Ce­ment a fu­ture

The Advertiser - Careers - - Executive, Professional & Management -

HE new gen­er­a­tion of con­struc­tion staff has a strong fu­ture in the in­dus­try amid a re­tir­ing work­force and resurg­ing pro­ject in­vest­ment, a top re­cruiter says.

Spe­cial­ist con­struc­tion re­cruit­ment firm JMC Re­cruit­ment Con­sul­tants man­ager John Mar­vanek be­lieves em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties will im­prove from early 2012, when i nvest­ment in the pri­vate con­struc­tion sec­tor re­turns to near nor­mal af­ter a slight down­turn.

It co­in­cides with an age­ing work­force, which will mean job prospects for trade, su­per­vi­sory man­age­rial and pro­fes­sional work­ers will in­crease. But Mr Mar­vanek sug­gests school leavers care­fully con­sider which sec­tor of the con­struc­tion in­dus­try – res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial, civil, in­dus­trial or re­sources – they want to work in be­fore de­cid­ing on a ca­reer.

They must de­ter­mine whether they want to work for a con­struc­tion com­pany on a job site or in an of­fice.

Stu­dents then can de­cide on the ap­pro­pri­ate ter­tiary qual­i­fi­ca­tion they need to ob­tain.

‘‘If they are un­cer­tain, they may wish to start with a gen­eral qual­i­fi­ca­tion, such as a build­ing de­gree, which qual­i­fies them for sev­eral vo­ca­tional roles in the in­dus­try, with the op­por­tu­nity to spe­cialise in cer­tain streams in the lat­ter years of their course,’’ he says.

The most crit­i­cal de­ci­sion a young worker will make, how­ever, is their first job af­ter grad­u­at­ing, he says.

‘‘This job will sig­nif­i­cantly af­fect their fu­ture ca­reer op­tions,’’ he says.

‘‘For ex­am­ple, if the first job is in a par­tic­u­lar sec­tor of the in­dus­try, it may not be easy to move from one sec­tor to the other, par­tic­u­larly later in their ca­reer.’’

The first role also will nar­row ca­reer op­tions and of­fice work­ers may find it hard to gain on-site em­ploy­ment down the track while switch­ing dis­ci­plines may also prove tricky.

Mr Mar­vanek says the con­struc­tion in­dus­try now is more so­phis­ti­cated and pro­fes­sional since he be­gan pro­vid­ing spe­cial­ist re­cruit­ment 35 years ago.

‘‘Peo­ple en­ter­ing the in­dus­try have more and more choices of ca­reer streams and op­por­tu­ni­ties to spe­cialise in spe­cific dis­ci­plines,’’ he says.

‘‘For ex­am­ple, the roles in qual­ity, safety and en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment, cost plan­ning and plan­ning and sched­ul­ing are much more preva­lent now than in the past.

‘‘ Pos­sess­ing ter­tiary qual­i­fi­ca­tions in build­ing dis­ci­plines now are be­com­ing a pre-req­ui­site for higher level roles in the in­dus­try.’’

Pic­ture: Renee Nowytarger

Res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial con­struc­tion will con­tinue to cre­ate em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

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