A recent YouGov poll of 2,000 members of the public has revealed that 67% would never consider a career in the construction industry, highlighting the gap between public perceptions of the construction industry and the reality.
With just 17% of respondents saying that they would give the idea of a career in construction thought, the key reasons for avoiding the sector entirely were apparent as 68% of respondents replied with ‘strenuous’ and 58% with ‘dirty’ when asked what words / phrases they associate with construction.
Further criticisms of the industry came as 41% said that they regarded it as one of the sectors least likely to require higher / further education, and a mere 11% said that they think the industry is ‘exciting’.
The survey also revealed that the industry, which accounts for more than 6% of the UK’s GDP, has a number of other problems to combat, as nearly a quarter (23%) of those polled view construction work as creating ‘mess, traffic and inconvenience’.
Mark Tomlin, UK group sales and marketing director at one of Construction United’s major contributors, SIG Distribution, said: “It’s a shame that a sector as broad and diverse as construction can often be viewed negatively. For the most part, the public only really see loud, inconvenient building works rather than seeing essential improvements to our country. One of our central aims is to combat and not only make the industry more proud of the great work it does, but to ensure that the public sees the benefit of new buildings and infrastructure.
“The results of this survey prove that there is a huge disconnect between the way that construction is viewed and the reality. A sector that provides so much to the UK economy, and whose role is to modernise the buildings that we live in and the transport links we use every day, should be seen as a vital, worthwhile sector that the country should be rightly proud of.”
Construction United, the company that commissioned the survey, is calling for all those with a vested interest in the success and image of the industry to come together and join the cause, ensuring that a true picture of the industry emerges. As well as championing the cause throughout the year, the campaign will culminate in a week of awareness-raising events from 17-23 October.
Mr Tomlin continued: “The great thing about this industry is that it has a clear impact on everyone in the UK. While many may only see contractors in hi-vis wear, there’s an army of architects, designers and support staff that make it one of the most diverse working environments possible. We’re passionate about making construction the best it can be, and want others inside and outside the industry to recognise just how big a role in day-to-day life construction plays.”