What is involved in the construction industry and what does Balfour Beatty do?
The construction industry is the design, creation, maintenance and recycling of our built environment. It is the infrastructure that helps us live our lives; the buildings we live and work in, the pipes we get water from and the roads we drive on every day.
Balfour Beatty is thousands of people applying their ingenuity to solve some of the toughest challenges in the world. Across the UK, US and Hong Kong, our markets include transportation, power and energy, water and social infrastructure. What we do underpins society, drives economic growth and creates communities.
Why should I encourage my child or student to explore a career in the construction industry?
The construction industry is the UK’s single largest industry where the skills you gain can be transferred in the UK and globally. It provides a huge sense of achievement through iconic projects, with ever increasing job satisfaction as your role grows.
Construction is an enabling industry, where the impact of our projects can shape and develop millions of people’s daily lives. Whether it’s improving a daily commute or building a new school, there is a great sense of team work and variety in your daily role; whether you’re in an office or on site, no two days are ever the same.
The opportunities available offer a competitive salary and can provide a lifelong career with endless opportunities to shape your development personally and professionally. The industry has over 200 different jobs from IT, engineering, surveying and finance. There’s a role for everyone.
How do I encourage my child or student to explore in the construction industry?
Start with researching the industry. You can use GoConstruct tools and information to help your child or student decide which career path may suit them best. Have a look here!
Work experience is also useful to better understand the variety of roles on offer and the environment which your child or student may experience. Speaking to people in the industry will give you another outlook on what they believe are the benefits of this industry, try connecting with someone from LinkedIn to ask for their advice. Through Open Doors, you can book a site visit to experience the industry first hand.
As a parent and/or teacher, it would be good to look at the STEM ambassador website and request a speaker to come into your school. Our STEM Ambassadors will share their experiences and inspire the next generation to consider a career in construction. You can do this through your local STEM Ambassador Hub.
What roles are typically within the construction industry?
There are hundreds of different roles in our industry. They range from electricians, engineers and surveyors, through to finance and HR. Take a look here for different roles you may find, and here for the roles we currently have available.
What age should I start talking to my child or student about career choices?
As early as possible, encouraging your child or student at a young age can really help them when the time comes to make important decisions.
All our roles are suitable for students from the age of 16.
What’s the difference between an apprenticeship and a graduate scheme?
Our apprenticeships and graduate schemes have different advantages. For our apprentices, they can earn while they learn and gain valuable work experience. They also gain qualifications without getting into debt. Whereas our graduates’ benefit from a higher starting salary to reflect their qualifications, and study may continue as they move toward chartership. They benefit from a clear focus on their studies followed by a two-year structured development programme.
What subjects and qualifications should my child or student study if they are interested in a career in the construction industry?
Most roles we offer require STEM GCSEs and/or A-levels but we do have careers in areas such as HR, Health & Safety and Marketing that do not always require STEM qualifications.
As career decisions happen at different ages, we’ve made sure we have entry routes that consider this. Regardless of qualification, we have an entry level and career pathway that will set your child or student on their way to success, just ask our CEO who joined us as a graduate.
What skills can my child or student gain before applying for a career in construction?
There are lots of different programmes out there to help a young person develop their teamwork, communication and other skills whilst having fun. The courses are also a great way to show skills development to hiring companies and make an application stand out. Some great programmes to get involved with are:
Should my child or student get work experience?
If they can, it’s great for your child or student to get involved early through a work experience placement. This will give a first-hand insight into how we deliver the projects that your child or student will shape in their role with us. Our placements can attract accreditation from the Industrial Cadets at either bronze (one week), silver (two weeks) or gold (summer) level and provide your student or child with access to a unique database of opportunities. They are based on business requirements and your child or student can sign up to our work experience community and we will be in touch if we have anything suitable.
If it’s not possible to get hands-on experience, you can speak to someone you know who is in the industry or even watch our series of Construction LIVE webinars. Open Doors also offers a great chance to go to a local construction site and see what goes on behind the hoardings.
Balfour Beatty does offer work experience; however, this is dependent on business availability.
What happens after an apprenticeship or graduate scheme?
Once the apprenticeship or graduate scheme finishes, it is not the end of the learning journey. This is just the beginning of a young persons ongoing development. Your next steps will depend on what skills you have developed, which opportunities you want to follow and where your preferences lie and, if any, what further training you may need.