The gender imbalance within the UK construction industry is widely known, with only 11% of the workforce being female and just 2% of those being employed in craft trade roles. Consequently, a considerable skills shortage has arisen. To address this, construction companies are placing a greater emphasis on attracting a more diverse range of employees to aid innovation and futureproofing.
Why is there an imbalance?
When considering construction companies Manchester is home to a number of leading firms who specialise in cutting-edge design, build and project management. However, there remains a considerable lack of female employees within companies here and nationwide. A study undertaken by GenAnalytics and funded by the Scottish Government found that only 17% of surveyed construction staff were female, with these figures being in line with national statistics. This has highlighted a need for construction companies to improve their image, as they are often regarded as a last resort for young people who are unable to secure employment elsewhere and are consequently demotivated and do not complete their apprenticeships.
What can companies do?
To address this, it is crucial for construction companies to enhance their relationships with colleges and schools to promote the positives of a career in construction. Showcasing these jobs to students can be a great way of encouraging new talent into the industry.
When considering construction companies Manchester based firms such as Piggot and Whitfield https://www.piggottandwhitfield.co.uk/services/ offer opportunities in design and build, construction and project management, highlighting the multitude of career options available. However, sending staff into schools results in fewer employees on the job, which impacts project deadlines and income.
Therefore, the GenAnalytics report advises education providers to work with construction companies to educate students on potential opportunities within the industry. Allowing teachers to develop a greater understanding of the roles available in the industry can also form an important part of the approach, along with taster sessions, open days and work placements. The Guardian also suggests having students come and visit construction sites to experience the industry firsthand.
Future partnerships between construction companies and education providers can be a mutually beneficial approach that helps to prevent skill shortages and gender imbalance within the industry, in addition to introducing young people to an exciting new career prospect they may not have previously considered.