If there’s one thing that 2020 has shown us, it’s that construction jobs are not going anywhere soon. Demand has surged during the pandemic for a multitude of reasons; people spending more time at home and finding the time to carry out home improvements, as well as the usual maintenance and servicing reasons which won’t go away. The developments of Brexit have meant that the construction sector desperately needs to rely on its homegrown UK-born workforce. Not to mention the enormous backlog of construction projects that were stalled in the initial months of lockdown, causing an enormous demand which has spilled over into 2021. 

All construction jobs are very much valued, and all contribute to the overall bigger picture. The construction industry is currently experiencing a large skills shortage, and has done for years. A major factor of this skills shortage is that the current working population is ageing. A recent study, conducted by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), that only 20% of construction workers are under 30 years old.

The IPPR has also estimated that 750,000 construction workers will retire, or will be on the verge of retiring, in the next 15 years

 

But this is very good news for those looking to get into the construction world, as it means that there are more jobs available than there are skilled workers to fill them. So, in short, whichever career path you take within the construction industry, it’ll bring you fulfilling, well-paid work, and a secure professional future.

Having said that, there are particular construction roles within the industry which have a particular demand. The surge in construction projects has meant that plumbers, electricians, carpenters and many other kinds of skilled laborers are particularly sought after. 

These kind of workers are essential in our everyday lives, and so the services they provide us are simply always going to be valuable. Boilers need servicing, electrical appliances need maintenance, the plumbing in our homes needs fixing from time to time. And in every single new building which is built, these fundamental things need to be fitted correctly, safely, and professionally. They then need to be maintained from time to time, to make sure that they are still safe for years to come. It might be stating the obvious, but construction workers are invaluable for all of these reasons. 

Joining the construction industry has never been a better idea. The timing is perfect. Make the most of your time, and become a qualified tradesperson in a matter of weeks.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

‘We cannot build back better without the builders. The construction sector wants to be at the heart of the UK’s drive to net-zero emissions and a low carbon economy but recognises it does not yet have the skills it will need to do this’ – Oscar Watkins, IPPR construction sector leader

 

 

 

A major upheaval in the construction’s workforce is needed, experts say, to make sure that the UK’s economy is given the support it needs to recover and thrive in the years to come.

Recent reports have caused concern to industry leaders, but offer substantial hope for those thinking of entering the construction industry. The workforce is, and has been for years, experiencing a long-term skills crisis. Its population of tradespeople is ageing, and a massive gap is opening up, meaning that well-paid, long-term work will flood the market for at least the decade to come. 

A recent study, conducted by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), that only 20% of construction workers are under 30 years old. The IPPR has also estimated that 750,000 construction workers will retire, or will be on the verge of retiring, in the next 15 years

But even aside from the limitations offered by an ageing workforce, there are other issues to consider which may impact the number of the workforce. 

The effects of Brexit, and limitations on free movement, will mean that migrant workers (who make up a considerable proportion of the construction workforce) will not be able to make up the numbers like they used to. The IPPR also noted that the number of EU-born construction workers halved between 2018-2021, from 115,000 to 53,000. The proposed points-based immigration laws have also meant that construction companies will require special licenses to hire migrant workers. 

This can only mean one thing: that, unless things change, and the UK produces the next generation of skilled workers, we are potentially heading towards a construction skills crisis.

 

‘It is essential that the construction sector has a pipeline of skilled and motivated people coming through the system into the sector to make the green transition possible’ – Oscar Watkins.

 

This could have wider implications than we’d first imagine. Even aside from ensuring that major infrastructural projects are completed, and that the demand for construction work across the country is fully realised, the UK’s aim to be carbon neutral by 2050 is heavily dependent on the industry’s production rates – starting now. Unless this skills shortage is fulfilled, then, the UK’s ambition to achieve a zero-carbon economy by 2050 might be missed

Luckily, great change is being called for, and this is even better news for those wanting to get into construction. Industry giants are calling for policies which make the construction industry more appealing. These policies would involve raising wages, improving working conditions, and increasing general job security. 

And that is because the industry leaders recognise how important the individual worker is. How vital it is that these contributions are made, to ensure that the industry not only stays afloat, but fully thrives, develops, evolves. Mark Farmer, chief executive of Cast Consultancy and advisor to the government, was among many construction industry leaders to sign a letter calling for improvements and more attention drawn to the construction industry, to ensure that the projects of the future are completed. He said:

 

We need to start moving from rhetoric to action in the pursuit of net-zero. This has to be about building a legacy that can deliver not just a strong economic recovery, but also a fundamental shift in climate change trajectory and the societal benefits generated from green infrastructure.

