Construction comes to the rescue of lost new talent

  • The jobs market might be booming, but young adults express concerns about their ability to find suitable career opportunities post-pandemic
  • New Government-backed scheme launches to help young people find apprenticeships and first jobs in construction – an industry fighting hard for new recruits

In the wake of official statistics showing job vacancies hitting the highest levels since records began (1), a new survey of young adults looking for work in the UK reveals that just 14% are very confident of finding suitable career opportunities this year and 46% believe that it is harder now to find such opportunities compared to before the pandemic. (2)

The research suggests a generation of young people who might not get to see the best career options available to them – a problem that the UK’s fast-growing construction industry in communities across the UK is determined to tackle.

Launching today (21 September 2021), Talentview Construction (TVC) is an early careers initiative supported by Government, the Construction Leadership Council, universities, colleges and construction industry employers, and funded by the industry CITB levy.

Entirely free for all to use, Talentview Construction makes it easier for those searching for a career in construction and the built environment to join the sector and take advantage of an exciting array of opportunities, reflecting the importance of construction to the UK’s economic recovery.

Construction is a very varied sector, employing about three million people and providing multiple career paths. Even without the growth of ‘green jobs’, it is estimated that the construction industry needs to recruit more than 217,000 new workers between now and 2025 to support its current activity, including the development of exciting new careers in digitalisation and sustainability. (3) This demand is only likely to accelerate, as an estimated 500,000 UK-born workers are likely to leave the sector in the next 10 years as they come to retirement age. (4)

Despite these trends, careers advice to young adults is falling far behind industry needs. Just 16% of respondents to the survey said they had received any information about the wide variety of careers in construction and the built environment when they were at school or college.

Sarah Beale, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council’s skills workstream and outgoing chief executive of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), says:

“For anyone not sure of where to go in their career or for anyone who already knows they want to help shape the built environment of tomorrow, construction will welcome you with open arms.

“It’s an industry like no other, with a wide range of opportunities now available in one place – Talentview Construction. This is the place to come to find a route into construction, first jobs and experiences on offer, including apprenticeships and roles to suit everyone – from outdoorsy, practical work-with-your-hands types to technically minded digital experts, environmentally focused designers and engineering enthusiasts as well as people leaders. We need you all.”

Recent apprentices in construction are also quick to offer encouragement to their peers. Millie Rooker, a technical apprentice at Barratt Homes in Bristol, says:

“Getting an apprenticeship in construction means I can learn about something I want to make a career out of and get paid and gain valuable real-life experience, which is the perfection combination. You can do your A Levels and then go on to get the job you want, but it’s only then you may find you don’t actually like it. You can learn just as much by doing an apprenticeship and, more importantly, get a clear picture of the work that’s involved.

“All of my friends stayed on at school to do their A Levels, which meant my first few weeks as an apprentice were lonely and I had to get used to working long hours and being with new people. But in the long run, it’s 100% worth it because you’re getting paid to learn and I get to see my friends at the weekend. My work are paying for me to do my HNC and degree, which means I’m not starting my career with a student loan to have to pay back.” (5)

Talentview Construction helps candidates to browse opportunities by signing up to alerts for job and training opportunities and building their own online profile so employers can find them more easily.

Employers can use it to showcase their business to talented new recruits on the TVC site, and upload all their early career vacancies, including traineeships, apprenticeships and graduate jobs. They can also search for suitable candidates and directly contact students and apprentices, as well as connecting more closely with schools, universities and construction colleges.

Talentview Construction is the newest offering from the Construction Talent Retention Scheme (CTRS) which was established by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Construction Leadership Council last summer.

Together with complementary sites like CITB’s Go Construct, TVC and CTRS help to create a ‘one stop shop’ sector talent hub for the attraction, development and retention of people and skills within construction and the built environment, as part of the Government’s broader support to business on skills.

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