Changes In Employment Within Construction
Covid has changed a lot of how things are done and perceived within employment and society as a whole.
People are going back for further education, pushing to work from home, changing the terms of their employment, and in many cases changing careers entirely.
That’s without even touching on all the changes to rules that have occurred over the past few years, both legally and societally.
This has had a big impact on the employment landscape, especially within the construction sector as a whole.
According to the Office for National Statistics, there has been a 14.7% drop in the total number of people in employment in this sector. This is also followed by a 0.7 percentage point decrease in the number of people under the age of 35 in this sector. Meanwhile, those over the age of 55 have experienced a 2.8 percentage point increase in employment.
What does this mean?
This can be seen as having a variety of effects on the construction sector, the most obvious of these being that there are simply fewer young people in the industry. This is important for one simple reason. You need experienced people in the long run. While the drop is small for those under 35 it also must be paired with the increase in people over the age of 55 working. These people already have the experience that a company may be looking for but realistically they are much more of a short-term investment than someone under 35 could be in the long run.
The other thing this means is that the construction sector has lost a large chunk of its workforce over the past few years. I believe this number will bounce back steadily over the next couple of years and likely exceed what it previously was due to the number of projects across the UK. More jobs are being created every day and people are looking for them.
In my personal experience, I have noticed that a lot of employees, especially those under the age of 35, are looking for stability and opportunity. Many of the individuals I have had conversations with are looking to develop their skills and advance their careers with ambitious companies.
For many of those under 35, the above is more important than their immediate salary or distance to travel may be.
Plenty of people are open to new opportunities, even if they are not actively looking for them, for the very reason that they may advance their career and develop their skillset in some way.
That isn’t to say that everyone has this mindset, but it does seem to be the most common currently as people seem more ambitious and less willing to settle.
What can you do?
So, what can be done to get more people in employment in this sector, especially those under the age of 35?
The answer is simple.
Providing people with training opportunities is a good start that can show you are committed to their development and offers many the chance to develop their skills, which for many is the reason they are looking. Investing in your employees and showing you are committed to them will usually get the same out of those employees.
Giving reasonable targets and standards to work towards also shows an increase in employee satisfaction, which in turn leads to a higher retention rate.
Another change that is vital to retention is making sure the structure of your company is such that there is enough management to support and guide those beneath them without getting in the way through bloated protocols and red tape. Many see too many layers of management as a negative that stunts growth.
The simplest change is to recognise the efforts of those working for you, appreciating the targets they may be reaching or exceeding, the projects they are completing, and the value they provide as a whole. It doesn’t take a lot of time and shows that they are appreciated which is sometimes all it takes.