Construction sector provides social and economic mobility

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Social and economic mobility can be attained through the construction sector, according to a new report from the Chartered Institute of Building

The construction sector plays a critical role in social and economic mobility. This was the findings of a new report from the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

‘Social Mobility and Construction: Building Routes to Opportunity’ revealed that construction came near the top for increasing social and economic mobility, surpassing other industries.

The report surveyed 1,094 working adults and found while industries such as manufacturing have lost skilled workers the construction sector maintains a third of all employment in the skilled workers group.

Skilled trade aids social mobility

The report found that being in a highly skilled trade enabled workers to improve earnings, progress in their career and increase their social status.

Paul Nash, President of the CIOB said: “Social mobility is fast becoming one of the defining issues of our time.

“This report highlights the importance of increasing social mobility and how the construction industry can work to promote greater equality of opportunity for all, particularly in a challenging social and economic environment.”

Nash highlighted how he himself experienced social mobility through the sector. “I joined the construction industry at 18 as a management trainee with a construction company; I went on to gain a post-graduate qualification through advice from my professional body,” he said.

“I now sit here as President of the CIOB. I never thought I’d be in the position I am today but stories such as mine show the quality of opportunity that exists in construction.”

The report recommended a better focus on human resource management, as well as pushing mentoring schemes. It also called on the industry to promote the UK as an international hub of construction excellence.

Furthermore, the CIOB report said the government needed to provide more travel support for apprentices, support access for individuals from less-privileged backgrounds, and focus on the impact the built environment has on social mobility.

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