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Closing The Skills Gap In The Construction Industry

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Rap Interiors

Recently a CITB report was released about the construction skills in the UK, claiming that output is expected to grow by 1.7% over the course of the next few years with more than 100,000 jobs being created across the nation.
This means that there is going to be a high demand for employment in the trade, perhaps some more than others. According to the report the highest demanding jobs were actually technical staff and non-construction professionals who were predicted to have around 5,240 vacancies, with joiners and interior fitters shortly following with an estimated 3,850 opportunities.
What does this mean for construction? And what can the industry do to bridge the gap between vacancies and construction skills for young people?More Than Just a Hard Hat
There’s often a large amount of confusion surrounding the construction industry, most assume that it’s all about trades and labour: The Hard Hat Life.
However this isn’t the case because there are plenty of opportunities out there for those that are more technically adept. Every construction company needs young people that are more technically adept to deal with the inner workings of the industry. Ultimately construction companies are still businesses who need people working away from sites with plenty of marketing, accounts and admin roles bound to be coming to fruition. Check out all the opportunities here.Huge Opportunities
There are plenty of opportunities out there in the construction industry, with a large array of training available for those willing to learn. Developing skills is important for employment, so this is certainly important for the new generation of young people entering the world after education.
Companies are already looking for fresh new talent in construction, which is something that perhaps needs to be voiced through the world of education. If students know more about the options in construction available. If students were made more aware of the options available in construction rather than seeing university as the only option, then perhaps the skills gap can be bridged.
A guide to Apprenticeships can be found here
Apprenticeships are highly overlooked but they shouldn’t be. Employers are constantly looking for experienced young people, or at least young people willing to learn. Apprenticeships offer a great opportunity for youngsters, as they can earn while they learn. The problem with this is that there is a stigma around apprenticeships being related to just being on the tools, when there are actually plenty of other opportunities out there within the Construction Industry.
A great example of these opportunities is our very own marketing assistant Ryan Clarke. He initially started off as a digital marketing apprenticeship, but after a year of earning and learning he became our very own marketing assistant at Rap with a level 3 qualification.
Jobs In Kent is a great jobs website to find Apprenticeship vacanciesApprenticeship Levy changes 2017
This April the Government is introducing a new form of ‘payroll tax’ in the apprenticeship levy, which will offer opportunities for businesses to benefit from apprentices. This is an attempt from the Government to continue to push business to take on Apprentices, in order to develop skills across all sectors for young people when leaving education.
The Apprenticeship Levy will need to be paid by any organisation that has an annual bill of more than three million pounds in order to fund the growth of apprenticeships. The Apprenticeship Levy was brought in in order to fund the ambitious growth plans that the government has for Apprenticeships, which if executed correctly could create plenty of jobs developing the skills trades that are missing in Construction.Equal Opportunity – Encouraging women into Construction
As it currently stands women make around 14% of construction professionals, with only 1% of those actually working on site. This is most likely because there is a stereotype surrounding construction that tends to put not just young people but women off the idea of working in the industry.
When people think construction they imagine a male dominated industry. This may have stayed true in the days of old but in recent years construction has come a long way. More and more women are seeing the benefit of becoming a part of an industry that has become very welcoming, with plenty of local and national networking groups available. Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce is launching Kent Women in Construction – a network of females in this industry who can discuss and learn from each other about the opportunities for career development. For information on joining this group contact Jo@kentinvictachamber.co.uk.Check out this link for more info on Women in Construction.What Are CITB Doing?
CITB is determined to improve the situation of the skills gap with the launching of their new construction skills portal ‘Go Construct’. This is a web portal that showcases all of the fantastic opportunities out there for those looking for a career in the construction industry. It’s perfect for those looking to get in the industry but need somewhere to get an idea of what’s out there in terms of vacancies. Opportunities to apply for work placement, find out what colleges support your desired trade and find out what qualifications you need to meet that requirement are all on Go Construct.What Are Rap Doing?
At Rap Interiors we take the future of women and young people in construction very seriously. We love giving young people opportunities to experience the office design and fit out industry and develop skills to further boost their careers. We’re a big supporter of apprenticeships, in fact we’ve had three of our own apprentices in the last year or so.
We’ve also been working with East Kent College and their students in the recent development of the Construction block in Folkestone, Kent. Working with current students and ex-students of EKC, we’ve been able to work on delivering a fantastic school refurb project for the college and help students get a real life feel for working on a project.
We employ 18 people in our company – check out their roles here. Construction Guild Kent
Rap Interiors Director, Julie Anderson chairs the Careers Guild, getting out to speak to students in local Kent schools and colleges, helping them find the right pathway into construction roles. Julie also helps students understand where to look for vacancies and explains how social media is playing a huge role in targeting young people. Companies are direct marketing on Facebook where age groups can be targeted, look on Twitter for job vacancies in, and finally how to get your profile right on Linked-in. Check out Julie’ linked in here
Encouraging females into the Construction Industry as a great career, so diverse and forever challenging and exciting is referred to in The Guardian article.
Rap Interiors Director Julie comments “I never considered this industry but having spent 10 years in a Bank, progressing to have a business as a Florist and then owning my own food café I ended up in Commercial Interior Design in Construction. This role has kept my attention more than any other and is a fun, creative and safe industry to work in. No one will ever stop building so it’s for life with great rewards. I’ve never looked back. Every day is different and I love meeting new clients and meeting their needs”
KCC have a dedicated website for young people searching for Apprenticeship opportunities, along with a guide on the process for both students and Employers.If you’re a local education provider and would like to ask for a Careers talk in your school, don’t hesitate to contact Julie on Julie@rapinteriors.co.uk
Want to know more about opportunities and work experience that Rap can offer?
From working with our office design department and learning all about 3D design or joining our marketing department and learning all about Tweeting, there is fantastic opportunities for all. Contact us at our Kent Head Office on 0333 600 1234.

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