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Myth-busting the construction industry

Construction is literally building the future and shaping our landscape and is constantly moving forward with new technologies. Could it be the career for you?

Construction is a varied industry that spans a range of activities from mining and forestry, to buildings and infrastructure. It is also involved in the manufacture and supply of products as well as maintenance; the list is endless.

For this reason there are thousands of opportunities available within the industry which equates to 10% of total UK employment. Here are some myth-busting facts about construction:

Myth: ‘There is a lack of training opportunities within the industry’
Fact: To support young people in gaining experience and boost future employment, virtually all UK Contractors Group (UKCG) members provide annual, six monthly or summer vacation placements for undergraduates. Two thirds of UKCG members were sponsoring students through university in 2012. There were almost 15,000 apprenticeship starts in construction last year – a 6% annual increase.  The majority are at Levels 2 and 3, but the sector is now developing graduate level apprentice programmes.

Myth: ‘Construction is a dangerous industry with a poor safety record’
Fact: It is certainly true that construction sites are potentially risky places to work. However, UKCG members invest huge time and effort managing this risk to avoid accidents. Members work together collectively on issues such as site induction, on training and ensuring that everybody on site is competent to carry out their job and to look out for the safety of others. Resultantly the accident rate on UKCG sites continues to go down year on year.

Myth: ‘It’s dominated by men’
Fact: There are already over 200,000 women in the industry.  Traditionally, a male-dominated industry, the world of contemporary construction embraces gender differences and encourages inclusive working practices.

Myth: ‘Construction is not an aspiring career and only offers low skilled work’
Fact: Construction professionals and craftspeople are in demand. Construction offers a range of rewarding employment opportunities from lawyers and architects, to onsite professions including electricians and carpenters. One sixth of construction employment is at executive and managerial level.

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