Getting Gen Z interested in careers in construction
It’s no secret that the construction industry, like many others, is currently suffering from a skills shortage and therefore it’s paramount to get future generations interested in a career in the sector. But with recent research revealing that more and more of Gen Z turning their backs on it, how can we get them interested in working in the construction industry?
Diversity is important in any business, to enrich idea generation, build an exciting culture and help to connect to a larger customer base. But for historically male-dominated industries, it’s even more of an uphill battle to create a more inclusive environment. This is because people outside of the norm are put off from entering, and therefore the status quo remains.
The report Are we Gen Z ready? reveals that 57% of women and girls are still put off from considering a career in the construction sector because they believe it is male-dominated. And the statistics back that idea up too, with only 12.37% of all engineers in the UK being female, according to data published by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES).
There could be a large number of reasons for this, such as STEM jobs being potentially hostile working environments for women, women being uninterested in the field or a lack of female role models, which could make young women less likely to be attracted to the field.
Dice was built to be different and we hope that our diverse culture, flexible working policies and the way we encourage all opinions to be voiced will encourage more women into the field of engineering and into the industry as a whole.
The Are we Gen Z ready? report also indicates that a large majority (62%) of young people are not only aware of the climate emergency but also engaged with it. While this is a beacon of hope for the future of the planet, it’s definitely a blow for the construction industry as only 1 in 3 of those surveyed see the sector as one that they can work in to address our climate crisis.
It may be true that the construction industry is responsible for 38% of carbon emissions, but that shouldn’t be a reason to avoid a career in it. If anything, it means that it’s an area where a big difference stands to be made.
With the government’s net zero targets set for 2050, the industry has a long way to go in a relatively short amount of time. Luckily, there are a number of ways we can become more sustainable as an industry and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) will certainly play a large part in this.
With lower emissions, less waste material, more schedule certainty and a lot more potential for recycling, MMC and modular homes are an effective way to ensure the needs of the community and the housing crisis are met, while still protecting the planet. It’s not just during the build process either; modular homes are typically more energy-efficient so they remain better for the planet in the long run too.
Generation Z are the ones that have grown up with devices constantly in their hands so it’s no surprise that many of them are seeking careers in technological and digital fields. Perhaps the surprising part is that not many of them see the construction industry as somewhere to pursue these goals.
With 28% of participants believing it’s ‘dangerous’ and 26% believing it’s ‘dirty’, there is still obviously a long way to go to showcase the wide variety of roles available within the sector. With an ongoing digital transformation happening in all areas of the field, there is the same demand for digital roles in construction as in many other sectors.
Dice have always prioritised technology and woven it into the core values of our business. As a 95% paperless business, we use cloud-based servers plus Building Information Modelling (BIM) processes and we are always looking to invest in new technology such as AR apps for drawings.
There may be some perception change required to show Gen Z that the construction industry is an exciting one to work in but with rewarding projects, lots of development and learning opportunities and a wide variety of roles to choose from, we have a feeling that the next generation of engineers and construction workers is just around the corner.