Every professional in the construction industry knows their career offers excellent opportunities and great wages. Even though there is a high demand for skilled construction workers, our school career guidance teachers have not received the memo!
There are many different career options available from electricians to quantity surveyors to site managers and health and safety managers.
The industry needs young people to continually enter the field to fill the existing skills gap. Unfortunately students are widely encouraged to enter other professions rather than learning a trade and joining the construction industry.
To recruit the younger generation and influence public perception the construction industry could change its ways and start promoting the industry in our schools, similar to how we promote other professions. Construction professionals can connect with young people in five ways:
- We must as an industry get out and start speaking at schools and participating in career days. By going into classrooms and speaking with students, construction professionals can share a positive message about the sector. By discussing the benefits with students and their teachers, we are helping students consider a career in the industry.
- Construction companies can also work with local youth groups. Career events in the community work to connect young people with industry professionals and show them what opportunities are available. Through speaking with construction experts, young people can gain insight into the field, learn about opportunities and apprenticeships and connect with potential employers.
- Young people today dream about careers as influencers and religiously follow their favourite TikTok or YouTube creator. I believe that we need to get with the times and start inspiring young people through the power of social media. We have to get better at communicating our message to young people on the benefits of construction and create a strong brand message of our projects and how they have a profound effect on the environment, sustainability and in our communities.
- It is no surprise that females are not opting for careers in the construction industry. We need to offer better opportunities not only to create a more diverse sector, but because the industry is facing a challenging skills shortage.
Setting foundations is key and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning is a huge part of this. STEM learning allows children to grasp fundamental concepts from a young age, which will lay the groundwork for deeper learning later on in their education.
5. Instead of encouraging less screen time for our children we can start seeing technology in a positive light. There are so many learning apps that can teach our children how to construct and build. Instead of denying access to the digital world lets start educating them to use their screen time in a more constructive and creative way.
This is a callout to construction professionals. Let’s rally the troops and get behind the drive to change perceptions, educate our young and create a seamless road for anyone and everyone that wants to join the construction industry.