Building construction careers at GC
If your vision of a typical construction worker is a burly man in a hardhat and hi-vis, then think again. The construction industry is continually evolving and many myths about working in the sector no longer apply.
With a workforce of 2.6 million, construction is one of the biggest and most diverse sectors in the country, and the latest CITB research* reports that the sector needs to attract 43,000 new recruits for the next five years to meet the increased demand for skills.
Closer to home in Gloucestershire there are 3,170 construction businesses and 30,800 construction jobs to deliver £296 million in planned commercial construction projects, £573 million in new infrastructure projects, £585 million in housing and £111 million in public non-housing projects.
There’s never been a better time to join this growing and lucrative industry, which offers roles as diverse as Computer Aided Design, Building Information Modelling, environmental management and sustainability management, as well as the more traditional roles of site and project management, site engineering, cost control, surveying, human resources and building design.
Gloucestershire College offers no less than 46 course options in construction and building services, suited to all ages and abilities. These include apprenticeships, full-time and part-time courses across a wide range of specialisms, from plumbing and plastering to brickwork, carpentry and electrical installation, as well as popular HNC in Construction, which is equivalent to the first year of university.
One former GC student who has gone on to achieve great things in the industry is 34-year-old Gavin Scriven. Gavin was a member of the British Armed Forces who moved to Gloucester to study the Level 3 BTEC in Construction. He then went on to achieve a first-class degree in Building Surveying at the University of the West of England and gain professional accreditation from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. He is now a Chartered Building Surveyor at Malcolm Hollis LLP.
Gavin said: “The type and variety of work the construction industry offers is second to none, and my dream was to be a commercial building surveyor. I knew that I would require a degree and that I didn’t have any experience or relevant qualifications. The GC construction course offered directly comparable and transferable subjects that helped me with my degree and further on my chosen career.
“It provided greater depth and breadth of learning than the first year and a half of my degree and was invaluable in me achieving a first class honors. It was far more relevant to my degree than just undertaking A Levels. When I got to university, I was far more prepared for the assignments than other students and I firmly believe it was because of this course.
“The course content was very relevant to my degree and the lecturers were all passionate and had practical experience, as well as academic. The facilities were great too, and when I wrote my dissertation at university, I came back to GC and spoke to my lecturer about the building, which was the subject of my case study.”
Gavin’s Lecturer, Craig Bloxsome, said: “We are so proud of how far Gavin has come since completing his course at GC, and hope that his story will inspire other young people considering a career in the construction industry.
“Students who have completed GCSEs may look at the subjects and think that these do not fit into the sector, but often they do. For example, those interested in subjects like science and geography could become site engineers. Those with an interest in history and design technology could consider a vocation in building surveying. And those with an interest in sociology and graphics could have a successful career in planning.”
“People’s perception of construction courses is that they are all trade-based, physically demanding and suited to people who want to start learning from the ground up. Our Level 3 and 4 courses recognise the prior achievements and diverse backgrounds that people come with. Anyone with a solid foundation in English and maths, and those who wish to transfer from other backgrounds, can all find a vocation within the sector.”
GC construction and building services courses are designed to give a solid grounding in the basic technology of construction, sustainability, health and safety, design and planning, as well as developing the transferable skills of communication, mathematics, team working and problem solving.
For more information, and to apply to start in September, visit www.gloscol.ac.uk/construction