OneWay Into Construction

OneWay Into Construction

24th August 2017

Nobody who works in the construction industry here in the UK can fail to be aware of the burgeoning skills shortage that is having a detrimental effect on the sector as a whole. Brexit looming closer, industry leaders have been expressing their concerns on the effects it’s likely to have on the number of skilled workers available to keep up when it comes to delivering infrastructure and housebuilding projects over the coming years.  Last week we discussed the three key issues that need to be dealt with in order to improve the likelihood of young school leavers choosing a career in the construction industry, one of which was to improve gender diversity in order to attract more females into this traditionally male-dominated sector. 

Today we’re going to focus on an initiative called “One Way Into Construction” which was launched by the co-founder of One Way, a construction and rail recruitment specialist which is campaigning to increase the number of young people entering the industry.  Most industries manage to connect with youngsters while they are still at school, before they’ve made a definite choice about the subject that could potentially affect their whole careers.  The construction industry has not made enough efforts to do this and is consequently missing out on talented young people who could potentially be interested in forging a career in construction.

For most youngsters, their immediate perception of working in construction is working outside in the cold, wind and rain which is true to an extent.  However, that’s not the whole truth and this image gives a limited perception of what it means to work in construction in the 21st Century.  Few youngsters are aware that a career in construction can result in a tidy income or that those who possess unusual, niche skills are able to charge a premium to companies they work with.  When it comes to careers as a project manager or quantity surveyor, these people hold the knowledge and skills necessary to attract a hefty income. 

We need to be making youngsters aware that working in construction can make a huge difference to the lives of others when working on game-changing projects.  Employers within the construction sector need to engage with young people in order to widen the pipeline of new talent entering the industry in future.  We need to communicate with school leavers and young people in ways they understand so that we can let them know about the wide range of careers available within the construction sector. 

OneWay has pointed out how few females choose a career in construction but increasing the number of women in the sector will not help to halt the skills shortage.  We need a longer term solution that will enable the sector to prepare for its future workforce requirements.  Engaging with young people early on is a vital aspect of the OneWay initiative and will go a long way towards attracting the right sort of people to the right jobs.