Taking the Initiative

Added: 10/05/16 Author: Mark Tomlin

Actions speak louder than words. It’s a saying that we’re all familiar with, and it may be somewhat ironic that I’m discussing the phrase in the form of writing, but it holds true in just about every situation.

Of course, as you’ll have seen from my previous posts, I’m a fan of expressing my opinions on how we can improve construction, and it would be more than a little hypocritical of me to do this if I wasn’t also getting involved.

That’s why I’m proud to support Construction United, an initiative aimed at changing perceptions of the construction industry, with the aim of bringing in more new talent while also making sure that we take care of those that we already work alongside.

Now, as you’ll see from their website, SIG is an official partner of Construction United, alongside firms including Morgan Sindall and bodies such as the Finishes & Interiors Sector (FIS) . That’s because SIG works with such a wide range of construction professionals that we’re exposed to all aspects of the trade, putting us in a position to (hopefully) bring them on board too.

Being part of an initiative also brings the benefits of additional resources, and access to data such as Construction United’s recently commissioned YouGov poll.

Essentially, the survey was conducted to find out what the public really think about construction, that way there’s a benchmark which we can track our progress against. Unfortunately, the results weren’t terribly positive.

Of the 2,000 GB adults questioned, more than two-thirds (67%) said that they would never consider a career in construction. Although I know that I may be a little biased, this is still a surprising figure.

Similarly, 41% stated that construction is the least likely sector to require a higher education, again, as an ‘insider’ I know this simply isn’t the case, but that’s exactly why we need to shout about the work we do and the opportunities that are available, to bring these facts out of the shadows and into the public consciousness.

Public perceptions of construction

Construction United’s YouGov survey provided some useful insights

So far, so well-meaning. The extra step is actually saying how this new initiative (and let’s face it, there are plenty) will actually try to change things. Rather than over-complicating things, or even being vague and saying ‘just help out however you want’ – both of which can make it hard to get companies involved – Construction United is hosting a week of activities, with four to choose from. Admittedly, this is sounding distinctly promotional, so I’ll let you read more for yourself:http://www.constructionunited.co.uk/events/

Hopefully this will give the industry the push it needs and to help us achieve the currently daunting recruitment targets that are in place. It doesn’t need to stop with Construction United either, but at least it’s a start.