Survey identifies perception of industry as main challenge to attracting future workforce
16 August 2018: In response to survey results from the UK and Irish construction industries, the Considerate Constructors Scheme has launched the ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ campaign to provide essential information and resources to help the industry address the urgent issue of attracting the future workforce.
The survey revealed that although 85% of respondents would recommend a career in construction to young people, 84% feel the ongoing perception of construction as being manual work is the main reason it remains an unpopular career choice.
The survey of the construction industry in the UK and Ireland received around 800 responses, and also uncovered that:
- 77% view the skills shortage as the most pressing issue facing the construction industry.
- 72% cite the challenging nature of work as the main benefit of a construction career.
- 53% know young people who are, or could be, interested in a construction career.
On the subject of what the industry can do to attract the next generation:
- 37% mentioned changing perception/promoting benefits.
- 26% suggested engaging schools and colleges.
- 15% mentioned apprenticeships and training.
‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ – hosted on the Scheme’s Best Practice Hub – has been launched by the Scheme to raise awareness of the wide range of resources, organisations, case studies, key information and guidance available to help construction to attract the future workforce.
The campaign contains a wide range of practical case studies of what organisations have done to help attract more people in to the industry. These include contributions from organisations such as: Balfour Beatty; Class of Your Own; Engie; Hobson and Porter; Kier; Laing O’Rourke; Mace; McLaughlin & Harvey and Wates.
In addition, the Scheme has collaborated with CITB’s Go Construct initiative to produce promotional posters for registered sites, companies, suppliers, clients and professional partners to use to help attract potential workers to consider a career in construction.
With over a quarter (26%) of survey respondents seeing engagement with schools and colleges as crucial to helping address the shortage of workers, the Scheme is pleased to report that 91% of respondents said their site or company engages with schools or youth groups – and 66% have personally visited schools or youth groups to discuss their career.
A key mechanism to help improve perceptions amongst school children, teachers and parents is through the industry’s mascots Ivor Goodsite and Honor Goodsite. In 2017 alone, Ivor/Honor visited over 22,000 school children.
Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “The shortage of new entrants in to the workforce is one of the most pressing issues facing the construction industry. With over 400,000 new recruits needed each year to deliver construction projects, we must all take steps to attract the next generation.
“While we do have a great industry, one that is working hard to improve its image – as evidenced by the fact that 85% of those within the industry would recommend a career in construction – we need to do so much more to continually improve our standards in order to drive the perception change much needed to make the industry more attractive.
“The Scheme’s Best Practice Hub is at the epicentre of helping to share best practice across construction. Through the ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ campaign, we are delighted to use our reach and influence across the entire industry to help provide key resources to address this critical issue.”
‘Spotlight on… the next generation’ will be continually updated with new case studies, resources and guidance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas and suggestions you may have and to showcase any case studies from your organisation.
Click here to read ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’