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Open Doors is shedding light on construction skills demand

While many people opt for careers as tradesmen because of the freedom and independence they can gain from being an independent contractor, there are many others who fall into the employ of a bigger contractor and work as a paid employee of their parent company. Then there are many more still, who work for the construction industries small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) striking a balance between the two extremes

The differences between the modes of working highlight the opportunities and flexibility available to people who have just finished practical training courses and are looking at how they are going to get their foot on their first career rung.

Options for young tradesmen and woman at the bigger business end of the scale are currently being highlighted at a careers event staged by multi-discipline contractor Lovell, in Doncaster. The event is taking place over two days – 9-10 November – and is part of the national Open Doors event, in which 23 of the country’s largest contractors are showing young people what exactly is going on at 91 of the country’s top new building projects.

Open Doors is a partnership organised by four leading industry bodies: the UK Contractors Group (UKCG), CITB-ConstructionSkills, The Considerate Constructors Scheme and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). During the events, the attendees – ranging from school leavers looking for apprentices, to people seeking a career change – are given the opportunity to have site tours and to take part in interactive construction activities and practical workshops.

During the Lovell weekend, the attendees are being shown around the ongoing construction project of Lincoln Gardens in Hyde Park, Doncaster, where 123 homes are being built in accordance with cutting-edge sustainability specifications.

Lovell’s regional director for the Doncaster area, Tony Tann, said that they hope the open days will draw in people from all walks of life.

“Equipping the UK with a well-trained, productive construction workforce has probably never been more important than it is now,” he explained. “Open Doors is a collaborative initiative aimed at attracting more people into our industry by showcasing the wide range of activities that we do and the fantastic career and training opportunities our sector offers. We hope it will help us to attract new talent into our sector which nationally faces a severe long-term skills shortage.”

Open Doors spokesman, Mick Hamill, said the event would hopefully open up the complexity and scope of modern construction projects.

“Construction is undergoing rapid change and needs to develop a skilled workforce to meet these challenges it faces,” he said. “Nowadays construction is more about careers than jobs and the expected increase in demand for management roles in the next few years means that we need quality talent entering the industry now to fill these future positions.”