What do you think most people think of when they hear the term, ‘Construction Industry’?
Builders? Hard hats? Scaffolding and high-vis jackets?
They’d definitely be on the right track. However, a common misconception about the construction industry is that it only offers manual labour jobs that are a backup to an apprenticeship or career that fell through.
Although the construction industry definitely does have workers who have dealt with those circumstances, it is not limited to them. Rather, the Construction Industry covers an incredibly wide and expansive breadth of careers, skills and professions.
At TUTS, we are trying to get this point across in an educational and timely manner. 216,000 more workers are needed in the construction industry by 2025 just to meet demand. So, when we say we need to ‘bridge the gap’, we’re saying we need to tackle the construction industry’s skill shortage by increasing our nation’s awareness of it.
What does ‘Bridging the Skills Gap’ mean?
There are two ways of looking at what ‘bridging the gap’ means. The first is dealing with the widespread skill shortage in the industry. The second is encouraging nationwide exposure to the construction industry. Both go hand-in-hand.
What does ‘Bridging the Skills Gap’ look like?
Three main areas need attention:
- Involvement with career fairs
- Working with schools
- Encouraging women and girls
The first two speak for themselves. Here at TUTS, we make a big effort to represent the construction industry in places of education. We attend career fairs because we know, first-hand, all about the fantastic opportunities that are up for grabs in the construction industry. At the same time, we display the variety of roles that are available. We want and need to share this information with the next generation or those interested in a career change.
Moreover, we need to break down the stereotypes of the construction industry. This means making it clear that the industry is open to all ages and genders. Click here to read more about getting women into the construction industry.
The construction industry currently has the largest gender imbalance in the UK. Even more concerningly, the average age of a construction worker in the UK is, currently, fifty-seven. In ten years, when that average skyrockets to the mid-sixties and retirement ages set in, the industry could be facing a real dilemma. These instances display where gaps must be bridged so that women and young people feel more comfortable entering the industry.
Why has this happened?
It’s no surprise that this has happened. Unfortunately, schools and job centres across the UK fail to recognise just how exciting and opportunistic the construction industry really is. Rather, they promote the industry as a safe option, a plan B or, in the case of some schools, simply not ‘academic’ enough.
There have been signs of change, though. The fact that we here, at TUTS, have been invited to career fairs and schools indicates a shift in the narrative. We are getting our name heard, as well as the construction industry’s name too.
What would help ‘bridge the gap?’
This is not something that will get sorted overnight. Instead, it’ll be down to the efforts of people like us at TUTS, schools, colleges, universities, job centres and government organisations.
However, the biggest thing that would help right now is exposure.
If we can make noise about the construction industry and get people talking, that’ll help significantly. Unfortunately, through decades of misinformation, stereotypes and assumptions, the construction industry’s name has been tainted. But we know and understand how opportunistic and advantageous the industry actually is. It offers competitive pay, a variety of roles and types of jobs, as well as job security.
It’s so important that we get more people interested in the construction industry. Not only to meet the demands for labour in the next few years but because the industry is such a life-changing and beneficial one to be a part of. Construction courses and qualifications change lives for the better. They open up a whole world of opportunities for career advancement and personal achievement.
Although labour jobs in the construction industry are superb to be a part of, they’re not where a construction career begins and ends.
Want to find out more?
Do you want to find out more about bridging the skills gap in the construction industry? Are you a student or parent that’s curious about the industry or what TUTS has on offer in regard to courses and training? Or are you a student or education leader that’s interested in getting TUTS involved with your career fairs? Don’t hesitate to contact any member of our team at TUTS. We’ll be more than willing to answer any of your burning questions or concerns. Click here to speak to one of our team members today.