What this article will cover:
The Construction Industry Throughout Covid-19
With the disruption of the construction industry and many others alike during the Covid-19 pandemic, many construction workers have many questions. If you’re a construction enquirer or a job seeker, you might find some useful answers in this article. Even without Covid-19 sweeping the world, the construction industry is always changing, adapting and evolving. Working within construction, engineering or planning can be difficult with the ebbs and flows of the economy and resources among other obstacles.
As a construction enquirer, you may wonder how resilient the industry is. Especially if you’re looking to pursue work in the industry. As a graduate, you may want to know more about the nature of the construction or engineering industries in order to know how to find jobs and make the most of your career. It can be a scary process, but having a strong knowledge bank with you will make sure you can navigate the industry with ease.
Tips for Job Seekers in the Construction Industry
Dealing with the current situation, let’s assess the job market right now. Now, with Covid-19 lockdown restrictions easing, more firms have returned to work. This means that firms will begin to regenerate and reignite projects which are currently in progress and if the infection rates remain low more projects will be initiated in the future. With this in mind, the job market will be extremely competitive as many have lost their jobs or are desperately searching for extra work. Below, we will list some ways that you can increase your job prospects as a job seeker and guarantee yourself success.
1. Take an online course
This is one of the best tips for impressing future employers. If you use your time efficiently and take an online course, you will be putting yourself above your competition in the job market. Demonstrating to your employer you are serious about the industry will help them see you as a successful candidate. There are many online courses out there, meaning you can train in just about anything from the comfort of your home. Here at the College of Contract Management, we offer anything from business diplomas to quantity surveying. You can find a list of our live online courses here.
2. Understand that things take time
You may not find your dream job straight away. Especially while the job economy recovers after the pandemic. It may take some time. and the help of a recruitment advisor or an agent can get you there quicker. If you go it alone, you may have countless ignored offers, but being patient is key to success. Don’t let your quality slip for quantity of applications. Make sure each application is just as good as the last.
3. Network and communicate
When searching for a new career, any good construction enquirer will look for professional platforms. For example, using LinkedIn is a great way to find and network with industry experts. Whether you find your job through these platforms, or simply engage with professionals and ask for advice, it can be a great help in your job search.
4. Invest in yourself
Making sure you invest in yourself is a great way to ensure you communicate to your employers that you are serious about your job search and you have spent time refining yourself as a candidate. There are many different ways you can invest in yourself. As mentioned earlier, you can take an online course to develop your education. You can invest in a new interview outfit, a well fitting shirt or dress which will demonstrate your professionalism. Furthermore, you can invest in your CV being professionally reviewed. This is a great way to maximise your chances of success by adequately presenting your experience and skills on paper.
When the time comes, you can put these tips into practice and put your best foot forward when invited for an interview. Your best chance at success comes when you are most prepared. Since the most recent Coronavirus updates state that Boris Johnson has agreed to pump millions of pounds of funding into new build projects in an attempt to regenerate the economy and provide thousands of new job opportunities.
New government guidelines
The UK faces many firms issuing redundancies with a shortage of long-term projects. This means competition will be high for well-paying and permanent jobs. This is why it is important to view these jobs as such and utilise the ways you can top the competition. Boris Johnson has taken a strong approach to pushing for new long-term construction projects over the next decade. He has promised new builds and hundreds of new projects planned to revive the UK economy.
These government updates may have caused a lot of uncertainty over the last few months. There has been a constant economic worry regarding jobs in all sectors, not just construction. This uncertainty has meant thousands of people have been made redundant, furloughed or left in the dark. Luckily for many firms, they have received government funding to help pay their staff and cover their costs during the unworkable times of Covid-19. There have also been additional schemes in place to provide funding for smaller firms and businesses. With the pandemic situation improving, it isn’t unreasonable to assume that the construction industry will pick up before the end of 2020.
However, it’s important to note that not everything can go back to normal just yet. Firms will of course have to implement safety restrictions to reduce the risk of virus transmission. This includes social distancing measures, adequate disinfectant facilities and clear procedures for workers who develop symptoms. Furthermore, many will introduce testing and tracing systems which will alert site users of any developing cases.
