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Getting back into construction

Coming back to construction after a break may be daunting, but with your strengths and skills, as well as industry experience and qualifications, you’ll have much to offer any prospective employer.

Where should I start?

Figure out what you want

Before you start your job search, take some time and think about the type of role you really want. Construction gives you the opportunity to experience different roles in the industry, and the room to progress your career in different directions.

So rather than just focusing on what you're qualified to do, take the time to work out what you enjoy doing as well. 

Think about aspects of your previous employment that you enjoyed the most. This will help you to focus on the type of role that’s right for you. If you enjoyed supporting the main activity of a business, then a support service role, such as administration could be a good fit for you.

Explore what's out there

It's worth taking the time to explore the many construction careers available in the industry.

With such a wide range of construction projects taking place all the time, the industry requires a broad and varied set of skills to complete the work.

From support services to trade skills, it takes a wide range of roles to carry out a construction project.

Technology is continually changing and there are often advances in working practices so it’s important to keep up-to-date with what's happening in the building sector.

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New ways of working

These new ways of working have become more commonplace in the industry in recent years so it's important to be aware and know about these.

Time to apply

Now you know what kind of role you want to go for, it's important to get your application right. Applying for positions or training opportunities can feel like full time work, but it’s important to put in the time in to present yourself in the best possible light.

Will my skills be enough?

Coming back to building can be a big step and for many people they can feel insecure in their current skill set. However, returning to the construction industry may mean you’ve got more relevant experience to offer an employer than you think. With demand for workers growing, there are more opportunities than ever to get back to building.

Transferable skills

When applying for a construction job or a place on a course, everyday skills can impress an employer. Honing your employability skills can help you to stand out from the crowd, and could be one of the factors in securing the job you want. From communication skills to problem solving competencies, many everyday skills are not only essential in the working world but sought after too.

Refreshing your skill set

Returning to work in the construction industry gives you the ideal opportunity to refresh your existing skills. You can demonstrate your skills in a certain construction occupation by registering with an industry skill certification card scheme. A card from the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) provides evidence that you have the correct skills and training to step back into construction. 

What should I do if I need new skills?

There are several ways to build new skills. How you go about it depends on what your goals are. Many roles in the construction industry have chartered institutions that represent them. They focus on improving their members’ skills and maintaining high standards, often offering short courses and workshops.

Training for a new role

If you want to train in a new trade or return to a craft role, applying for an apprenticeship can be a good choice. Previous experience will be picked up by a prospective employer and refresher courses can smooth the transition back into building.

Possible funding is different for specific age groups, but you can still start an apprenticeship at any age. There is no stigma attached to being an older and probably wiser apprentice.

A career break from building is no bad thing. You still have invaluable industry skills and experience. With sustained growth returning to the sector, there’s never been a better time to come back to construction.

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