Within the UK construction industry, there are currently 3.1 million people employed. This number averages out to over 9% of the whole workforce. With so many different openings available it means that opportunities are rife but also translates to a high level of competition over specific roles within the industry.
Like any job, there are many different paths you may take to reach your intended destination. We will cover a number of ways which you can use to enter the construction industry and successfully secure a job.
The demand for construction projects and works is rapidly increasing and is one of the fastest growing domestic industries. This means that there are more and more jobs being created each and every year, which in turn opens more doors for people to be introduced to the world of construction.
As with any job, there are multiple paths within construction which can be taken and a large variety of opportunities such as a building inspector, construction supervisors or even architects.
You can find a list of current employment vacancies we have on our website.
If you are interested in joining the ever-growing UK construction industry, it may be ideal to do some research into each specific job role and see which one suits you the best. Fortunately, some construction jobs only require GCSE qualifications in Maths and English.
If you are prepared to start at the lower end of the construction industry, you will still have many opportunities to enter no matter what the age or qualifications you may hold.
If you are between 16 and 24 and you are unemployed with no qualifications about GCSEs, then a traineeship may be perfect for you!
Like work experience this is a great way to get a taste of the industry. This will allow you to add valuable skills on to your CV for future jobs. They can also give you a feel for a job before you commit to one and apply. It is always useful to know just how well you match a role before starting any further applications or plans to train.
Another way to enter the UK construction industry is through an apprenticeship. Many companies will offer this as an entry point, and it is a great way to be introduced to new connections. This can be especially useful for someone who has no previous employment in this area.
Entering a job through an apprenticeship has many positives to offer both yourself and your employer whilst you are working there.
One of these positives include training whilst earning money from working. Unlike attending college for a course in the specific construction industry you are interested in, you will be doing your course whilst working on site. This will give you more hands on and practical experience and offer you a real taste for the construction industry.
You will be under a training centre which will help guide and support you during your time at the company.
Once you have finished your apprenticeship, you will have gained a qualification and potentially, if there is a job to be offered at the company, a full-time job. If there is no job at the time, your current employer will help support you in finding you one.
If you are unsure on which route you are interested in, work experience is a great way to discover different rolls within the construction industry, some of which you may have never thought about until now.
Whilst work experience is usually unpaid, it can be a great start, and a big step into the right direction if this is the career path you are set on.
Getting involved in work experience is another great way to get a taste of UK construction industry if you are not sure if the career is the right choice for you. This will save you from starting a job which you may not enjoy further down the line due to it not being what you originally thought it would be like.
The great thing about work placement is you can participate alongside college, school, or work.
After you have completed your work experience, you have not only gained a lot of knowledge, if successful, you can potentially gain a new job if you believe that the industry is suited for you.
If you took a college course in construction, this could offer you many opportunities and a more direct route into construction. Within your college course, you can specify which route you would like to work towards.
However, if you did not take a college course in construction there are still other possible entry points you may want to consider.
Firstly, you can go back to college to studying through a night course, a day course or an as is more commonly the case now, an online course. With a qualification behind you, it will be a lot more accessible to gain a job in specific construction roles.
These are a new qualification which will be taken over a two-year period. T-Levels are equivalent to three A-Levels, and this will allow you to gain specific skills within the industry as well as experience. This will be split between the classroom doing theory (up to 80%) and a placement within the industry getting hands on (20% at least).
These are catered for 16–18-year-olds to choose after their GCSE’s if they do not wish to partake in an apprenticeship or their A-Levels. This new concept allows you to continue learning and studying, whilst being guaranteed a work placement.
Once you have completed your T-Level, you will have gained a qualification in which you can then start looking for a full-time job or apply for a higher educational degree at university to broaden your horizon in a specific sector.
Once you have studied and completed your college course, you can then decide if you would rather go to university and gain a degree in a specialist subject or once you have finished your college course, you can apply for a job with the relevant qualifications you have now gained.
By gaining a university degree, this will open more doors for yourself within the higher end of the industry. Whilst studying at university, you will be able to choose more specific, specialist subjects.
Having a job in construction can be tough and physically demanding. Most jobs within require lots of physical outdoor work in all weathers and you will be working against time scales, so you must be able to cope under pressure no matter what the circumstances may be.
If you are considering enrolling into the construction industry, you will need to attend and pass a Health and Safety in construction course. This will get you up to speed on all the current legislations on Health and Safety within the workplace.
You will also want to consider taking a first aid course if you are interested in construction. This is because this industry is very physical and demanding so it always recommended to have this under your belt.
It is recommended whilst working in the construction industry to own a CSCS Card, also known as a Construction Skills Certification Scheme. This will provide necessary proof that the individual has gained the appropriate qualifications and any training required for whatever work they will do on that site. Whilst it is not a legal requirement, it solely goes off the client or sole contractor as to whether you will need one of these cards before gaining access to the site.
By gaining one of these cards and all the relevant skills and qualifications, it ensures that standards of safety will remain top priority whilst work is carried out and everybody on the site is aware of the dangers and how to remain safe.
These cards remain valid for 5 years. After these five years are up, if required, you will need to apply for one again and always keep this with you whilst working as you may be asked to show it to your contractor or client.
UK Construction Industry
Whether you are just leaving school and are unsure on which path to take to gain access into the UK construction industry, or you are currently in a job but have always had a keen interest for this industry and you are ready for a change.
There is a job for everybody, and it is never too late to change roles and start somewhere fresh. As well as many different options to get into the industry, there are also a wide range of different careers within construction for you to choose from.