An introduction to Construction

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Construction industry, is it for me?

There are many preconceived ideas you may have heard of what working in construction is like. You may think it is a “boys club” with limited career choices which is tough and dirty where there are no people who look like you. You may think that it is unsafe and lacking of innovation; or even that technology is not part of what we do.

Admittedly, it is fair to say that while other industries are attracting more diversity, ours is lagging behind but the progress is definitely steady.

The core values that make our industry especial (collaboration, innovation, positive outcome and sustainability) are the drives which could help us attract talent such as yours and paint a more current image than the one described above but although, as an industry, we are really good at getting on with the job, we haven't been ass successful at conveying those.

We also think that there is a general lack of awareness of what the built environment encompasses and how it affects our lives, and therefore individuals don’t fully realise that by being part of our industry they could be literally shaping the world we live in. From off site manufacture, to intelligent homes, the way we live is rapidly changing and so is the way we design and construct.

The construction industry offers many roles, office and site based, which allow you to become a key part of a team (as big or as small as you are comfortable with). The camaraderie you will share with your team and the experience of building something together which will likely outlive you is something very special and hard to describe.

You could be working in infrastructure projects such as Crossrail , city planning in some of Europe’s largest master plans or a small one-off eco house. The British construction industry offers something for everyone. Therefore, if you want a fulfilling career that will allow you to shape the future of your city, this industry is for you.

Choosing a course

The construction process involves many stages and as such there are many courses you could look into.

From front end jobs such as “Land buyer” , “developer”, “solicitor” , “Architect”, “surveyor”, “Planning advisor”, “project manager”, “design engineer” or”landscape designer” to those involved in the build such as “contractor”, “site manager” , “site engineer”, “plumber”, “partition manufacturer” or “joiner”

Don’t feel pressured to choose what you want to be for the rest of your life. Our industry is so flexible that allows people to find their own path. You may train/study for a particular role and adjust the trajectory to suit your strengths. Employers in the construction industry want to make sure their teams develop to become the best they can and they will generally support you.

If you are not sure about what role would suit you best, you can have a look in our “Ask the” project or in projects such as Built by Us (LINK) and Built Environment Skills in Schools (LINK)

If you have an idea, there are many training opportunities you can enquire about by contacting contractors directly (see our list) or through organisations such as the Construction Youth Trust (LINK) , Women into Construction (LINK)