Sector - Sustainability
Encouraging generation Z into the construction industry
Generation Z is most commonly associated with those born between 1995 and 2010. They are the first generation who are unlikely to remember a time before the internet. They have grown up with an array of technology with connectivity 24/7.
As this generation enters the world of work, trying to entice them into the construction industry is a challenge as it’s highly likely that young people will be considering other industries as well. According to research compiled by Silver Swan Recruitment, 91% of Generation Z workers surveyed said that how technologically advanced an organisation is would impact on their decision to work there. Therefore, in order to attract their attention, it is important that employers within the construction industry use social media to advertise jobs and engage with young people who are looking to take their first steps into the workplace.
UK Construction Week (UKCW), the UK’s largest event for the built environment, welcomes school and college groups to attend. The show takes place at the NEC in Birmingham between the 8th and 10th October 2019 and will offer a range of skill boosting initiatives.
Following the success of the UKCW Construction Role Models initiative last year, nominations quadrupled in 2019. From these, a shortlist of 99 people was drawn up.
All shortlisted Role Models are invited as VIPs to UKCW and given the opportunity to speak on the UKCW main stage and contribute to the show’s blog. They also take part in an outreach programme, going into colleges and schools to talk to students and teachers about what inspired them to choose construction as a career and to bust any myths around the image of construction.
A new feature at UKCW for 2019 is a Careers Centre, at which visitors can speak with UKCW’s Role Models, career advisors, recruitment firms, advisers from the Department of Work and Pensions, professional trade bodies and others about careers in construction or how to attract, recruit and retain talent in the industry.
Visitors will be able to try their hand at being a construction site manager courtesy of Coventry University. Its popular construction site simulator will be back for a second year. The simulator puts visitors through their paces as they try their hand at building site management. Large screens provide a highly immersive environment and specially-trained actors lead participants through real-life scenarios designed to improve soft skills and develop new ways of working.
George Clarke’s educational charity, MOBIE, has teamed up with the Construction Innovation Hub (the Hub) to inspire future designers. The Student Design Challenge asked students to design the ultimate 21st century house. They had to consider technology, affordability, size, space, family growth, sustainability, comfort, individuality and aesthetics. The winning design will be on display at UKCW.
To encourage young people into the construction sector the IBuiltThis competition is back, organised by the Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS). The competition is broken into three age categories; 13 and under, 14 to 18 years old and 19 and over, this allows it to engage with a wide group of students all at different stages of education. The winners from each category will be announced at UKCW.
Mental health and wellbeing
As the stigma and barriers around mental health are being broken down and more public awareness is being raised young people are becoming more aware of their mental health. Further research gathered by Silver Swan Recruitment highlighted that generation Z are likely to favour employers that offer strong mental health services.
According to Mind, one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. That is why mental health is a key focus of UKCW this year.
Launching at UKCW this year, the Mind Your Head campaign is designed to promote mental wellbeing for those working in the construction industry. It is a straight-talking, no-nonsense and accessible way to reach this target audience. As part of the campaign, the Material Support exhibition will be on display at UKCW. The exhibition is designed to champion the importance of mental health in construction and will transform traditional building materials and manufacturer products into powerful works of art. Each featured artwork will be designed to carry a meaningful message related to mental wellbeing.
As part of the campaign, Carwyn Lloyd Jones, the creator of the Tiny House at last year’s UKCW will be using his talents to create an artistic installation of swings which has a mental health focus.
These initiatives at UKCW offer delegates the opportunity to explore the different options of mental health support, and how these can be implemented into businesses within the construction industry.
UK Construction Week is one event with many sections, including Build sponsored by Easy-Trim, Building Tech, Civils, Energy and HVAC, Surface and Materials, and Timber. It also features Concrete Expo (8th and 9th October only) and Grand Designs Live (9th and 10th October only). Single registration gives free access to all areas of the show. Pre-booking is also strongly recommended for the extensive seminars and CPD programme.
For further information and to register to attend visit: www.ukconstructionweek.com
Article submitted by Nathan Garnett, Event Director of UK Construction Week (UKCW).
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