Schools and colleges have broken up and, aside from the unpredictable weather, this means lots of young people will now be nervously waiting for their exam results and preparing for the next stage of their life.
While some will know exactly what they want to do, others might still be considering the options. For anyone considering a career in construction but not knowing where to start, we’ve got three steps you could follow in this week’s blog.
Construction needs you!
If you’re looking to break into the construction industry, the good news is that, right now, demand for skilled workers is high. With the industry expected to create around 230,000 new jobs over the next five years, demand is going to get even higher! Whilst there will clearly be plenty of opportunities available, anyone seeking work still needs to understand where they might best fit in and how they can successfully land that job. Here are three steps which may help:
Step 1: Identify the role that suits you
If you want to get a job that you will be good at and enjoy, the first thing to do is take a moment to understand the different roles and research what they involve.
With construction, you may initially think of manual labour jobs like bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing, tiling or roofing, all of which can be rewarding and offer great long-term careers. However, it’s worth remembering there are lots of other opportunities which don’t require the same level of manual labour and, for some people, these roles will be the best fit. There’s electrical work, logistics, technology-driven roles, architectural and design work, surveying, estimating, administration and lots more.
Regardless of whether you want to be in the midst of the action on site or behind a desk, the construction sector can offer opportunities that are exciting, challenging, rewarding and provide genuine career progression routes.
Step 2: Research the entry points
The routes into a career in construction are numerous and will probably depend on what kind of work you want to actually do. For example, if you want to become a skilled bricklayer or roofer, you might start out as a labourer and develop skills through on-the-job training or take up an Apprenticeship, combining work with a college course. If you’re aiming for a professional career like surveying or design work, the route would normally involve higher education, either through a full-time degree or a degree level Apprenticeship.
Sometimes, a journey into construction begins elsewhere – for example, maybe you could start a position in administration at a non-construction company but make the switch once you’ve gained some relevant experience.
To find out which entry route is best for you, you’ll need to consider your current educational level and skill set, then find a match. You could start by researching construction companies, looking at their job openings and taking note of what’s on their list of essential or desirable education levels, skills and qualities. Finding an employment agency that specialises in construction is another option as a good recruiter can match you with opportunities at the right level.
Step 3: Develop your skills and prove you can do it!
Although educational attainment and past experience may be listed among the requirements for advertised construction jobs, most will also list a set of skills they are looking for. In many cases, these will be skills that you have already gained elsewhere or can work on developing. Examples include:
- Communication (verbal and written)
- Team work
- Working independently
- Meeting deadlines
- Using computers and other technology
- Following instructions
- Eye-hand coordination
- Attention to detail
Think about how you might be able to demonstrate these skills. For example, perhaps you’ve been part of a sports team and can use that to tick skills like team work, reliability and following instructions. Or maybe you’ve undertaken some online courses and can use that to tick skills like using computers, meeting deadlines and working independently. If you’ve not done so already, signing up for a health and safety course might also be a good option.
Seeking out opportunities to develop your skills further will increase your chances of proving to an employer that you’re keen and capable of taking up the kind of work you want to do.
By taking some time to identify the best role for you, looking at the different entry points and developing your skills, you could soon be following a rewarding career in construction. If you’re still not sure, why not take a look at our ‘careers in construction’ blogs from last year:
We wish you the best of luck!
Feature image: Freepik