Education counts, but it needs to be combined with work experience
In my opinion, to become a professional within this industry you need to have a good knowledge of construction.
Some will have practical experience working as a skilled artisan or tradesman; others will be studying for a university degree. Education is the key. But let's face it: training for a job is not the same as actually doing the job.
There's no doubt that the most successful companies have cottoned onto the fact that future generations hold the key to future success, and there are some excellent opportunities in the marketplace in the form of trainee schemes and apprenticeships.
However, more businesses need to follow suit by offering these opportunities to all us students.
There is a great push for graduate trainee schemes, but undergraduate trainee schemes can be just as valuable – if not more so, in some cases.
Why do we have to wait for one education to stop so that another one can start? Why can they not go together? They used to, in the days when some of my lecturers were students.
On-the-job training can have many advantages. For example, a trainee can automatically associate something experienced on site to something being studied in the classroom.
What we really need, especially now with the harder economic situation, is for more companies to understand that the technical and practical experiences they offer a trainee are a valuable investment. It is an investment in a future employee, which is an investment in the future of the company – as we tend to stay with firms that have invested in us.
Education is the key. But let's face it; training for a job is not the same as actually doing the job
To maintain the momentum of change, the construction industry needs more companies to offer real training opportunities now before the recession ends, so we are all ready for the return of the greatest industry in the world.
It's no longer just a man's world
(in response to two recent articles: It's a man's world and The hand that rocks the cradle)
The construction industry has changed; males no longer dominate the industry, and that's a good thing. We see more women on sites, in senior positions and in skilled trades than ever before.
Gone are the old mentalities that alienated women from building sites, and indeed a lot is being done to promote women in the industry.
Educational institutions regularly report growing numbers of women in classes and overall a general popularity of construction-related courses among both sexes.
We have organisations such as Women in Construction that encourage women to enter non-traditional occupations, as well as the Construction Industry Training board, which actively encourages women to seek occupation and training within the industry.
The construction industry is evolving and is an attractive place to be – not just for women but for everybody.
Jaymie Carmack is currently studying construction management at Westminster University.