Cement a future
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.’’
Residential and commercial construction will continue to create employment opportunities.