Almost three-quarters of the UK feel that schools and universities are failing to raise awareness about the potential opportunities that the construction industry can offer, according to a recent survey by Novus Property Solutions.
Despite contributing a whopping 7% of the UK’s GDP and generating an output of more than £110 billion per annum, the construction industry is still tackling a major skills shortage.
Seventy-three percent of those interviewed by Novus believe that the solution begins with schooling. Stuart Cavanagh, Head of HR at Novus Property Solutions, reiterated this point by stating that making construction appealing is completely dependent on our approach at the earliest stages of a person’s development.
He explained: “We have to be informed, understanding and focused – construction may not appeal to some, but it’s clear that the industry is missing out on recruiting some really talented people simply because of a lack of awareness.”
Scottish Science Minister, Shirley-Anne Somerville, suggested just last week that there should be a greater focus on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) which are central to not only construction but also medicine, animal health and engineering.
She commented: “STEM subjects can open the door to significant and wide-ranging career opportunities: as well as improving literacy, numeracy and confidence, they can also provide the specialist knowledge and skills necessary to work in the ever-increasing STEM sectors of the economy and continue Scotland’s proud history of excellence and innovation in STEM.”
To attract a new generation to the industry, the sector must provide more opportunities for young people who are informed and ready to begin a career in construction.
In addition to increasing the availability of apprenticeships, the industry must also make itself more appealing to young people by understanding what drives them, according to Auburn Hill managing director Paul Matthews.
He said: “A focus on schools and colleges educating students and young people on the opportunities that a career in construction can bring is needed, alongside the construction industry also improving their ties with those facilities.
In order to attract millennial talent, then, you need to ensure the following; an attractive salary and benefits package, development programme and continuous training.”
Novus Property Solutions,
PO Box 3279,
Oldfield Industrial Estate,
Phone: 01782 598000
Fax: 01782 598101
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