The top construction skills needed from tomorrow's workforce

With the global construction industry forecast to hit $8 trillion by 2030 – and the UK driving industry growth in Europe – it’s an attractive career for young people seeking versatility and progression. Here, Liz Scott, Head of HR at Actavo Direct, offers advice on the construction skills needed to help young people thrive in their chosen career.

Communicating clearly

Many associate the construction industry with just the physical work, however, most critical tasks are completed in the planning stage.

Research shows 85 percent of construction projects experience delays, making strong communication skills key. When unexpected disruptions occur, ensuring your team knows its responsibilities – while also managing client expectations – is vital.

Strong written and verbal skills are demanded in such a time-pressured industry, with project details, safety messages and more needing to be communicated clearly and concisely. Actavo Direct's Liz Scott on construction skills

Risk management

Health and safety will be the foundation of any construction career, whether your work as an individual on-site or are responsible for managing a team.

All employees should understand the importance of hazard perception and be able to perform a risk assessment for any project. This involves evaluating a site, building or office for every potential risk.

Health and safety basics also include understanding the role of personal protective equipment (PPE) and how to dress appropriately for every environment.

Those looking to gain knowledge of health and safety best practice can check out the bank of content on the government’s dedicated website, while those interested in a career more focused on regulations in construction could explore an apprenticeship in health and safety.

Use your initiative

Construction projects are constantly subject to disruption – from adverse weather to deadline movements  – making a proactive attitude invaluable.

With clients waiting and projects running to tight deadlines, employees need to make decisions on how to best manage tasks and time.

If rain delays a project, are there tasks you can progress in the downtime to prepare for when the weather clears up?

Even those looking to pursue physical roles are advised to learn project management basics to improve decision-making and initiative skills.

Keeping pace with tech

Technology is set to shape the future of the construction industry, with innovations like digital mapping, 5D modelling and the Internet of Things (IoT) revolutionising surveying and site management.

Tech-literate employees will thrive as technology continues to play a greater role.

Fluency in tools like Excel will set employees up for site management tasks like project tracking and budgeting.

For more information on construction skills, see Actavo Direct

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