InSite | How to get into the construction industry

How to get into the construction industry

If you’re looking for a career in construction but don’t know how to get started, we answer some of the questions you might have on how to get qualified, the sector’s growth potential, current labour shortages and much more.


What roles are there in construction?


From architectural technician to window fitter, there are so many career options in construction – many more than you might think. To find out what roles exist and the responsibilities for a wide range of jobs, take a look at Go Construct’s list of roles in construction.


What are the routes to getting qualified in construction?


Depending on the role you choose, you might enter the sector by taking part in an apprenticeship or you could study for a university degree or by training at college.


A degree offers in-depth knowledge as well as transferable workplace skills, whereas an apprenticeship or traineeship provides real-life work experience and allows you to earn while you learn. Whichever route you decide to take is really down to personal choice, as both pathways are highly regarded by employers.


Why get a job in construction?


In construction, no two projects are the same. You could be contributing to exciting, cutting-edge urban developments, making a difference improving local communities, creating state-of-the-art care homes for the elderly or building eco-friendly, modular houses. Knowing that you have built something that will last and make a difference to people’s everyday lives now and in the future, is hugely satisfying.


Job satisfaction is further enhanced by the prospect of being paid a decent wage. The industry has bounced back after the pandemic and is enjoying an increase in outputs with projected growth of 12.9% for this year and 5.2% in 2022. ONS data further revealed that increases in pay in construction have grown 9.7% in the period from March to May 2021.


How many opportunities are there in the sector?


According to recent ONS figures, construction vacancies are close to a 20-year high with 33,000 jobs on offer in the sector. So it’s a great time to get into construction.


Why is there a skills shortage?


One of the main reasons for the skills shortage in the UK is the aging workforce in the industry. As people reach retirement, fewer young people are entering the sector to replace them. 


Among the younger generation, there is a lack of knowledge about the careers and opportunities available within the sector. Educating young people in the vast range of construction jobs is key to tackling the skills shortage.


In addition, the industry has a reputation for lacking diversity in the workforce. The perception that construction is primarily a career for a particular demographic can alienate people who don’t feel they will fit in. While perceptions are changing, there is still more work to be done. The sector needs to show it's open to all to ensure that a greater number of people can consider it as a career option.


But it’s not just getting new people on board. Upskilling existing workers to broaden their skillsets is equally important. Construction companies that are training and investing in their own staff will also help to incentivise people to join the sector.


Does Premier Guarantee offer training?


Yes. Our graduate training scheme has helped more than 60 part-qualified surveyors, graduates and trainees become fully chartered with the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE). Find out what opportunities are available at Premier Guarantee.


What do trainee surveyors learn?


The two-year training programme consists of classroom and distance-based tutorials on construction, technical standards, building regulations and procedures. Developing skills applicable to a range of buildings from single houses to multi-storey apartment blocks, trainees learn how to competently undertake design assessments and record inspections as well as liaise with site staff. Each trainee is provided with a mentor who is on-hand to help them along their learning journey.


Find out what it's like training to become a surveyor first-hand from Luke Roberts. He took part in the graduate training scheme and is now a Senior Risk Management Surveyor at Premier Guarantee.


Read more articles on the Resource Hub and sign up to receive our blog round-up.

Read more articles on our Resource Hub