By Anne OKafor
Growth is the theme for British Science Week 2022.
Growth, in its most basic definition is about the process of increasing in size. So how does that apply to the construction Industry, an industry with a notorious reputation as being a less attractive work environment for young and new people joining.
When I think of growth, its certainly easy to envisage flowers, plants, animals and even children – there are many visuals that come to mind about blooming, a new season, and growth of individuals from children to independent adults.
It doesn’t suggest imagery of the construction industry – an industry many sources would cite as being in trouble of survival due to skills shortages and undesirable practices. However, for these reasons, the Construction Industry is a place with a plethora of opportunity for those willing to explore a career in construction.
Construction is a valid and interesting career choice for many, myself included, and joining construction, has literally changed my life. Cliché? Maybe. True? Absolutely.
My construction career has given me the opportunity to grow, both personally and professionally. I have grown my knowledge, skills, and experiences and in six years have doubled my income and got my foot firmly on that property ladder as a first-time buyer 2 years ago. This wouldn’t have been possible for me previously.
Through the process of my entry into the construction industry, I have also grown my network – from walking into a room where I knew nobody at a construction networking event in Glasgow, six years ago to today having a global network of thousands of construction and built environment professionals. The addition of these amazingly talented individuals to my network has allowed me to learn about construction from the experience of others, the issues that matter in other countries and even areas of the UK but also to learn different solutions to problems we are facing here in the UK construction Industry. As a global collective, we can solve bigger problems.
So why am I telling you this?
Truly, I believe my experience is not unique and I want others to know that the construction industry offers these individual opportunities of growth for anyone willing to seek them out. The skills gap I mentioned earlier is very real – we need great numbers of talented individuals in all disciplines to help us maintain productivity levels to meet UK Government targets for housing stock numbers and Net Zero in the coming years. While this itself, isn’t a good news story, it is one of opportunity!
There are entry points in construction at all stages and levels with entry routes available for all interests, personalities and capabilities. We have new start options like apprenticeships, both for trades and professional roles, or the traditional university routes. The industry is often also open to people with valuable transferable skills from other industries and these will become much more crucial as digital tools and techniques are needed in ever-increasing demand to meet the technological advances and their acceleration.
There is an opportunity for you! We build houses but we also build people. Come and join us in this new season of opportunity and use your skills to make the industry a much more attractive career option for the next generation. The legacy we strive for both personally and professionally is within reach. Grow with us!