With the sector needing to recruit more than 5,000 new entrants each year to maintain output and keep up with the forecasted growth of the construction industry the need for employers and those joining the industry to understand the different routes of entry is more important than ever.  FIS is producing Skills Fact Sheets to provide information, advice and guidance on the various ways young people get introduced to the construction industry and the finishes and interiors sector, including Apprenticeships, Traineeships, T-Levels and Degrees.  Whilst not all employers can take on an apprentice, most can offer work experience or provide support to schools, colleges or universities to help inspire the next generation to choose construction.

Attract T-Level students through work placement

There are a number of progression options open to sixth form students.  These include skilled employment, an apprenticeship and/or university education.  If you would like to offer an Industrial Placement for T-Level students, you can register at Employers Next Steps or call 08000 150 600 (choose option 4).  There is T Levels and industry placement support for employers available for employers that explains the process and expectations.

T-Levels are courses which follow GCSEs and are equivalent to 3 A levels.  These 2-year courses are for 16 to 19 year olds, sixth form students, and have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work, further training or study.  T-Levels offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 45 days.  Most of the learning will take place in the classroom which makes them different from an Apprenticeship.  The industrial placement can take place as a block, day release or a mix of these.  There are currently two Construction T-Levels:

  • Design, surveying and planning for construction the course offers a core knowledge of how the construction industry works, the principles of design and the role of technology and sustainability. Students then have the chance to specialise in either Building services design, Civil engineering, Hazardous materials analysis or surveying.
  • Onsite construction learners have the option to cover at least one trade from a choice of bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, painting and decorating or plastering.

There’s CSCS Card for Industry Placement: https://www.cscs.uk.com/card-type/industry-placement-card/ specially for T-Level and Traineeship students.

Traineeships are for people not in employment, contact your local college and ask what Traineeships they are delivering and how your organisation can support by offering a work placement.  There is a Traineeship for Dryliners.

Become a STEM Ambassador

FIS is working with the Construct STEM Ambassador network to produce presentation packages bespoke to finishes and interiors occupations.  FIS is hosting a one hour webinar on Wednesday 07 September 2022 starting at 12:00 on how to become a Construction STEM Ambassador for more details and to register please here.  This webinar is intended to help members understand what they can do to build the pipeline of skills and support new entrants to find their first opportunity in construction and hopefully in the sector.  The commitment as an Ambassador is deliver at two events per year.

Harness the skills of HM Forces leavers

HM Forces Service Leavers are considered a strong recruitment source of willing capable people.  FIS are partnered with the charity Building Heroes and this organisation is an FIS member.  Established in 2014, Building Heroes is a gateway service supporting military families.  This organisation provides training and employment support to service leavers who are looking for a new career in construction by training individuals with a broad range of trade skills and then connecting them with a network of employers.  Building Heroes recruitment provides a personalised service that matches the right candidate to the right job.  Embedded in their training is a Drylining option, aligned to the FIS BuildBack programme.  The organisation is currently looking to place individuals who have completed this programme (a two weeks of introduction) with Fit-out employers.  For further information including details of their introduction fees please contact Rachel Fianko rachelf@buildingheroes.org.uk

In addition, the Regular Forces Employment Association (RFEA) also provide support to Service leavers, reservists, veterans and their families to enable them to access new careers and training opportunities. Through their links with the Careers Transition Partnership, employers can access a high quality, no cost recruitment service.  Candidates are highly motivated and experienced ex-military personnel, ready to bring their considerable skills and abilities to your organisation.  Find out more

Utilise Job Centre Plus

The Department for Work and Pensions can arrange work placements through Job Centre Plus.  This service together with a variety of employer support for recruitment is available free of charge for more details see here.

FIS is here to help and has a section on our website dedicated to collating advice, ideas and support to help your recruitment efforts – you can access information on recruiting school leavers, ex-offenders, service leavers, career switchers, offering work placements and how to focus on greater diversity here.  If you want to talk about what more you can do and the support available for your own efforts to recruit, FIS have a dedicated team to help.