Although in recent years the construction industry has seen as many downs as ups and has been one of the hardest hit industries, it still offers excellent prospects for those searching for the right career. The term ‘construction’ covers a wide range of different skills and professions – from building design to practical skills such as joinery and roofing. Entering at ground level (almost literally) is not difficult and picking up jobs on building sites can be straightforward.
However, planning a career should be taken seriously and considering how to progress from the start, and building that career from the ground up, is a good plan.
Big Plans Afoot
Despite the recent troubled times for construction, a number of major national infrastructure projects are currently well into the planning stages. From high-speed rail lines to new nuclear power plants, demand for construction workers is likely to see a rise in the near future. There are eight new nuclear energy plants planned and estimates suggest that each will require over twenty five thousand workers (more than half of whom will be working on the construction of the facilities). In addition to these major projects a range of housing initiatives are in progress to provide urgently needed new homes, stimulate the housing market and to comply with carbon reduction targets.
The UK is not alone in the world in facing similar challenges and a construction career can offer opportunities both at home and much further a-field. Add to this the fact that many construction workers are self-employed and the opportunities for running your own business in the future are very favourable.
Ways into Construction
One popular way of starting out in a career in construction industry is via an apprenticeship. Although you don’t need formal qualifications to take this route it can be helpful to have a handful of GCSE’s under your tool belt, if you hope to seek promotion in future. Maths and English are the most useful and maths, in particular, has a number of simple practical applications in the building trade. In addition to apprenticeships, diplomas in construction are available at further education colleges which are normally taken before you begin working in the industry.
Safety Skills and Supervisory Roles
In recent years short term contracts have become increasingly common in the building industry – although this has always been a strong feature, hence the high number of self-employed contractors.
With a large number of unskilled and skilled construction workers in the market for jobs, it pays to develop your career early. Sudden, unexpected promotion is also a feature of the industry and even a few years’ experience can see you in a supervisory role.
These roles have significant areas of responsibility and a SSSTS certificate is worth achieving if you aim for this sort of position. The certificate qualifies you as a supervisor and focuses on Health and Safety issues, which can make you particularly attractive to employers who need their sites to be well managed and safe for all employees.
With rapid changes and new opportunities on the horizon in construction now could be just the right time to enter this challenging but rewarding career. As well as excellent potential for earning, there is also considerable job satisfaction in the industry; not many employees can say that they have truly made a lasting impact on the environment or built quite a large part of it!