Lynne Crowe, Regional Manager at Hays Construction, commented, “Although the length of contracts has become shorter on average, the demand for trades and labouring jobs has remained steady in some parts of the UK.”
Employers can afford to be more selective regarding the calibre of applicants they recruit and the specific requirements needed given the excess supply of experienced and quality site staff available in the marketplace. Flexibility is an important pre-requisite for employers, who are looking to hire individuals on a temporary basis for their labouring and trades jobs.
Currently the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) is a key requirement, particularly given the health and safety regulations that contractors need to abide by. Lynne Crowe stressed, “It does not matter if you are a fully qualified experienced tradesman or a first time general labourer, a CSCS card provides proof of competency. Employer requirements also include Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA) passes in the building aluminium towers.”
The public sector continues to prove resilient and there are a number of long-term opportunities for tradesmen such as carpenters, painters, tilers, plasterers, bricklayers, painters, decorators and banksmen, particularly within the health and education sectors, which have benefited f r o m a significant injection in government investment. Examples include renovation programmes for hospitals and the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, which continue to create opportunities for skilled operatives.
Although commercial new build activity is being scaled back in the private sector, there has still been ongoing refurbishment activity. “Companies may seek to re-evaluate a move to a brand new office building and instead look at redeveloping existing premises,” noted Lynne Crowe. “The high-end residential market has also created opportunities for those companies with strong cashflow who are able to pick up bargains and inject funds into upgrading properties, which they can then re-sell when property values increase.”
Jobseekers need to stand out and differentiate themselves f r o m their peers to have the best chance of securing employment in the current market. Whether seeking both permanent or temporary work, employers are looking for CVs with evidence of a solid work history, excellent ready references and for tradesmen, full tools specifications. But interpersonal skills are equally important, “A good attitude to work is a must and all jobseekers must be keen to impress, as every job interview is their platform to excel,” concluded Lynne Crowe.
Hays Construction is part of Hays plc, the leading global specialist recruitment group, specialising in construction jobs including construction manager jobs and quantity surveying jobs. It is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. The Group employs 8,294 staff operating f r o m 380 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.