The Roofing Sector Needs a New Generation of Workers
The construction industry here in the UK, and the roofing sector in particular, is still facing challenges when it comes to attracting new recruits in all areas of construction. A recent survey of 16 – 18-year olds by a housing developer has revealed that fewer than 10% of young people would consider a career in construction, despite the fact that so many of them have an interest in subjects that qualify them for our sector.
When questioned about their career ambitions and aspirations, half of the youngsters claim to be interested in entering into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) vocations, but only 9% said that they would be interested in pursuing a career in house building.
Other revelations uncovered by this survey include the following:
- The fact that science is the most popular schools subject, closely followed by mathematics.
- The majority of respondents revealed that having an exciting career is more important than money.
- A majority of young people canvassed disclosed concerns that the construction sector is not an exciting field in which to work.
- Some claimed that they suspect they would not do well in the construction sector due to their lack of interest.
- A massive 40% of those asked revealed that they fear they would not fit into a role in construction.
- The 9% of young people who were interested in a career in construction cited the “excitement” of this industry being the most important factor in their interest.
- In conclusion, it appears that having an exciting career is perceived as more important than money to the majority of young people and that those who are interested in construction are motivated to be interested by the perceived “excitement” and not the money they may earn.
With the average age of tradesmen currently working on construction sites around the UK at 45, reaching out to these young people in a way that’s relevant to them is essential if we’re to attract a new generation of British workers into the roofing and construction industry. With Brexit just around the corner, and still no deal, so no real idea for the UK population and our construction industry on exactly how Brexit will look, we can no longer rely on the influx of EU labour that our sector has been relying on so heavily.
This means that it is absolutely essential that the construction and roofing sector needs to show these youngsters that a career in construction can prove an exciting and attractive option in terms of both excitement and income.
In recent weeks, here at D-marc, we’ve been covering a brand new career option that’s relevant to roofing and construction – a professional drone pilot. This is a pretty cool prospect for a generation that has grown up with the internet and technology, a generation of gamers who are already familiar with remote control, some of whom are experts on the games platforms and could easily transfer those skills and complete the necessary training to perform aerial roof inspections, among other tasks. This is likely to benefit our industry by bringing an extra level of safety that we’ll enjoy as the requirement to work at height is reduced.