Research published earlier this year revealed that the UK will require more than a quarter of a million extra construction workers by 2026 to meet growing demands.
Undertaken by the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) Construction Skills Network (CSN), the research found that if projected growth in the industry is to be met, the workforce will need to reach 2.78m in size – a requirement of 53,000 new employees each year.
As a partnership and open-market housing provider, we take our commitment to recruitment and training seriously. We want to attract the very best people, not only to our business but to the wider construction industry, to support them to enjoy rewarding careers where their skills and ambition can grow and flourish.
It is no secret that historically careers in construction have had a poor image but we, alongside many other groups and businesses, are working hard to dispel the myths and provide authentic insight into the opportunities that exist.
This month alone our teams across the country are taking part in a wide range of initiatives, speaking directly to individuals about the careers the industry has to offer.
From regional jobs fairs such as the West Midlands Combined Authority Construction Jobs Fair, South West and South Wales Careers fair and Royal Greenwich Jobs and Skills Fair to a hands on onsite work experience programme with Construction Youth Trust, our teams are actively engaged in promoting the world of construction and the lifelong rewards it provides.
Work Experience Placements – Lovell in East Anglia
Throughout all regions of the UK, we offer work experience placements for individuals considering a career in the construction industry. Recently, Lovell in East Anglia has joined forces with Women into Construction, offering women in the region placement opportunities to get a feel for what jobs are on offer throughout the industry.
Sasha Bainbridge, Regional Partnerships Director explains more, “It is widely reported that the UK construction has one of the worst gender balances of any UK industry with just 16% of the workforce reported to be women. We are committed to changing this and whilst not quite the 50/50 split we are aiming for, at Lovell we are proud that our efforts mean that currently, at least 30% of colleagues are female.
“For the last couple of years in particular, we have been working with The Women into Construction Norfolk Programme, offering women of all ages across East Anglia the opportunity to gain real insight into the industry through workshops, mentoring sessions, career talks, CSCS training provision, site visits and work experience. I’m proud to say that this partnership has proved successful and we have provided a number of women with work experience placements that have led to full time roles within the industry.
“Most recently, we provided placement experience to an individual from the programme at our Ely site in Cambridgeshire. This development is a partnership scheme we are working on with Clarion Housing Group, who were hugely supportive of the initiative. The placement gave valuable insight and practical experience of the different types of roles available and helped the candidate to quickly identify a career that she was most interested in pursuing. In the weeks that followed, a trainee position became available at one of our other sites which she then applied for alongside many other potential candidates. Following our usual recruitment and interview processes the individual was selected for the permanent role which commenced at the start of October and it is great to see that by giving individuals insight into the workplace they can then confidently go out and secure jobs that result in rewarding careers.”
Virtual and On-Site Work Experience Programme – Lovell in London
An initiative originally instigated during the pandemic, Lovell in the London region run an insightful and hands on work experience programme in conjunction with the Construction Youth Trust Community Engagement Manager Alexandra Robins explains more, “Our work experience programme is designed to provide young people with an insight into the housebuilding industry. We originally began running the sessions during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that despite required isolation, we were still able to engage and interact with local school and college pupils. We’re thrilled that these sessions can now take place in person and are looking forward to our next programme which begins on the 24th October.
“During that week we have 10 individuals taking part. They will visit one of our sites, listen to talks from our team and attend skills workshops. They will also be separated into two teams of five and will go head-to-head in a week-long challenge to design a two-bedroom apartment. Choosing different job roles, from quantity surveyor to project manager or even sustainability co-ordinator, individuals will have to present their own ideas/findings/costs for the project to our expert panel at the end of the week. The programme gives students a real taste of what a career in the industry is really like and the roles and opportunities available.
“Whilst still a relatively new initiative for us, the programme has already proved a real success with attendees and we have just set on a new trainee who took part in a previous programme.”
Long Term Partnership with Thomas Telford UTC
Lovell is one of the construction companies which has supported the Thomas Telford UTC in Wolverhampton since it opened in 2014. This unique secondary school specialises in IT and the Built Environment with many students opting for construction related courses. This October Bruce Boughton, People Development Manager at Lovell will be there to involve IT Year 10 students in an employer set project where they will use their IT skills and creativity to imagine what a future home sales website might look like.
“This is an excellent opportunity to link the IT GCSE curriculum with real world issues” says Bruce, “and you never know Lovell might well pick up some ideas for our own website development.”