A challenge has been sitting on the horizon for the construction industry for many years.
According to 2020 stats, 22% of the workforce are over 50 years old. Relatively few younger people are joining the industry. In the next decade, experts predict the skills gap will become critical.
The sector often loses out on bright graduates to careers in law, medicine or finance. It is often said that we suffer from an image problem. When thinking about a future in construction, many only think of long hours outdoors in all weathers.
One of the ways to change this is to be sure that those advising young people about career options, understand the construction industry. This is what happened when our latest recruit Nicholas Smith was studying for his GCSEs, a teacher gave him some information about the role of a building surveyor. The description of the role seemed to suit his strengths and interests.
Long Term Opportunities
More importantly, it seemed that the role would offer career progression and long-term opportunities. Upon finishing college, he decided this was the career he wanted to pursue.
Nick wasn’t sure a full-time university course would be right for him. Like many young people the thought of leaving university with a large student debt was unappealing. So, Nicholas began an apprenticeship in December 2018 working four days a week, while attending university on the fifth.
Sadly, in 2020 the Covid pandemic hit. Covid job losses have disproportionately affected young people with almost 80% of redundancies impacting those under 35. The firm Nick was working for as part of his apprenticeship made him redundant.
All was not lost. In April 2021, Nicholas joined the Chawton Hill team to continue his apprenticeship. He is about to enter his third year at Kingston University and is working hands on with the team on several projects.
Despite starting a new job in the middle of a pandemic, Nick is optimistic about his role and has already started work on some interesting projects. These include Prep Schools and Ambulance Make Ready Centres.
Nick particularly enjoys the design aspects of the role. One project he is excited about is a large warehouse for conversion to a new Ambulance Make Ready Centre. He will help with designing new floor plans and helping us manage the project to completion.
When he first heard about the fundamental activities of a building surveyor, Nick liked the idea of designing spaces for people to work and live. Most projects require him to work within the confines of existing structures, which creates challenging yet interesting projects. Projects like these allow him to help clients make the most of the space have. We’re delighted to welcome Nicholas to the team and look forward to helping him with his career development in the weeks, months and years ahead.