Encouraging Careers in Construction / Pathways Into Construction

Ash are passionate about encouraging the next generation of workers to enter into the construction industry. Click here to read about entry-level positions Ash have offered to encourage young workers into the company.

The construction industry is still struggling through a skills shortage; this is impacting every aspect of operations from office positions such as Quantity Surveyors to site-based labour and skilled labour rolls. In an attempt to combat this, Ash representatives frequently visit schools presenting the construction industry and all the various career pathways it holds, from Bricklaying to Business Development. 

At the end of March, Ash attended Ashford North School’s careers fair meeting pupils in year 9 to year 13. This session focused on encouraging pupils to consider job opportunities in the construction industry and explain the current skills shortage. Ash was on a panel with various other construction industry professionals – all-female, to promote the job opportunities available and try and break the stigma surrounding the male-dominated professions. As a company, we activate for women in construction initiatives, and this is especially important to focus on when promoting professions in the industry. Women of all ages are considered a “hard to reach group” for construction so a special emphasis should be put on them. 

In April we hosted multiple site visits at our Beckenham Place Park restoration project for students studying Design, Engineering and Construction. Read more about it here

Early July, Ash representatives spent the day with the Year 6 class at Valley Invicta Primary School, Holbrough Lakes. We held multiple hour-long sessions, rotating around small groups of pupils, this allowed us to engage with the students. We began by giving an insight into the functioning of a Main Contractor, as many of the pupils were unsure of what companies like Ash do. We then went on to present information about all the roles available in the construction industry and what Qualifications / Key Skills people in these rolls typically hold. The highlight of the day for the pupils was the time-lapses that show the gravity of work undertaken on every site. They also took an interest in the complexities of the intricate drawings and timescales showing the process of workflow on site. 

Ash want to help young people become site ready and with an ageing workforce, this should be a priority on everyone’s mind. We need to improve the youth and diversity of the construction industry. This can be done through showcasing the attractiveness of the industry and support they would be on the receiving end of thought their careers along with the endless possibilities of job development. 

Through various engagement projects, we have discovered one of the main issues appears to be the lack of understanding about the careers available in the industry beyond traditional construction trades. In response to this Ash are rolling out a social media campaign showcasing the roles available, hopefully, this will bring the job roles to life in a tangible and accessible way. Our aim is to engage with young people and clearly present all roles available with a main contractor.

What’s next? 

The hard work isn’t over yet. Although we can play our small part in engaging with these initiatives change is needed across the board to end the skill shortage and encourage more diversity within the industry. All companies should actively be confronting the barriers to attracting new and diverse talent and focus on building the reputation of the sector so the next generation of talent can be welcomed into the industry.

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