Some reasons why young people should join the construction industry
The construction industry is a broad, versatile, creative and technologically advanced industry which is shaping the modern world that we are currently living in. There are numerous jobs available within the construction industry and can be applicable to almost every kind of professional degree. Be it civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, finance-related jobs, chartered accountants, auditors, project managers, IT personnel or any other experienced professional; almost everyone can find a job in the construction sector. There is a shortage of skills related to the construction industry, specifically in the UK and there are multiple vacancies since there is a shortage of young and dynamic people with a lot of potential and energy in the sector. This provides the young people to have numerous career opportunities to diversify their professional knowledge and expertise by working in the construction industry.
It is a common perception that if someone wants to go to the top, he or she needs a university degree. This may not always be true, though. There are numerous ways which one can use in order to gain knowledge and professional experience regarding the construction sector. There are diplomas available; NVQs, courses and apprenticeships also available, which you can use to obtain sound knowledge regarding the construction industry.
I took a gap year before university and started working in civil engineering in Southampton as part of the Year in Industry Scheme, but, during my work experience, realised I’d taken the wrong track. I was more interested in the construction aspects of what I was learning rather than the civil engineering side. So I reapplied to university and changed from Civil Engineering to a Construction Management course at Salford University.
As it was a sandwich degree with two 6 month placements, I needed a sponsor. In stepped BAM, who in Coventry alone is behind the Severn Trent Water Centre and the new Science and Health Building for Coventry University. BAM made me an offer of a bursary but what really appealed to me about their approach was that they have a regional structure, which gives their people a bit more stability. Working in their Midlands region meant I could live at home and commute to work. As a student it’s all about saving those pennies!
Since then I combined working for BAM with my degree, until graduating last June. I’ve worked on BAM’s £45 million student village scheme for Aston University, the £30 million Shirley Parkgate mixed use development with a basement carpark, and I am now working on its £30 million care village for Richmond Villages and Bupa in Oxfordshire, as an assistant site manager.
An apprenticeship or a sandwich course at university is a great way to get into the industry because the first thing that most companies ask for is experience. I’d strongly encourage people to consider an apprenticeship or work experience to give them an insight into the working world before they commit to a career path. With BAM there are so many different opportunities all over the country.