Addressing The Mid-Level Skills Gap

Those over 25 find it more difficult to retrain, which is why there is a looming mid-level skills gap facing the UK workforce, but if you are looking for construction industry jobs at this level do not be afraid of looking for opportunities to upskill.

Writing for the Lib Dem Voice, Former Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and Humber Rebecca Taylor has been involved in research into the mid-level skills gap at University College London and believes barriers need to be taken down to encourage those in non-university degree-required careers to pursue training.

The report ‘Routes To Opportunity – Addressing The Non-University Skills Gap’ reveals that established workers face obstacles to upskilling, preventing them from taking on medium-skilled occupations.

These workers would benefit most from opportunities to train and upskill and may not be aware of support that exists to help them to upskill.

One of the key findings in the report was that the welfare system does not support established workers to retrain or upskill enough and the former Liberal Democrat representative called on the government to do more to help close the mid-level skills gap.

“To me it seems crazy that we’re failing to address the mid-level skills gap and failing to provide low paid workers with opportunities to upskill/retrain to improve their employment prospects and earning potential,” Taylor stated. “Solving the latter will go some way to solving the former.”

News of a mid-level non-university skills gap follows a report by LinkedIn and CapGemeni revealing there is a growing digital skills gap and it is soft digital skills such as data-driven decision-making job-seekers could benefit from attaining

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Digital Skills Gap Widening

There is concern among firms across all industries that the digital skills gap is widening, with 57 per cent of the UK companies surveyed by LinkedIn and CapGemini about the issue stating that they believe the digital talent gap is growing.

One of the main things to note from this research is that there is a bigger gap in soft digital skills than there is in hard digital skills.

From a recruitment perspective, the two soft digital skills that employers believe they are missing the most often are customer-centricity and a passion for learning.

These kinds of skills are essential in any organisation, whether you’re looking for construction industry jobs or are seeking employment directly in the digital sector. Being able to demonstrate either of these traits through your CV and at interview could therefore put you ahead of other applicants.

Other soft digital skills that companies are lacking include collaboration, data-driven decision making and comfort with ambiguity.

Anant Agarwal, founder and CEO of eDX, told the researchers: “These skills are required in every job and are critical for professional success across all industries.”

Among the top ten digital roles predicted in the next two to three years is chief customer officer, which could be particularly applicable in a construction sales setting. This role is number six in the top ten list.

Earlier this month, one publication suggested that recruiters need to be more focused on how people learn, rather than what they know, when they come for a job interview. Management Issues said that looking at how someone will learn in the future is a better indicator of whether they will fit with your team than focusing on their existing knowledge.

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5 Reasons Why Millennials Could Enhance Construction

Millennials have been hailed as the innovators of modern business and could serve to modernise construction industry jobs if they are given a chance.

Managing director of DBI Furniture Solutions Nick Pollitt has made it his mission to put the spotlight on the benefits of a hip young workforce by speaking to a range of businesses.

According to Pollitt, Millennials actually crave responsibility and then reward those who give them responsibility by thriving when they feel empowered and valued.

They are also open to change and are flexible within their roles, happily accepting challenges that older colleagues may be reluctant to take on.

People development consultant Susy Roberts told Pollitt: “They’ve been brought up in a team environment and encouraged to speak up when things aren’t right. And this, as any good business coach will tell you, is simply best practice.”

Millennials are also constantly trying to better themselves and in turn better your business, as they are driven to learn new skills.

One of the biggest bonuses of hiring a millennial is of course their inherent digital skills, with instant familiarity with the latest digital tools.

Finally, given the right environment, Millennials are very productive when they are allowed to flex their creative muscle and are given support – and they take pride in their work.

Roberts added: “With Millennials, it’s definitely not all about money. An open working culture that respects individual views and opinions is essential.”

Young people need to be given greater encouragement to enter construction. Industry giant Kier criticised careers advice being given to school leavers which is out of date and could be putting some youngsters off.

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Construction Most ‘Sought After Job Industry’ Says Survey

In a recent survey, construction industry jobs came top of the poll of the most sought after roles, which may be no surprise for some job seekers who have experienced what a competitive marketplace there is for construction sales jobs.

The research, which looked at job applications for the first 6 months of 2017, found that construction, administration and engineering had the most applications over that period according to smallbusiness.co.uk.

For employers, this is both a benefit and a burden – great if the level of applicants fits the roles and experience they are looking for, but not so great if they’re having to wade through endless unsuitable CVs. This is why many top employers in construction sales tend to work with specialist recruitment firms such as SRS, to help pair the right people to the right gaps from the outset to streamline these processes.  

For jobseekers, this means you need to work hard on making sure that your eventual application stands out from the crowd. You’re selling your entire career in a relatively short space (or time), so it’s key you place importance on what really matters, playing up your strengths and being mindful of areas of weakness. In a crowded marketplace, unique points of difference, strong pre-established relationships and strong product knowledge will all stand you in good stead for progressing into a new role.  

