Build a new future: How to get a job in construction

Fri, 31/08/2012 - 12:18 -- nick

UnemployedNet supports The Mirror's Get Britain Working campaign. The article below is ideal for those who are interested in working in construction, with The Mirror finding over 33,000 jobs in the week the campaign was launched. Don't think you have to work outside though - there are a huge range of jobs available, and many of them are based in offices, like design, cost management, and administration roles. And with the way construction is changing there are lots of opportunities for further training and developing yourself.

'WE’RE helping you to lay the foundations for a brighter future in our campaign to Get Britain Working.

We’ve unearthed 33,964 jobs in the UK construction industry, which continues to remain steady.

Despite hard times there are still 279,000 companies in the UK employing 1.8 million people.

The jobs on offer vary widely, from careers that need years of study to those you can enter straight from school in order to start ­developing your skills with an apprenticeship or other training.

Michael Ankers, of the Make it in Great Britain campaign and Construction Products Association, tells us: “There are a variety of jobs on offer in the construction industry, from building design through to construction and maintenance.”

He says unless new blood is brought in to learn everything from plumbing and electrics to roofing and bricklaying there will be a skills shortage in years to come.

“We need more young people to consider construction as a career.

That way we will be able to ensure that the sector continues to attract the talent and skill that it needs to thrive,” says Michael.


Kerri Chambers is an unsung Olympic hero.

She was one of the hundreds of bricklayers who built the fantastic Stadium in London’s ­Docklands. And what’s more, it was her first job.

“It’s so good knowing that I had a part in it all,” says Kerri, 23, of Woodford Green, North East London, who is now thriving in what was traditionally a man’s world.

But when she left school, Kerri didn’t have a clue what she wanted to do – even though she’d always been keen to help her dad who was a builder.

“I had a year out – it was difficult. I didn’t have much direction.”

Kerri tragically lost her sister at this time and decided to focus all her energies on finding a good career that would have made her sister proud.

“I decided bricklaying was what I wanted to do,” she says. “So I enrolled at college.”

But finding a job at the end of the two-year course wasn’t easy.

“It took six months of searching but eventually I signed with an agency that linked me up with the London 2012 Women into Construction project.

“Within four weeks I was on site as an ­apprentice bricklayer. It was fantastic.”

At first Kerri, only five foot one, struggled to lift the concrete blocks she was laying.

“I’d be swaying all over the place but in a couple of weeks I got stronger.”

Now Kerri, employed by construction giant Galostar, has gone on to build everything from schools to flats around London.

She has also gained her NVQ Level 3 and an ONC in Building Services – and she’s so good at what she does that she is the only female finalist in the Bricklaying section of Skillbuild 2012. 

“The fact that I’m a woman doesn’t mean much to the people I work with any more,” she says.

“At first I was a novelty but now everyone just gets on with the job. I’m just one of the team.

“There is a great sense of satisfaction building things. My dream now is to build my own house.”


At ­ there are 23,284 jobs including 2,496 electricians and electrical fitters, 1,225 brickies and masons, 2,545 carpenters and fitters, 2,332 painters and decorators, 4,646 labourers and 1,444 plumbers, heating and ventilating engineers.

Jobs include a fix carpenter in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire (£11 per hour); a carpenter in Bath (£12); a double glazing installer in Birmingham (£10); a plumber in East Peckham, Kent (£14); bricklayers in Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, and London (ranging from £9 to £13) and building labourers from Redhill, Surrey to Poole, Dorset (from £6.08).

At we found 678 jobs ranging from a pipe-fitter in Northumberland (£12) and an asbestos analyst in Derbyshire (£28,000 a year) to a maintenance manager in Edinburgh (£18,000), an electrician in West Drayton, Middlesex (£12 an hour) and a ground-worker in Littlehampton, West Sussex (£9 to £10).

Recruiter Reed ( has 2,299 relevant jobs such as an electrician in West Bromwich, West Midlands (from £12): a duct fitter in Oxford (£23): a plumber in Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan (£9.50) and a site engineer in Darlington, County Durham (from £20).

At there are 2,103 live jobs including engineers, technicians, managers, planners and skilled trades such as carpenters, plumbers and ground-workers. A shuttering joiner is needed in Dundee (£10): a carpenter with roofing experience in Barking (from £10) and ground-workers in Sheffield (from £9.50).

Another 5,600 jobs can be found at including 326 plasterers and 267 painting jobs.


The ‘Women into Construction’ programme is run by BeOnsite (, supported by CITB-ConstructionSkills ( and trained 248 women on the Olympic Park site. Also try the Construction Products Association

The Make it in Great Britain campaign aims to change outdated perceptions of UK manufacturing while highlighting the variety of career options available.


Via The Mirror