hold out our hand to the next generation of construction workers and show them just what they can achieve if they come and join us.

“The guidance we have published should give employers across the industry, both small and large, the information and confidence to offer more people valuable work experience and the opportunity to fall in love with a career in construction.”

Industry leader James Wates, (CBE) of Wates, a leading construction, development and property services group, agrees that work experience placements are valuable opportunities for both employers and those looking to join the industry. “Construction is in a War for Talent, and offering work experience is a great way to actively reach out to those looking to launch their careers, or those looking to make a career change, and show them what an exciting and important industry we work in.”

In November 2017, the government solidified their support for the industry with the launch of a £170 million sector deal which aimed to boost the skills of current employees through the National Retraining Scheme.

The Build UK Program

Build UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK construction industry. By bringing together Clients, Main Contractors, Trade Associations representing over 11,500 Specialist Contractors and other organisations committed to industry collaboration, Build UK represents in excess of 40% of UK construction. This work experience guide has been produced in collaboration with Class of Your Own and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Having a skilled and talented workforce is essential to the competitiveness of the construction industry – firms need ‘the right skills, in the right place, at the right time’. With almost a fifth (17%) of those working in construction aged over 55 – the sector needs to develop the flow of new entrants into the industry to tackle skills shortages and deliver future projects. Work experience can be a great way to give people of all ages an initial taste of the industry, and provide a stepping-stone into longer term work or training.

Eco Classroom is an example of a project which can be carried out either with a group of students or by one student on their own. The project is designed to open the students’ eyes to sustainability as applied to construction, to introduce a variety of interesting roles within the industry and to give the students something tangible to do with an output which might genuinely be useful to the company. The student takes on the roles of different people within a building design project.

The Eco-Classroom is of use both to employees who want to act more sustainably and also to local communities as a showcase or learning area. The student will follow a design process, taking each role in turn and working with a professional to deliver each stage. Roles involved are:

  • Project Director/Construction Manager Facilities Manager
  • Sustainability Officer
  • Marketing/Brand Manager
  • Surveyor
  • Architect Engineering designer

Construction is a diverse sector which offers a huge range of job opportunities: anyone, whatever they want to be, can find a rewarding lifelong career. The industry needs to actively compete to recruit and retain a workforce capable of delivering the wide range of projects required across the UK.

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