Research by the NHBC Foundation reveals that while a third of boys and young men (37 per cent) are interested in building and construction, only one in 10 girls and young women (11 per cent) feel the same – the lowest level of interest of any other job sector included in the study.
The report ‘A career of choice: attracting talented young people into house building’ contains a number of key recommendations for the industry including a call for a joint effort to promote career opportunities within the sector.
Through its Jobs for the Girls initiative, NICEIC has regularly campaigned for more women into the electrical contracting industry. Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has received huge support from government ministers and women already working in the industry.
‘We welcome this important research by NHBC and fully support the recommendations included within it,’ comments NICEIC CEO Emma Clancy. ‘Thankfully, attitudes of the past are changing. It is now more common to see a female carrying out work on a building site, but as the research by NHBC highlights, these numbers are still relatively low.
‘More can, and should, be done to highlight the opportunities that exist within the construction sector. One common message I hear from those women already in the industry is that they were never encouraged to look for a trade at school or college. It was only later in life they discovered the opportunity.
‘The lack of information at school leaving age was highlighted in the NHBC research and this is definitely an area I think could be improved on. There are numerous career paths to follow in the construction sector and we must promote those opportunities to the next generation just embarking on their future profession. This is an important issue if we are to change the image of the sector and plug the skills gap of the future.’
Some of the recommendations made in the NHBC Foundation report include:
- The industry should prioritise the promotion of the careers available in house building, explaining the range of practical, technical, managerial and business improvement opportunities.
- To counter the concern that house building may not provide career structures and may be a dead-end choice, the industry should, whenever possible, stress its flexible career paths.
- The industry should encourage the development of new positive narrative on the wider benefits of house building.
- More work is needed to promoter and champion the professional careers in house building. The report suggests that a campaign to encourage greater awareness of the technical and design career opportunities might resonate strongly with young women.
For more information about NICEIC’s Jobs for the Girls campaign log on to www.jobsforthegirls.com