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Housebuilding: a sector with a skills shortage - Careers

There’s a skills shortage within the construction field and there are plenty of career opportunities in the housebuilding industry. Whether you’re a school leaver or looking for a change of career, and planning to learn a trade, you may be considering joining one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK.

You may choose to study a trade and then be self-employed or start your own business. Alternatively, you may prefer to be part of a bigger team and complete large-scale projects for national building firms. Housebuilders often directly employ tradespeople such as bricklayers, plasterers, electricians and carpenters, whereas the main site team of a national building company tend to be permanently employed members of staff.

Skilled bricklayers are in high demand with housebuilding companies, as invariably they have a number of sites being built at the same time. Once you’ve been trained to mix and apply mortar to create a perfect finish, have some experience on site through your industry placement and have completed your study programme, you will be ready to apply for jobs. You will also need to hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card.

Skilled plasterers are equally in demand as an important stage in home building is the plastering of each of the rooms so that the walls and ceiling can be painted and the flooring fitted. With so many homes to complete, plasterers can expect a good supply of work on new developments, as long as you hold the relevant qualifications. Attention to detail and a desire for the perfect smooth finish is key to professional plastering.

Skills in carpentry and joinery are another sector in demand within the housebuilding industry. Depending on the type of property you’re working on, you are likely to be fitting staircases and bannisters, skirting boards and coving, and boxing in fixtures such as pipes and radiators. As with bricklaying and plastering; precision skills are a must so that your work meets the standards expected by your employer and its customers.

No house can be built without heating, hot/cold water or drainage and so plumbers and gas heating engineers are required. Plumbers are mainly responsible for installing pipes, toilets and showers whereas gas engineers tend to fit heating systems, boilers and cookers. A plumbing and gas course provides the skills you need to get your first job in the industry.

If you are interested in housebuilding and property, you don’t necessarily have to work just on site. Housebuilding companies have a huge variety of roles including in customer service, sales, marketing and HR. Check out our construction study programmes here. You can also take a look at our Business study programmes here if pursuing a role within marketing and HR is of interest too.

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