The shockingly low profile of the industry is laid bare in new research from Redrow.
The house builder surveyed 2,000 parents and school age children and 147 of its own apprentices.
Results revealed that:
- Half (50%) of young people questioned answered “no” when asked if information on careers in construction had ever been discussed with them verbally by a teacher or had been made readily available in careers literature.
- Just 30% of young men questioned said a career in construction was a possibility for them and just 16% of young women.
- More than half (52%) of young people had never given a career in construction any consideration.
- Nearly a third (32%) of the young people stated that they hadn’t received information at school on apprenticeships.
- More than half (55%) of young people believe that “a career in construction mostly involves manual labour”
- Nearly one in five (19%) of young people believe a career in construction does not require any qualifications beyond GCSEs.
Redrow is now calling for industry collaboration to better communicate the range of careers available and the extent of the benefits on offer.
The firm said industry role models should be made more visible and the comparative, significant costs of university attendance should be better publicised.
It added: “Parents provide crucial guidance to children and housebuilders should be reaching out to them more effectively, to convey the benefits of apprenticeships and the many doors these can open.”
Karen Jones, HR Director at Redrow, said: “The skills gap is not something construction companies and housebuilders can solve independently.
“Collaboration and a fresh mentality of ‘sharing what works’ is key to overcoming the skills barrier.
“As an industry we must get better at shouting about the benefits of both the apprenticeship route and careers in construction.
“Our research highlights the inadequacy of the careers provision in schools in relation to construction and apprenticeships.
“It is not right that most young people are not even considering a career in housebuilding or construction or that advice on apprenticeships is not dished out evenly to our girls and boys.”