Changing Perceptions About Careers in Construction

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by Rebekah Valero-Lee on


With two decades of experience in the sector, Rhys Harris heads up the construction and technical teams for Morson International. He has a strong background in client delivery and is constantly trying to find solutions to complex recruitment issues that exist in the sector.


Anyone following the construction sector press will have been reading about the skills shortages for years.

However, what many don’t realise is that these skills shortages are not just limited to bricklayers, plumbers and other ‘trades’ on site. They actually affect every element of the construction delivery chain; from entry level site jobs to senior level project management and technical roles.

We’ve been sourcing skilled construction personnel for our clients for more than 40 years, ensuring that we have the network of candidates and industry knowledge needed to support their projects at all levels.

Part of our success is based on our long-standing presence in the sector, and our proactive approach to developing new talent for the construction industry. Encouraging good candidates to consider new roles and spotting contractors from other industries with transferrable skills has also helped us to answer clients’ commercial and operational needs. For example, last year alone, we sourced approximately 14,000 technical professionals across divisions including oil & gas, power, nuclear & utilities and telecoms and many of those skills can also be used to fill business critical requirements in the construction sector.

We’re also working hard to change perceptions about the variety of roles, long term career prospects and skills needed in the construction sector. While we are supporting the future skills pipeline for site activities with Apprenticeships and training, we are also working hard to attract women and minority groups into the sector. Importantly, we’re also looking to highlight construction as a potential career path to graduates and encourage candidates with technical, project management and managerial experience to think again about the industry.

Perhaps more than any other, construction has a tradition of enabling ambitious people to rise through the ranks. Indeed, many senior executives and specialist contractors started their careers as apprentices on site, rising through the ranks and advancing through further studies and qualifications.

Highlighting that potential for a long and diverse career with corresponding financial rewards is a key part of our strategy for attracting new talent into the sector, alongside a drive to develop complementary skills from others.

PWC’s Global Construction 2030 report predicts that the UK will overtake Germany to become the largest construction market in Europe and sixth in the world by 2030. That level of growth will require a sustainable workforce and only by changing perceptions about construction to attract new talent into the sector can we deliver the skills that will be required.

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