Changing the Perception of Construction Careers

It’s widely known that the UK Construction Industry has been suffering from a skills shortage for a number of years. This deficit seems set to continue as many younger people have negative perceptions about the degree of stability and lack of opportunity, they think they will find in the sector. 

For many years the education system has been focused on college or university for all, If good pay, learning a trade with practical skills with opportunities for advancement in the field is what young job seekers are looking for, they will find it in abundance in the Construction Industry.

While the industry could benefit from more college-educated individuals, a large percentage of construction careers also require advanced training through apprenticeship, technical training, and certificate programs, not a College or University degree.

If the system is to change philosophies and shift focus to include “career preparation’’ Companies need to engage more in providing the Educators and Students introductions to the Industry, there are many ways that our industry could capture the attention of young people – a population that will make up a third of our workforce in the next 10 years.

Many Principle Contractors are already embracing ways of reaching out, including their supply chain members in the process, by way jobsite tours, classroom based exercises focused on construction applications, to serve as a resource to help inform educators and students about construction careers. 

While there are many aspects of construction work that cannot be performed by those under the age of 18, there are still many ways that students can get involved within the guidelines of Employment Laws. 



At J A Burke, we have for a long time endeavoured to provide a work place for young people to come into our industry by way of Apprenticeships/Training schemes whereby Young Persons can join our experienced workforce where they will receive training and education, leading to sustainable jobs and the potential for a rewarding career.

If the right person presents themselves whether by responding to Job Vacancy Advertisement, by referral from persons known to us or persons knowing about us, to ‘work experience students’ from schools, we always look at what we can do to assist them, in whatever area of the business they are interested.

We work with training providers such as ‘Total Training’ and ‘HTFT Partnership’, both based locally, along with South Birmingham College and Wolverhampton University, providing a wide range of training and support with fees and training.

We ensure that young people with drive and enthusiasm receive the training and education, along with ongoing support, in all areas of the company – from Site based personnel such as Site Managers, Site Engineers, Quantity Surveyors and Groundworkers to Office based staff such as, Office Administrators, Buyers and Accounting Personnel. 

All are welcome, and those willing to put in the work can be sure of a bright future with J A Burke Construction Ltd