The UK construction industry is one of the best sectors you can work in. It expects you to work hard and be flexible; in return it pays very well. You can have a very good standard of living and a great life.
I started in the industry, as a kid of 17 from a council estate in South Wales. Two years later I was working in Denmark on “Element Konstruktion” of a new town outside Copenhagen. By the time I was 25 I had a degree, was a chartered civil engineering and had worked for just over two years in Libya. There then followed a period of working in UK, Southern Africa and Thailand. In the 2000’s I had the honour of working on the construction of the Olympic Park for London 2012.
And there are many thousands of others like me, such as the bricklaying apprentice who won Gold at the WorldSkills competition and is now in his late 20s a regional manager for a major house builder.
Not everyone wants to travel the world like I did. You can have a great career in the UK working on projects that make a real difference to peoples’ lives.
The industry constructs and maintains all the buildings and infrastructure we all take for granted – houses, factories, offices, power stations, reservoirs, water supply, sanitation, ports, roads, railways and airports as well as lots more.
Within the industry you will find opportunities to upskill and move into supervision, design and management. The world is your oyster!
And you do not need to be a young person to get in. The sector is very open to older workers who want to move into construction. With Bridgwater & Taunton College, we at NOCN, have had great success at bringing in the long term unemployed into civil engineering trades such as steel-fixing to support the new build of Hinkley Power Nuclear Power Station.
Young people who are not academically minded can get a real skill and with hard work can rise to be directors of major companies.
For those of you that are academic there are fantastic opportunities in design and research of new ways of working and materials to help address the challenges of climate change.
Like other industries construction is embracing digital technologies/AI and drones. So if you’re into ‘tech’ digital engineering may be the job for you.
The opportunities are there if you want them, so give it a go – get into construction.
Graham Hasting-Evans, M.Sc, C.Eng, MICE, FIC-CMC
Group Managing Director, NOCN