Construction is a booming industry in the UK. The latest report from CITB predict that over 230,000 UK construction jobs will be created over the next 5 years. Steve Radley, of the CITB, has said “This positive forecast should inspire more people to start apprenticeships, and more firms to take them on. This makes it clear that construction an appealing choice for those embarking on their careers.
Apprentices in construction are able to learn while in full time employment, have an average wage of £170 per week and are able to gain a nationally recognised qualification. Perhaps the real advantage of an apprenticeship is, however, the opportunity to get hands on experience. This give you a practical understanding of the industry and looks great on your CV.
While being an apprentice in construction involves a lot of hard work, the rewards can make it more than worthwhile. Salaries of qualified workers in construction compare favourably to those who have instead been to university (who will also have incurred much greater debt).
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in construction, please take a look at our infographic below. It goes through the options open to you and the qualities needed for each role.
We’re also really happy to say that Tom Laws, from the National Careers Service, has shared with us his top tips for those of you are considering being an apprentice in construction. You can read what Tom said below the infographic, where we’ve also linked to some useful resources.
Kick-starting your Career in Construction by PowerTool World.
Advice for people considering a career in construction from National Careers Service Adviser Tom Laws
What advice would you give to young people thinking about a career in construction?
Deciding on a future path can be a difficult time, with many options to consider, but researching as much as you can to start with will hopefully allow you to focus on the areas you have a passion for.
Careers in construction involve a range of very different jobs, from highway maintenance and crane operation to civil engineering and scaffolding. Researching the different roles available on the Job Profile pages of the National Careers Service website can be an excellent start, as it outlines day to day tasks, qualifications needed and salaries for a huge number of construction careers.
The National Apprenticeships Service website is also a useful resource as it offers more details about apprenticeships currently available which can help inform you about local opportunities now and in the future.
What are the main benefits of a career in construction?
Whilst there are almost a million qualified tradespeople in the construction sector, vacancies that employers say are due to skills shortages stand at around 30%. This means that over the next few years, there will be a growing demand for new and skilled workers to fill these vacancies.
Workers in the construction sector can utilise some of the most cutting edge and innovative technology to date, and may be given the opportunity to travel both nationally and internationally depending on your role.
Aside from the range of qualifications and experience you can gain through a role in construction, seeing a project develop from beginning to end, and having a tangible result to show for it can be very rewarding; people moving into a house or apartment block, or driving over a bridge you built is something you can take pride in every day.
There a many different types of apprenticeships course within construction, how should someone decide which one to do?
Construction can cover a huge range of different jobs, working on thousands of different projects. These can include office based roles, such as a contracts assistant or administrator, site based roles such as plastering or bricklaying, or a combination of both, such as working as an estimator.
Finding the role which suits you the best relies on researching the different duties for a particular job and matching it to your own skills and interests.
You can find more information about your own abilities through the Skills Health Check on the National Careers Service website or by speaking directly with an adviser on 0800 100 900.
Should people looking for an apprenticeship try and get relevant work experience first? If so, what are the best ways to get work experience?
An apprenticeship allows you to study towards a relevant qualification while gaining valuable work experience at the same time so having specific work experience before starting is usually not necessary. Many apprentices start after completing their GCSE’s so employers are aware that experience of the workplace is not something that a lot of applicants would have.
If you’re interesting in getting experience in a relevant area, maybe to help with your application, or just to find out if the construction sector is right for you, many companies such as CITB offer work experience schemes. These schemes can help you to gain insight into what working life is like within the industry and can help you make a decision about your future.
Speaking with a National Careers Service adviser at any time between 8am and 10pm, 7 days a week over our webchat can also offer a few ideas you may not have thought of about getting experience in your local area.
What advice would you give someone about to start their first day on an apprenticeship scheme?
All apprenticeships are different, but at the heart of them all, is the opportunity for you to learn from those who built up their knowledge through experience. It’s likely that the first day of an apprenticeship may be your first day of any type of work, so the employer will expect you to be nervous. It’s very natural to feel like this, but you shouldn’t let it stop you from getting completely involved.
Ask questions about anything that you’re unsure about, confirm details about things you think you have some knowledge on already and don’t be afraid to be wrong; that’s what training is all about and learning from mistakes is a key aspect to that!
The main thing is to enjoy it; an apprenticeship is a brand new start in a new chapter in your life and you’ll get so much more out of the experience if you’re open to the new challenges it presents.
With an apprenticeship you have the chance to get in and go far and there has never been a better time to choose an apprenticeship, with hundreds of industry leading employers creating opportunities to help open the door to a successful and exciting career.
Further resources for people seeking apprenticeships:
CITB - Construction Apprenticeship Scheme
National Careers Service - Apprenticeships and traineeships
www.gov.uk - Construction building apprenticeships