Survey finds that most parents are happy for children to build career in construction.

Parents would prefer their sons to join the construction industry than any other profession except computer programming, a survey has revealed.

The survey of 4,000 parents by the Federation of Master Builders also found that parents would prefer their daughters to join the building industry than become hairdressers or secretaries.

The image of careers in construction has improved, according to the survey. Over half of parents said they were more likely to encourage offspring to enter the building industry than they would have been five years ago.

The FMB survey also showed that 51% of parents questioned would prefer their school leavers to enter job-related training rather than pursue academic courses.

FMB Director Ian Davis attributed the shift to the cost of academic degrees, claiming: ‘Many are attracted by the potential to earn and learn: to gain a trade rather than debt. Vocational training provides school leavers with a marketable skill, which can act as a stepping-stone for the more entrepreneurial to set up or run their own business’.

However, parents remained concerned about the availability of entry-level training in the industry. 91% called for the government to spend more on vocational courses such as building in preference to academic subjects.

This demand was particularly strong in Northern communities, where exposure to the industry is primarily through specialist subcontractors reluctant to lose profits by taking the time to train apprentices.

CITB-ConstructionSkills, the industry’s training organisation, hopes to increase funding through its Sector Skills partnership with the government. The FMB is also working with the organisation to encourage a high calibre of school leavers into the building profession.