However if this is to be your first role in sales within construction, think about why you wanted to make this move in the first place. If it’s a more junior role where the above factors are considered so important yet, demonstrating why you, above the many other applicants, want to work for this company and industry, may be just enough to stand you head and shoulders above the crowd.

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Fewer Candidates Seeking Work In UK Jobs Market

The number of candidates available to fill vacant roles in the UK jobs market has declined markedly in the past month, according to new figures.

Research by Markit and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), found that candidate availability dropped in July, for both permanent and temporary positions.

Meanwhile, the private sector saw the number of vacancies available increase last month, with engineering, accounting/financial and IT and computing the sectors that saw the highest number of jobs come on the market.

Kevin Green, chief executive at REC, commented: “It’s clear that employers are having to work even harder to fill jobs as vacancies rise and candidate availability shrinks.”

He added that sectors that are “most reliant on European workers are under even more pressure as many EU workers return home”.

So, if you have construction industry jobs that you’re trying to fill, what can you do to ensure you attract the best candidates to apply for the position? It’s important to highlight the benefits of working for your organisation, which involves more than just the headline salary of a construction sales role.

In June, a poll by Bankingrefunds.co.uk found that many employees really value perks at work, so being able to clearly demonstrate what you offer beyond the basics could be one way to encourage a wider range of candidates to not only apply for your role, but to really want it.

Whether you’re able to offer flexible working, provide free food and drinks at work, or have a comprehensive benefits package, it’s worth looking at how you can communicate that to job seekers.

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How To Beat Job Interview Nerves

Looking and applying for construction industry jobs can be difficult and stressful, but when you do get a call to say you’ve got an interview all the hard work will really pay off. That said, the hard work isn’t exactly over – you’ve still got to perform well and do your best at the interview stage.

It’s completely natural to feel nervous about going for an interview. In actual fact, a few nerves can be quite helpful as they keep you alert, on your game and will show your prospective new employer that you do really care about the position you’re going for. But when the nerves take over, that’s when you could start running into a few problems and potentially putting your new job at risk.

The key to beating job interview nerves is being as prepared as you can be. Do some research into the company and what the role requires, but also spend time thinking about the qualities you have that you want to tell your interviewer about. View your interview as a conversation and less as a question and answer session, and you’ll feel more confident, comfortable and natural throughout.

The night before, make sure that you go to bed at a reasonable time and get a good night’s sleep. Nerves may keep you awake so stay off your phone a few hours before bedtime and have a hot drink to help you nod off.

And there’s nothing worse than rushing to get to the interview – being late won’t make a good impression and won’t help your nerves. Always get there ahead of time if you can.

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Some Employers Decide On Candidate One Minute Into Interview

When you arrive for an interview for a sales position with a construction company, how long do you think you have to make a good impression? Five minutes, ten minutes, maybe the duration of the interview?

Not necessarily, according to new research. The Express reported on a survey conducted by Totaljobs, which found that in some cases you have as little as one minute to make that all-important first impression.

One in five employers have admitted that they make a decision about whether they do or don’t want a candidate within one minute of an interview beginning.

However, 40 per cent of those questioned said they’d give a candidate 15 minutes before making a decision about whether they wanted them, while a third revealed that they give people until the end of the interview before making up their minds.

Of course, when you start interviewing for construction industry jobs, you can’t know how long the person on the other side of the table will give you to impress them.

Among the things you can do to avoid losing out early on in your interview are to make sure you’re prepared by researching the company you’ve applied to and the job role you’re going for. You should also make sure you’re able to talk confidently about your previous experience and anything you’ve listed on your CV.

Last month, the Balance offered some advice for any candidates going for sales jobs, noting that these interviews are among the most challenging because your job will require you to be convincing on a daily basis and you need to show that in an interview.

Top tips if you’re going for a construction sales position include being able to answer each question with a solid example of your sales experience, and to be able to back up assertions with figures.

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Built Environment Firms ‘Should Capitalise On Apprenticeship Levy’

Businesses should make the most of the recently introduced apprenticeship levy, which can not only help companies secure new talent, but progress existing talent, according to the principal and chief executive officer of the University College of Estate Management.

In April, laws were implemented to charge employers turning over an annual pay bill of £3 million or more an apprenticeship levy, which is currently 0.5 per cent of a company’s yearly pay bill. Businesses can then receive levy funds to spend on training and assessing apprentices who work at least 50 per cent of the time.

Writing in Construction News, principal of the University College of Estate Management Ashley Wheaton said: “Apprenticeship schemes offer an excellent toolset for addressing workforce strategies.”

Education of younger workers in the built environment disciplines can help solve the skills gap and ensure talent continues to enter all areas of the industry at all levels, he said, while securing the right education provider is key to achieving apprentice potential and ensuring that staff attain appropriate qualifications.

Not only can apprenticeships attract new talent and educate the younger generations in built environment disciplines, they can also help current employees progress and form a key part of employers’ engagement and retention plans, Mr Wheaton added.

Many businesses are yet to develop a recruitment strategy for apprentices, he continued, going on to warn companies that failing to make plans soon could mean that they miss out on the top talent, education providers or even risk losing their funds altogether.

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