Hays Construction and Property propose a change of scenery

Birmingham’s construction market is booming and that means plenty of job opportunities. The city centre is being modernised and investment in the public and private sectors goes alongside extensive regeneration work. Residential work continues apace, including the £365m Sandwell Homes development, due to finish in 2010. Hays has supplied more than 30 candidates to this project: tradesmen, site managers and an assistant site manager.

Brum’s famous landmark, the Rotunda, is being converted into luxury flats – a job that has called for a good many junior engineers.

Q: Which three skills are most in demand?

  • Project managers with PFI experience. There’s lots of PFI work under way, including the £350m Walsgrave Hospital in nearby Coventry. There are vacancies on the £400m Queen Elizabeth Hospital development in south Birmingham, including positions for site managers, project managers, a design manager and engineers.
  • Site managers and QSs with social housing experience – the pressure is on councils and housing associations to meet the Decent Homes standard by 2010.
  • Architectural technicians with strong technical skills. Employers are specifying candidates with advanced knowledge of Building Regulations. There is a tendency locally to choose more design-based architectural degree courses, whereas there are fewer candidates with an ONC or HNC qualification in building studies. Whichever skill you’re looking at, experience is paramount, so candidates looking for their first role in site management may struggle.
Q: How much would I get paid?

A: Recent appointments have included:

  • A trainee site manager with two to four years’ experience at a housebuilder. Salary: £23,000
  • A proposals manager to work on PFI projects (working on bids up to £100m). Salary: £40,000 plus benefits.
Q: How far would my salary go?

  • Pint of Hansan’s Mild: £1.70
  • Balti and a naan: just over £6
  • Ticket to Aston Villa football game: £27
  • Strawberries and cream at Selfridges: £4.95