Working in the construction industry always seemed to be a guaranteed career path; people would always need roads, offices, houses, bridges, institutions and many other structures, therefore there would always be gainful employment for construction workers.
But this positive outlook on a career in construction failed to factor in a major economical downturn.
Thanks to a sudden, dramatic and long lasting recession things have been difficult for construction workers and contractors across the UK.
The construction industry is always an early casualty of any recession and after a period of strong growth from 2004 to 2007 the construction industry found itself on its knees, for want of a better phrase, during 2008 and beyond. As funding and government backing fell by the wayside construction firms across the UK began to cease trading and many sites were left in a state of incompletion, with only the larger firms able to maintain their contracts. But as one of the first industries to feel the affects of a recession, construction is also one of the first industries to begin its regrowth as the economy rebuilds.
At present things are slowly getting better, the sector is growing steadily but it will take a long time before it gets back to the heady heights of success experienced in the 2004 to 2007 period. The industry is hardly storming ahead in 2011, construction still faces a challenging and fragile economical environment but there has been growth in several divisions of the industry such as the commercial and civil engineering area.
The good news is there seems to be more and more construction job vacancies on the horizon than in recent months and the industry is hopeful that it will see improvements in profits and turnover for the remaining months of 2011 and beyond.
Despite a lack of confidence in the sector and restricted access to capital the construction industry is gradually rebuilding itself. And with more clarity regarding the economic climate and the impact of government funding cuts construction contractors can now make a more realistic plan for the future.
What Can You Do?
If you are currently employed in the construction industry consider yourself fortunate and hang on to your job for all its worth; the days of walking off one site on the Friday and walking onto a new one on the Monday are long gone. Now is not the time to move around in the industry, sit tight and wait for things to improve.
If, like many construction workers, you have found yourself out of work recently you need to think positive and continue searching for sources of employment. Make sure your CV is up to date and get it out to as many construction recruitment agencies as you can. Once you have submitted your CV don’t sit back and wait, keep in touch with the recruitment staff you want to be at the forefront of their mind when a new vacancy arises.
If you haven’t got one already apply for a CSCS card, this will vastly increase your employability and you can gain access to over 80% of UK construction sites.
If you have access to savings or you can secure funding you may want to use this time of industry uncertainty to increase your skills or retrain in another division of construction. NVQ’s and University Degrees are great ways to increase your construction knowledge and redirect your career. Continued professional development is highly regarded in the construction industry and you may find a job opportunity follows your training.
A Brighter Future
Above all stay positive, the construction industry is in a state of recovery and regrowth and despite some disappointing set backs confidence in the industry has improved with rates of new orders and activity growing solidly.