The suggestion is part of a ten-point plan put forward by the contractor in a report launched today.
O’Rourke wants to see the introduction of GCSEs and A-levels in Design, Engineer and Construct (DEC).
Schoolchildren can currently learn DEC as part of the curriculum but the existing qualifications are not recognised by many universities.
And only 42 schools out of a possible 3,401 state-funded secondary schools in England offer the DEC curriculum.
O’Rourke said: “The government has the opportunity to work with the industry to create GCSEs and A-levels in DEC and incentivise schools and colleges to offer them to pupils and students.
“This would boost the appeal of the sector to schools, students, parents, universities and higher education institutions and educate people about the positive reality of a career in modern day construction and engineering.”
Laing O’Rourke’s full Ten-Point Plan is:
- Flex the government’s planned Apprenticeship Levy and reduce delays to approval of ‘Trailblazer Apprenticeship’ standards
- Create regionally focused skills pipelines
- Increase availability of Russell Group university standard part-time degree apprenticeships
- Review options for career transitioning apprenticeships
- Introduce GCSEs and A-levels in Design, Engineer and Construct (DEC) disciplines
- Foster collaboration between industry and government to deliver a broader range of improved careers advice for construction and engineering
- Commit the industry to measurable improvements in diversity
- Seize the opportunity of the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- Support the creation of a single construction and infrastructure
- Facilitate the ongoing professional development of a directly employed workforce