Careers in construction are being promoted via a new programme


Two construction organisations have launched the Step In Step Up project to showcase the careers available in the construction sector

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Kier have launched a bid to tackle industry-wide skills shortages by promoting the careers available in the sector.

The Step In Step Up project showcases the range of roles available to students in the construction sector, and focuses on the South West of England—an area that is expected to see a number of major infrastructure projects start over the next few years. In fact, the construction sector in the South West is expected to create some 6,500 jobs every year for the next decade, meaning skilled workers will be in high demand. It is hoped that speaking to young people in the South West will sway many to consider a career in the industry.

Recruiting quality people into the sector

Speaking to the Plymouth Herald, Alastair Mullen, of Kier said: “All the studies point to a looming skills shortage in construction, and we see Step In Step Up as a way to recruit high-quality people into the industry in the face of this issue.”

Working alongside partners Midas, ISG, Plymouth Construction Training Group,, LHC, BAM, Linden Homes and Galliford Try it is hoped the project will encourage more young people into construction-based job roles.

South Devon College students between 16 and 18 years old have heard talks from professionals working with some of the biggest names in the sector. Andrew Ash, a Project Manager with Kier Construction, was one of the speakers. Ash was involved in the construction of the South Devon College Energy Centre.

He said: “Some of the highlights of my career to date would be the hospitals I have done. I have built a building that will help heal people, and I have built educational hospitals to teach doctors to then go out into the real world.

“I like building schools and other educational facilities, I really like working in those environments.”

Careers in construction

Mullen added it was important to show young people the sector offers lucrative careers.

“The world of work is changing and Step In Step Up is helping people already in employment move into an industry which offers a wide range of well-paid careers,” he said.

“It’s great to be able to offer people these opportunities.

“Kier have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with South Devon College and the event at the Energy Centre was very useful in being able to show the students that there is a range of routes to start a rewarding career, and that there are no ‘glass ceilings’ in construction.”

Assistant Principal at South Devon College Adele Dawson said: “It has been calculated that construction in the South West will create around 6,500 jobs a year until the end of the decade, and more than half of these roles will be senior, professional and office based.

“We want to raise awareness of the great opportunities that are available in this sector, and to dispel the impression that construction is limited to trades such as bricklaying and plumbing.

“Step In Step Up will help people in other jobs who are looking for a change use their existing skills to find a new career in the region’s booming construction sector.

“We’re very grateful to all the construction professionals who continue to give invaluable advice and provide placements.”


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