Construction is much more than you think

18 February, 2019
 

The construction industry is facing many hurdles. The most obvious one is Brexit, but to avoid putting people to sleep, I won’t touch on the subject in this blog. However, I will expand on one particular issue in the sector: youth recruitment.

Last year, I attended a Constructing Excellence Kent Branch breakfast where it was mentioned that one of the key challenges facing the industry is recruitment of young people. I was surprised to hear that construction has an image problem where youngsters and their parents have a negative pre-conception of the sector. Such a notion becomes a barrier to young people considering construction as a possible area for career opportunities.

 

The misconception

 

When people think about construction, they generally picture someone wearing a hard hat in a construction site. But this industry is much more than that. Construction is complex, sophisticated and structured. It is multifaceted, encompassing many professions that come together to build a structure.

 

Two reasons why young people should consider construction as a career opportunity

 

1) Contributing to society

Construction plays a vital role in society. Firstly, it contributes to over £100 billion in the UK economy. Secondly, it provides more than 2 million jobs in the UK. Thirdly, it produces structures such as infrastructure, residential and commercial buildings to assist us in our everyday lives. There is also the added bonus that when a construction project is complete, there is the satisfaction that you have helped in building something that is likely to contribute to a community, such as hospitals, houses, roads and shopping malls.

 

2) Wide range of options

In construction, young people have a variety of choices for career specialisations. They can be architects, engineers (e.g. mechanical, civil, electrical and software), builders, project managers, surveyors and, yes, even solicitors.

As a legal trainee doing my penultimate seat in construction, I have come to appreciate the sector. One of the jobs of solicitors is to manage the various relationships in a construction project by putting in place numerous written agreements (including building contracts, professional appointments, development agreements and funding documentation). We allocate and manage risks and responsibilities to protect the client. We also ensure that there are procedures in place to manage the timing of projects, quality of the works and money involved.

Given the above reasons, why not start putting down the building blocks of your professional future in construction?