As long as companies enforce regulations and measures to protect its workforce and the general public, they will be allowed to return to operation. As a site manager or corporation owner, it will be your responsibility to carry out risk assessments and follow government information.
Securing jobs in these uncertain times
Of course, finding a job is a difficult task for many at the moment. If you are one of the lucky ones who manages to bag a much sought-after position, you’ll have a lot of people desperate to knock you off your podium. Employers know this, too. This means you’ll need to bring your A-game to your new job and make sure you’re performing to their standards. Much like the job seeking tips, you’ll want to show willing and take on some extracurricular activities such as online study.
Brushing up on your CPD hours is a great way to show commitment to your industry. At the College of Contract Management we have a wide variety of CPD courses which you can undertake to refine your specialist skills and learn new ones. You can use your CPD hours to find experts in your field through live online programmes.
General construction industry updates
In other news, the CITB has agreed to reduce levy payments for employers in the construction industry. This is intended to provide much needed relief for struggling businesses and construction firms who have noticed a decrease in income and projects. It is also a tactic used in a bid to help with the recovery of the building industry economy. This, along with the new government funding for new projects, should help boost the number and scale of projects within construction to ensure a healthy increase in employment and productivity.
Many are already aware of Boris Johnson’s new guidance to implement ‘one-metre-plus’ distancing where necessary if distances of two metres can’t be kept. This has been implemented as long as other PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) usage is maintained. Most importantly, this involves using shields and barriers where necessary. Also, this includes face coverings and employees having access to hand-washing amenities throughout their work environment. Jobs being performed outside are encouraged, as opposed to indoor-based jobs which have smaller workspaces.
We can expect an uptick of productivity in the construction industry with the additional schemes and funding. This comes after a sharp decrease due to construction sites closing during the coronavirus pandemic. The virus has caused millions of pounds worth of delays and schedule disruptions, which has had a knock-on effect on business’ finances. Supplies and material deliveries have been disrupted too, causing huge financial repercussions to orders and contractual obligations. Many additional policies have been introduced to mitigate and protect firms against legal action due to the extensions and time and funding.
Advice for those in uncertain times
We understand people in all sectors will be concerned about job security this year. It’s important to remember that while these times are uncertain, they are not forever. Job markets and security will improve and more projects will be started as the virus begins to make itself scarce. Staying positive is very important in these troubling times for a construction enquirer. Things will improve and there will be a light at the end of this seemingly never-ending tunnel. Especially with the good news of increased funding and boosted projects, the industry will begin to return to its former glory.
What you can do in the meantime is increase your education and prepare yourself for the road ahead. Equip yourself with the best tools you can to conquer the challenges you might face in the job market. Those lucky enough to still be employed, consider strengthening your skills by learning online and brushing up on your CPD.
The future for construction firms
Looking to the future for construction companies, they can be expected to implement more environmentally friendly practices. This comes as more bills and schemes are implemented to improve sustainability features of new-builds and projects. There has been a big push in recent months to make our infrastructure in the UK a lot more sustainable. As a whole, the nation has seen emissions decline substantially over the course of the coronavirus lockdown; this sparked inspiration to help keep the construction industry on the right track.
Global warming and greenhouse emissions are a growing problem. Quite often, the construction industry is seen as a frontrunner for one of the worst polluting sectors. Most likely, because of the long term impacts infrastructure has on the environment. These can include factors such as inefficient insulation, flammable building materials and poor construction leading to many repairs being needed. Often, quick and inexpensive builds are not carbon efficient and lead to many complications down the line, both for the client and the environment. These effects are both time consuming and expensive and should be avoided if at all possible.
The last few months have been a stressful time for many individuals. As a construction enquirer or job seeker, you may feel left in the dark about your future. Although, as mentioned before, there is still the potential for the industry to return to somewhat normality. This will be through funding, bailouts and pushes for new projects. Many industries will receive government aid in order to help revitalise the economy, with a large majority of the funding heading towards construction and manufacturing industries.
Construction is a very resilient sector, and has since recovered from the 2008 financial recession. So, it can more than definitely recover once again. As with anything, it will take time and the determination of the firms and employees to return it to its former glory and thrive in the wake of the pandemic.
How has your employer or company taken steps to introduce a safe working environment for your return to work? We’d love to know!