I’ve been involved in the construction industry for a long time – I won’t tell you how long, but it’s long! I’ve been able to get involved in lots of different projects over the years, and it’s great to see the impact that my involvement has had in the industry, and in individual’s lives.
When you were a kid, did you play with Lego? I’m sure loads of you did, and without realising it you were becoming automatic builders. For some of you, taking that hobby and childhood pastime and turning it into your career is the most important thing, but you’re unsure where to get the information you need.
I honestly believe that construction is a really great industry to get into, but I’ve seen time and again that there is a real lack of information from schools to their students , meaning that sometimes young people who would thrive in this industry don’t get the opportunity or information they need to see what could be achieved.
We need more young people to get involved in this industry, and the old saying of ‘It’s a young man’s game’ is just as relevant then and it is now. For young people it’s easy to move in and around the industry, getting to try different roles and gain new and exciting skills. You could start as a tradesperson and stay in that role happily if you get job satisfaction from it, or adapt and become a project manager. The possibilities really are endless!
The truth about construction
I know that there has been this long-held misconception that the construction and built environment industry is full of middle-aged blokes, sipping on endless cups of tea and causing a lot of noise.
But actually, the brilliant thing about this industry is that it’s open to everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or educational background. In having a multi-cultural workforce, there is a balance of opinions, and this helps push forward a project and ensure that everyone gets on working with each other.
It’s not just about on-site work either; I’d probably struggle laying a brick! I started out in the industry at the age of 19 in a clerical role for a construction company. I then moved onto overseeing the payroll for about 900 people. It’s not a traditional construction job, but an important one nonetheless – people want to get paid the right amount and on time.
Alongside my work in construction, I also wrote about sports and was in demand as an after-dinner speaker. The CEO of the company I was working for saw an opportunity for me to use these other skills. That’s how I got involved with in running the Labour force, where my job was all about getting to know, wanting to help and giving answers to employees.
From this I moved into training others and both roles have been very fulfilling. In hindsight, a trade background may have helped, but because I didn’t have that I learnt to adapt and use the skills and talents I did have.
Is it for me?
There are so many different opportunities and areas of the industry that you can get involved in, and on Go Construct you can find out from the people who do those jobs what it’s actually like. From plastering, plumbing and bricklaying to work in architecture, development and health & safety, it’s all there for you, ready and waiting. So if you’re wondering if the construction and built environment industry is where you belong, join us and find out!