 

Calls are also being made to increase funding into the construction industry, to improve education surrounding construction, and to change unfair perceptions of the industry which are potentially turning people away from making vital contributions towards it.

A potential skills crisis is, of course, concerning for the industry – but it also represents an enormous opportunity, and great news, for those thinking of retraining. 

The construction industry is offering a stable solution to its workers. Follow their lead, and join the construction industry today. 


Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

Excitement and anticipation rippled through the UK last night, as the government confidently announced its plans to bring England out of lockdown. 

June 21st is the date given for the final end of social distancing measures, with non-essential retail among many sectors able to open from 12 April. Schools will open from 8 March, and households will be able to meet outside from 29 March. 

By 17 May, social contact outdoors will be possible, and two households can mix indoors. It sparks hope for a return to normality, and life as we know it with Covid might, just might, be a thing of the past.

And this of course means one very positive thing for us in the construction world: freedom for projects to continue unhindered, and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to continue training the next generation of tradespeople. 

After adapting to an online-based learning system at the outset of lockdown, we at Access Training have spent almost a year ensuring that those wanting fulfilling careers in the trade industry could still learn, and continue developing their skills and theoretical knowledge in their field. Our tutors have prepared online tutorials, our resources have been made available to all our students, and we have carried on teaching as best we can.

But these recent developments mean we can soon return to our workshops and our training centres. We can go back to doing what we do best: preparing aspiring tradespeople for the world of work, in person, face to face, learning by practice, and working with our hands as well as our heads. 

The UK’s current skills shortage is widely reported on in the media. The possible impact of Brexit on the size of the UK’s workforce is a serious consideration for many, and the game is now afoot to make sure that we make up the numbers. 

Britain needs to ‘build back better’, and it is our job to make sure that we have the builders to make this happen. For those wanting to get involved, and start a rewarding and long-term career in the construction industry, you know what to do – give Access Training a call.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen. 

‘Infrastructural output is expected to lift the whole [construction] industry over 2021 and 2022’ – Professor Noble Francis, CPA economics director.

 

 

 

 

2021 is already promising to be a surging year of growth and productivity for the construction industry, as forecasted by the Construction Products Association (CPA). 

Economic experts at the company are predicting what they call a ‘W-shaped’ economic recession and recovery, and a rise of 14% output as the year progresses. This number is incredibly significant, as construction industry output initially fell by 14% as lockdowns were first imposed on the UK back in March 2020. A 14% rise will return output levels to pre-pandemic levels, putting the construction industry back on its feet.

And that’s not all. CPA’s economic advisors also predict a further 5% increase into 2022. As vaccines are rolled out across the country, opportunities for continued productivity are only going to increase. 

A strong recovery in the latter half of 2020, with construction sites reopening sooner than expected and demand at an all-time high, means that the construction industry is set to be among the trailblazing industries which will greatly support the UK through troubling economic times ahead. 

But what does this mean for workers in the trade industry? It means that, after all the difficulties faced in the past, the years ahead will be an incredibly busy and highly productive era for construction. It means that trade workers will be very highly sought after, well paid and not short of work. 

Most importantly, it means that now is an excellent time to be in the trade industry.

 

‘Projects have been able to effectively enact safe operating procedures [...]. Main works on HS2, Europe’s largest construction project, along with offshore wind and nuclear projects, are expected to be the main drivers of activity’ – Professor Francis.

 

Not only are the larger-scale projects thriving, but domestic work is also on the increase, as figures show a public confidence in tradespeople entering their homes and working safely. The demand for home improvement projects has soared after time spent in lockdown, and self-employed tradespeople are particularly reaping the rewards as the public need their services more than ever. 

Broken boilers, electrical faults, heating issues, are not problems which go away under lockdowns – they are highly important for safety and domestic comfort, and prove just how essential tradespeople are in the lives of millions.

And so for those who are not currently trained but are thinking about changing careers, there is simply no time to waste. You don’t want to look back at this period, perhaps still stuck in an unrewarding and uncertain job, and regret not becoming qualified as a tradesperson. You don’t want to wait for hindsight to tell you what you should have done. You need to assess what’s best for you moving forward, and take a leap that could potentially change your life.  

