By 2023 science, research, engineering and technology jobs are expected to make up 7.8% of all jobs in the UK and occupy 2.5m roles – if your child enjoys their design technology, maths or IT or lessons at school then encourage them to stick with it. Perhaps they even already know they want to enter a career in construction? Read on to find out how you can help them make the right choices whilst still at school.
There are many roles available in the construction industry – everything from designing and, planning to practical work and project management. If your child is interested in the way things are put together this could be the career for them. Avid LEGO or K’nex builder? This could be just the beginning.
Construction is a term that covers a vast number of roles, from Technologists to Surveyors and Architects.
Here are just some of the roles construction covers:
- Architects and Architectural Technologist
Design new buildings, extensions or alters buildings that already exist – they restore and maintain older properties too.
- Building Surveyor
Provides structural consultancy on property and construction plans whilst advising on repair and maintenance options. Working alongside other professionals they ensure buildings comply with building regulations.
- Civil, Structural and Geotechnical Engineer
Works on the design, development and construction of a range of projects from buildings to parks, just to name a few in a timely manner, while ensuring safety comes first.
- Landscape Architect
Creates the plan, designs and manages open spaces - think Hyde Park, football stadiums or even the M25. They can all be made to be innovative, aesthetically-pleasing, appropriate and sustainable.
- Quantity Surveyor
Manages costs relating to civil engineering and building projects, from initial calculations to final figures – basically ensuring bang for the buck.
There are many ways to get into construction from college courses and degrees to apprenticeships and starting early can only be an advantage. As there’s a huge range of construction jobs available, there are lots of subjects to choose from.
During GCSEs or Standard Grades, you could opt to study:
- Design and Technology
- English (Mandatory)
- Maths (Mandatory)
- Science (Mandatory)
- Art and Design
- Business Studies
For academic subjects such as A Levels or Highers, you could study:
- Further Maths
- Art & Design
- Art Graphics
Related subjects include:
- Business Studies
- ICT / Computer Studies
Skills you need
If your child enjoys drawing or building, here are just some of the skills that will be useful in the future and they can work on developing.
- IT literacy
- Problem solving
- Project management
- Team work
- Time management
It would be valuable to build a network of contacts, skills and knowledge through industry placements or internships in the construction industry. Large organisations in property and construction offer this as well as opportunities to work shadow. For smaller companies, they may not advertise work placements so why not approach them with a CV after researching the employer thoroughly.
Although many women are already in this type of career, there’s still more work to do to attract women into the science industry as whole. The UK is trailing behind Europe in terms of female representation - currently making up just 16% of the workforce.
Many companies, including EDF Energy, are committed to helping address the lack of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). We run a number of STEM initiatives including the Pretty Curious programme which sets out to challenge what girls’ think they know about STEM. There are some amazing careers that use science and it’s our job to help inspire girls to look differently at STEM using strong female role models and creative digital and hands-on experiences.
- You could find a role model in a friend or colleague that can encourage them through their own experiences.
- There are many free exhibitions and events that bring science to life outside of the classroom, for example take a look at our eight UK-wide visitor centres where you can explore science in a fun free and family-friendly way every school holiday or weekend.
- Be supportive - we’re all unique in our passions and it doesn’t matter if they aren’t sure what they want to do yet.
- Be patient, encouraging and provide the support they need to find their way whether that’s with tutoring, extracurricular activities or just celebrating their successes.
- You could encourage your child to look at volunteering for organisations that marry with their interests. They get to explore a variety of working environments, develop employability skills and make new friends all of which will boost their confidence. You can find a list of volunteer opportunities here.
- If your child is unsure of the subjects to take, you could encourage them to speak to a careers advisor or explore the below resources for guidance:
My World of Work – choosing GCSE options
Prospects career guide
The Complete University Guide
Which? guide to university
- Your child is young and it’s okay for them to change their minds. Roma who was part of the team that design London’s iconic Shard building, did just that – watch her story in 360°.