Our industry has a long tradition of training apprentices and the FMB plays an integral part in the development of a sustainable and dynamic skills base for the industry. We encourage and celebrate them at our Master Builder of the Year Awards and many FMB members show their commitment to training the future workforce by employing apprentices.
We carry regular articles in Master Builder magazine about apprenticeships and apprentices themselves. Members may remember the story we carried in the November 2011 issue about the Story Group’s Whitehaven project which involved a team of apprentices (on our cover this month) challenged to successfully complete a year-long project to build a house from scratch. This demonstrated the team’s thorough commitment to the task, but a new survey has revealed just how ambitious these young people considering a career in construction are.
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY’S FUTURE EMPLOYEES ARE HIGHLY AMBITIOUS
The Generation Thumb survey was conducted as part of the CITB-ConstuctionSkills’ Positive Image campaign which has been working on behalf of industry to attract new blood into the sector. It shows that the construction industry’s future employees are highly ambitious, clued-up and keen to quickly climb the career ladder.
Those born after 1985, (nicknamed “Generation Thumb” because of their renowned enthusiasm for texting and gaming!) cited ‘the opportunity to become your own boss’ as the most appealing factor about working in construction.
This was followed closely by the variety offered by working on different projects and the opportunity to become a master craftsman in a specialist area.
‘Teamwork’ topped the poll as the aptitude, ability or skill the participants thought most useful to bring to the industry. Project management and organisational skills however, were not rated highly with most reckoning that technical ability, confidence and physical fitness were of more value to a prospective employer. The gaming generation also placed ‘hand to eye co-ordination skills/good motor skills’ higher in the skills stakes than people skills.
Other survey findings include:
- Three quarters of respondents (76 percent) thought that 20 – 30 percent of the construction workforce were female. (According to latest stats women make up only 13 percent of the workforce, 12 percent in non-manual positions and just under one percent in manual roles although the industry is actively trying to raise awareness of opportunities for females in the sector.)
- The qualification or training most associated with construction were Apprenticeship, BTEC Diploma, NVQ / Diploma
- Over half (52 percent) thought an apprenticeship was the most important way to help secure a career in the industry.