Having issues attracting fresh talent? Have you tried engaging with local schools (as far back as primary schools - heck, this could be your legacy)? Is your marketing team working the HR to develop a meaningful campaign behind attracting youngsters and upholding (or creating) an employer brand?
I recall one of the most engaging and thought provoking conferences I attended some three years ago at the UK Construction Week where a panel of five c-suite executives within construction / building products debated what their employers were doing to drive the next generation of workers into the industry.
This is an age old problem (no poorly positioned pun intended) and so it was good to read today that tier one contractor Kier has sent 200 of its workers into schools as career ambassadors to influence youngsters into choosing a vocation within construction.
Through their research, for me, they hit on the underlying issue we face - it is not so much childrens perception of the industry as it is the views of parents and career advisers. Way before children are considering options at 16 they have already been deterred away from the industry.
Much like other industries, Construction / Building Products is recession sensitive, but parents need to realize that within the industry there is a significant dearth of young blood coming through the system (some 400,000 needed annually), with the industry equating to £90bn of UK GDP.
Mark: A huge, ongoing debate in the construction and building products industry has been how to attract youngsters into an area that is not always seen as the most attractive. Have you any insights into this based on your own experience? Sue: My own observation is that young people don’t seem to know the plethora of different careers within our sector and that the diversity of what we do makes it difficult to articulate. There are all sorts of assumptions made about it being about ‘muddy boots’ when we all know that working on-site is just one area of our industry. Despite being a sector that has a track record in supporting social mobility, it also feels like we often get overlooked by parents when they encourage their children into one profession or another.