With the recent release of the government Construction Sector Deal – worth £420 million to transform construction through innovative technologies to increase productivity and “build new homes quicker” – this is said to be a “golden opportunity” for the industry to be attracting the best talent.
The construction sector’s demand for suitable skilled workers is as imperative as ever. BSRIA’s mantra is that A Levels, TechBacc programmes and apprenticeships are all equally vital.
Julia Evans, chief executive of BSRIA, said: “STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects form the building blocks of a career in engineering and construction. It goes without saying that our industry, and indeed economy, relies on students progressing to engineering.
“BSRIA wholeheartedly acknowledges the hard work and achievement of those receiving today’s A Level and AS Level results and congratulates all students for their grades. All of which is good news for science subjects and the star engineers of the future.
“BSRIA is actively supportive of the take-up of STEM subjects and plays an active role in encouraging young people into the industry and supporting their careers. We work with schools and further education through our INSPIRE programme as well as running a Young Engineers’ Network for people new to the industry.
“Advice for those going on to university – do your research on the course to ensure it offers a sandwich or placement year in industry. Such know-how, wisdom and skills gained from real work experience can never be underestimated. And look into engineering apprenticeships which also give unique and career-enhancing hands-on experience.
“However, industry needs to be more proactive to win the best talent. As an industry – we need to provide more suitable work experience as part of schools’ outreach programmes. We can’t expect the most talented simply to come knocking on our door.
“Engineering and construction present a vast range of careers and roles at all levels, from graduates, engineers, architects, surveyors and established chartered memberships, to technical tradesmen and the full spectrum in between.”
BSRIA’s INSPIRE project promotes the industry to young people by working with local schools, national and local politicians and the media to highlight STEM and change its perceptions. Industry recruitment and succession planning is crucial – the INSPIRE project will address this. It helps engage young people in engineering and over the last few years, BSRIA has welcomed year nine (aged 13-14) students from local schools to participate in “taster” days of real-life, hands-on test-house experiments and STEM-related activities.
BSRIA has also employed summer interns that have researched and written industry publications such as ‘Sixty Years of Engineering’; ‘Workplaces of the Future’; and ‘Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers’.