Economic projections, percentage figures and lofty statements, might seem distant and unimportant to the everyday worker stuck in lockdown after lockdown. But what they do tell us, is that tradespeople will play a crucial part in the years ahead. 

Work will be abundant, pay will be good, and healthy and rewarding careers will be possible. All you need are the qualifications, the determination, and the foresight to invest in yourself, and invest in your career. 

Give Access Training a call and enquire about a course – they can take it from there.

 

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a strong believer that no one should be stereotyped into specific roles and this includes the perception of men on the construction site’ – Jwerea Malik, operations manager at Balfour Beatty, and co-chair of the group’s Gender Equality Affinity Network.

 

After we spoke to our plumbing student, Leah Carney, and hearing her inspiring story, we’ve been determined to continue the dialogue surrounding women in the construction industry. 

Leah is an ambitious and driven individual: a designer who had taken to delivery driving for extra money, and then decided to train as a plumber at the outset of the pandemic. She is already qualified as a plumber, gaining new electrical qualifications, and setting up her own business. 

But Leah is just one of thousands of similarly hard-working people around the country who have made the construction industry their home and future. Over the pandemic, the construction industry has seemed to appeal to hard-working and skilled women, as a refuge from redundancy and an opportunity for a fulfilling career. According to Lianne Lawson, a construction manager who has been in the industry for 14 years:

 

The pandemic has taught all of us how quickly we can evolve and adapt to new ways of working, and I think the mindset for everyone has changed. [...] Having to work from home in many cases has opened the industry up to the possibility of more flexible working conditions.

 

It goes without saying that the construction industry should accommodate everybody who has a desire to work within it; and perhaps one inadvertent result of the pandemic is that this has happened. 

For decades, the construction industry has been perceived as a male-dominated industry. But hearing the stories of women in construction, we learn that the last decade or two has resulted in greater accessibility to footholds and successful careers for thousands of women across the UK. Since then, it has been exciting to witness the brilliant and essential contributions that women have made to the trade industry, only further demonstrating that there absolutely is a much-needed place for them within the sector.

 

When i joined the industry 10 years ago as a graduate engineer, I was, more often than not, the only woman in the room. I felt the pressure to be seen as a peer to my male colleagues. – Malik

 

Jwerea Malik also notes how, from being the only woman on a project, the industry has now developed to seeing 23% of new starters in construction being women. It’s refreshing to consider how far the construction industry has come in recent times, and these stories of success are a testimony to the freedoms and attitudes of today. 

But as important as it is to acknowledge and celebrate how far we’ve come in the construction industry, there is obviously further we can go in ensuring that everybody feels welcome, and to encourage everybody to contribute in a fast-growing and multi-faceted industry. Considering the skills shortages of today’s construction sector, and the huge demand for work, it only makes sense for the prosperity of the industry itself that we look for strong, skilled tradespeople from all aspects of society. 

 

I was considered a bit of a novelty, noticed more for my differences than the engineering skills and expertise we had in common. I felt I had to prove myself, not just in terms of delivering my work to the best of my ability, but to be seen as an equal to my teammates. The rarity of a woman on a construction site 10 years ago meant inclusion wasn’t second nature. – Malik

 

What’s more, it goes without saying that a successful business is an inclusive business. Those leaders of the trade who represent all aspects of society are those with a greater customer base, a broader image, and who ultimately thrive in a competitive market. It suits everybody to make sure that construction is not a career for the men only – frankly, why limit ourselves?

 

I think it was my own perception that I couldn’t do it, so I was trying to break that mentality, which the people around me helped to do’ – Lianne Lawson.

 

 

Success in the construction industry is all about ability, and should never be about any aspect of your gender and background. If you have an interest in joining the construction community, don’t hesitate; from an outsider perspective, it might look like a male-dominated environment, but as you can see, things are changing. It just takes some bravery, self-belief, and knowledge that you are judged on your ability and willingness to work, over any other factors.

Women in construction are no longer a novelty; they are essential to the industry’s future. Why not be a part of this future, and join women like Leah, Lianne, and Jwerea? It takes one call to Access Training to get your career on track.


Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

 

 

 

Get in touch to learn more about our training courses!

First Name *
Surname *
Telephone Number *
E-mail address *
Ask A Question *
 
Security Character Security Character Security Character Security Character Security Character Security Character
Enter Letters (No Spaces) *