This week the industry’s new recruitment campaign Go Construct launches its ‘Experience Matching Service’, which offers people the chance to ‘experience’ construction.
Construction employers have been putting their names down to offer work experience, site visits, careers talks and project placements to those interested in the sector.
They are also supporting careers advice through mentoring and e-mentoring, taster days and carrying out mock interviews.
Why are they doing this?
Because some things make perfect sense — like giving young people the chance to experience the industry for themselves.
Cast your mind back to being 14 or 15. As well as coping with the stresses that adolescence brings, add to that the mammoth question of your ‘future’. Career choices at any age are scary – there’s a multitude of options, so where do you even begin?
Good information is the best place to start. With careers there can be a massive gulf between what you imagine something to be and what it actually is. Many people end up flitting between jobs for many years until they find something they really enjoy.
The best possible scenario however, is to find out up front what a job or industry is like in reality. This is why even a week or two’s work experience is hugely beneficial to young people. It can whet the appetite and be the start of something beautiful. Or it can simply rule out one path and free them up to explore a different one.
For employers and industry, the benefits of offering work experience are also plentiful. While the work undertaken is not likely to improve profit margins, if the experience is positive for both parties, employers could be meeting the next member of their team.
Employers reaching out and offering experience also says a lot about their business ethic. It shows that a firm is proud of the industry it works in. It also presents the company as forward thinking and keen to engage with local schools and colleges and become part of the wider educational offering.
For industry, providing careers insights and experiences will secure future talent and narrow the skills gap. At the same time, work experience can ultimately help reduce dropout numbers later on, which benefits employers and young people alike.
So far, 269 construction employers have signed up to offer experiences. But we want more employers to get involved. The more we can offer, the better chance we have of inspiring the best and brightest to join construction.
To get involved go to: https://sms.goconstruct.org/
About the author
Lorraine Gregory is CITB Partnership Manager for Midlands and North. She joined CITB eight years ago after working as a business support advisor for local authorities in the West Midlands. Lorraine is also a school governor with a passion for education, careers and supporting disadvantaged young people.