Where are all the builders these days?

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If you’re a construction worker you must be feeling very popular these days.  And if you’ve ever thought that you might fancy a career in the building trade now could be the time to go for it!

The building industry says it will need around 224,000 new builders to meet demand over the next five years and there are serious shortages across the board – carpenters, site managers, roofers, plasterers and bricklayers among them.

To be honest, it’s because the industry was so hard hit in the recession that the situation is this bad now. Around 300,000 people quit construction between September 2008 and the end of 2010. 22% of UK builders are now over 50 and expected to retire in the next 10 years - so opportunities can only increase!

What needs building?

240,000 houses A YEAR for starters. Then there’s the HS2 rail link and new road investments on the cards too.

These projects are at risk if they can’t find enough tradespeople and labourers. Firms are increasingly looking overseas to recruit staff and day rates are rising round the country – prompting the inevitable warnings that building costs will rise as a result.

In demand

With the recession hopefully well and truly behind us, construction is once again becoming an attractive career choice. Although since 2013 colleges have cut 10,000 places on construction-related courses, this trend is set to reverse and there are incentives being offered on major building projects to create new apprenticeships.

Construction has not traditionally attracted many women (just 17% of the workforce compared to 31% for farming) but the organisation Women into Construction (http://www.womenintoconstruction.org/) are focused on changing the face of construction for female workers. Check them out if you’ve been put off or concerned that building sites are not welcoming to women!

If you’re interested in finding out more about training and qualifications to help you get a job in the construction sector then the Construction Training Board (http://www.citb.co.uk/) is a good place to start.

Overall it seems the time is ripe to dust off your skills, sharpen up your tools and get [back] into the construction game. 

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