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NHBC Foundation calls for campaign to encourage careers within house building

New campaign needed to encourage more girls to join house building according to NHBC Foundation

The NHBC Foundation has today called for an industry-wide campaign to boost the levels of girls and young women joining the house building sector.

The call follows research by the Foundation which has revealed just 11% girls have an interest in building and construction as a career. This is the lowest level of interest of any other sector included in the study. A third of boys and young men, some 37%, are interested in the sector as a career option.

The NHBC Foundation has pledged support for the #NotJustForBoys campaign which Employment Minister Esther McVey launched recently, which aims to encourage more girls and women to join traditionally male dominated industries. It now plans to support this pledge further by hosting a summit of leading industry representatives to discuss the next steps in to increase recruitment of young women. 

In addition to the interest of young people in joining the industry, the research found that the UK house building industry needs to challenge misconceptions if it wants to attract more young people. When asked to identify jobs within the house building sector trades like bricklaying and plumbing topped the list; with the majority of professional careers, except for architecture, being left unidentified.

The poor image of house building remains a challenge with more than a quarter of those polled citing the image as a barrier. Other issues relate to a lack to information about careers in the sector and the perceived absence of professional careers.

Once the respondents were offered more factual information about the benefits of the sector there was more interest in considering it as a career option. Further information was requested through a survey of young people who have already joined the industry, which found that 94% were positive about information they had received about the job before they started.

In a report titled ‘A career of choice: Attracting talented young people into house building‘ the NHBC Foundation has outlined a number of key recommendations to promote careers within the industry. These include:

  • The industry prioritising the promotion of the careers available in house building, explaining the range of practical, technical, managerial and business improvement opportunities.
  • Countering the concern that house building may not provide career structures and may be a dead-end choice, to do this the industry should, whenever possible, stress its flexible career paths.
  • The industry should encourage the development of new positive narrative on the wider benefits of house building.
  • More work done to promote and champion the professional careers in house building.  Including a possible campaign to encourage greater awareness of the technical and design career opportunities might resonate strongly with young women.

Mike Quinton, NHBC’s CEO, said: “House building provides exciting, varied and rewarding careers. We want to see more young people – including girls – actively considering a career in our industry to ensure we have a strong and balanced workforce to build the homes our country so desperately needs.

“Our research shows that just one in ten girls would consider a career in building and construction. However our research shows that, if as an industry, we do more to promote and champion the benefits, and challenge the misconceptions, then there are many roles in house building that are appealing to both young men and women.

“People often connect house building with hard physical work performed in all weathers. In reality, there’s a wide range of careers in house building that offer great career prospects, but many people are simply not aware of the interesting roles that exist.”

The A career of choice: Attracting talented young people into house building report can be viewed in full via the NHBC Foundation website.