THE workers of the future in Huddersfield are highly ambitious, clued-up and keen to quickly climb the career ladder, claims a survey by the UK’s construction industry training body.
The online poll conducted by CITB-ConstructionSkills found that “the opportunity to become your own boss” was the most appealing factor about working in the building industry for those born after 1985.
This was followed closely by the variety offered by working on different projects and the opportunity to become a master craftsman in a specialist area.
The potential financial rewards were low down the priority listing for youngsters in Huddersfield – although the majority thought that earnings in construction were about the same or higher than other careers.
Youngsters said a company’s “commitment to training and development” was the most important consideration when choosing an organisation to work for
This was almost matched by the organisation’s “reputation as a fair employer”. However, a company’s size, location, reward package and its commitment to the green agenda were not rated highly in the pecking order.
Teamwork topped the poll as the aptitude, ability or skill the Huddersfield participants thought most useful to bring to the industry. Project management and organisational skills were not rated highly – with most reckoning that technical ability, confidence and physical fitness were more valuable to a prospective employer.
Russell Buckley, regional delivery manager for Yorkshire at CITB-ConstructionSkills, said: “It’s clear from the survey that young people in Huddersfield interested in construction are driven, ambitious and ready for tough challenges.
“This is exactly what construction needs – quality candidates who are keen to raise the bar and meet the future needs of an ever changing industry.
“As an industry, we need to pay close attention to the expectations around training and development. Opportunities for up-skilling and continuous improvement must be an integral part of our sector’s offering or we risk losing talented youngsters who will bring their skills and energy elsewhere.”
Among other findings, 76% of Huddersfield respondents thought that females made up between 20% and 30% of the construction workforce. In fact, the figure is 13%.
Over half thought apprenticeships were the most important way to help secure a career in the industry with only 10% thinking that higher qualifications such as a postgraduate qualification or a Higher National Diploma were important to getting into the industry.