Whilst the effects of recession linger on, construction arguably one of the worst affected sectors is making a name for itself as the comeback kid. Against a backdrop of low interest rates, rising house prices and increased investment the construction sector recorded its largest growth for 7 months in August.
"With this rapid growth we're seeing the property and construction industry struggle to meet its demand for qualified professionals. On a ground level this is resulting in higher wages for those already in the industry and a greater emphasis on transferrable skill opportunities for those wanting to move into the sector," said Harvey Gretton, Managing Director at Blayze Group Recruitment.
The recent REC/KPMG report on jobs showed that construction workers were most in-demand, whilst the availability of temporary/contract staff across the board decreased at its fastest pace since March 1998. Examples are now rife of workers transferring between sectors. The real estate industry as a whole has had to become more flexible in attracting talent and accepting transferrable experience. A key example of this is project managers that are now enjoying the flexibility of moving both from outside the real estate sector and from those transferring between the varying sectors of construction.
Our recruiters have identified the three key areas for growth within the construction industry.
Data published this month showed house building in England had risen to 134,000 starts in the year since the introduction of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme in 2013. This is set to rise as the Government strives to meet its target to build 200,000 homes a year. This is driving availability of opportunities across the residential sector. Not only is the sector lacking skilled craft professionals, we're also seeing a drought of white collar professionals.
With more houses being sold the need for valuation surveyors by residential agencies is reaching critical levels. The waiting lists for surveyor visits are getting longer and the talent pool getting smaller still. If you're a surveyor from another sector of the property and construction industry this could be the perfect time to make a move as wages are on the up with employers resorting to offering bonuses and higher wages to attract talent.
Other roles that are seeing significant growth are acquisition and letting agents. With the rental market increasing, agencies are clamouring to fill available positions. In addition those with commercial sector design and tech experience have the opportunity to transfer their skills to the residential sector.
In the commercial sector, due to the recent boost in the service industry and the growth of office building we are seeing lots of opportunities for commercial fit out specialists. With a serious shortage of qualified professionals, the sector is now looking to poach those with retail, hospitality or residential fit out experience to move into the commercial sector. This sector shows no signs of waning as whilst there has been lots of office building, there is still a gap in the availability of space so building work will need to continue with full vigour.
Whilst the retail sector took a big hit during the recession with many shops closing down, we’re now seeing resurgence in new projects. As the effects of recession on the consumer dissipate, consumer demand for shopping and retail experiences is on the up. Planning for restaurants, cocktail bars and other luxury consumer outlets are being held up by the lack of leasing surveyors. Those with surveying experience from the commercial sector and residential sector are being offered higher wages and benefits to attract the best talent.
To sum up there has never been a better time to consider transferring sector or even the industry that you work in all together. As real estate and construction pushes forward with the support of both the Government and the recovering economy, skills shortages across the board are resulting in higher wages and better benefit packages. The desire to attract those with 1-4 years post qualifying experience is at an all-time high and we’re confident that our recruiters can place candidates into exciting and sustainable positions.
About The Author
Blayze Group recruitment is the preeminent search and selection firm within the real estate sector, finding suitable candidates for all types of positions from sales staff to senior management across construction, architecture, general practice and surveying roles.
Contact us on 0207 593 5470 to discover the latest opportunities with leading employers in your sector.
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