What does the construction industry need to do to keep hold of its young talent?
3rd May 2019
The ongoing housing crisis has had a big effect on young people in the UK, with 46% of 24-35-year olds in the UK currently paying private landlords for accommodation and many now facing the prospect of renting for life. Whilst our recent research into the future of homes focused on the wants and needs of the public when it comes to housing, these homes will be built by the young people currently working and studying in the sector and it’s therefore important to keep them happy and engaged.
In order to prevent those working in the sector from becoming disengaged or dissatisfied with the industry as many young people have with the housing market, we must regularly listen to and act upon feedback. Construction publication Building Magazine has made a start on this and recently conducted a survey of young people working and studying in the sector – and we’ve taken a look at the results for you.
The good news for the industry is that nine in 10 respondents to the Building Magazine survey said they were happy with their current job within construction, with the same proportion of those studying in construction confirming that they were enjoying their course. Despite this positivity, the results from some of the other questions suggest that there is still plenty of work for the industry to do if it is to keep hold of these young people and ensure we have enough workers to build the homes of the future.
We take mental health very seriously at Eurocell and in a previous article, we actually gave some tips for tradespeople for coping with mental health issues, which included the importance of talking to friends and family, seeking medical help and taking time out. In a separate blog, we also provided advice for managers in the construction sector looking to support staff towards better mental health; this included encouraging open conversation on the topic, paying attention to staff and allowing mental health days off.
The survey results also highlighted the need for the industry to move forward in terms of technology and sustainability. The young workers were concerned with the industry’s reputation for being ‘backward-looking’ and 38% of respondents disagreed that it is respected by the public, with many putting this down to the industry being behind digitally and not having strict enough sustainability laws. Interestingly, our own research which you can download here, highlighted technology and sustainability as key requirements of young people when it comes to the homes of the future. Whilst the rapid rate of change in technology means those working within construction are reluctant to adopt it for fear it will be soon be outdated, using more environmentally friendly building products and committing to recycling will help the industry to move forward and become more sustainable.