With more than 230,000 jobs expected to be created in the construction over the next five years there has never been a better time to get into the industry.
The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) offers a range of construction apprenticeships and skills-based training courses including bricklaying, dry lining, carpentry, plumbing and electrical courses.
The Industrial Insights 2016-2020 report by the Construction Skills Network (CSN), the industry is expected to grow by 2.5% each year – 3.5% in Greater London.
Fiona McKinney, 24 studied at CONEL as part of an apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery with Haringey Council’s housing service Homes for Haringey in 2009-11, where she still works today.
She went on to secure the top prize in the Association for Public Service Excellence National Housing and Building Apprentice of the Year Awards.
“I didn’t really like school and wasn’t that academic,” said Fiona.
“Woodwork was the only thing I had an interest in and I managed to get an apprenticeship with Homes for Haringey and on a course at CONEL.
“I was quite shy and nervous when I started and wondered if I could handle it. I really enjoyed learning about carpentry, and now I love it! It really helped me grow in confidence.
“I’ve just been put on a management course and also going to be a health and safety rep.”
Adam Tezzare began an apprenticeship with T Clarke, a nationwide building services contractor delivering mechanical, electrical and ICT services, in June, having previously studied for a Level 1 and a Level 2 Diploma in Electrical Installation.
The 31-year-old, who was among the College’s Excellence Award winners in 2015, said: “The teachers at CONEL are very good and supportive. When doing something practical they would give a good explanation why it was important, and what would happen if you didn’t do it, and made sure you did not forget anything.”
“This job has given me confidence. They [my employers] have given me the information and trusted me to work well, and I‘m learning all the time.”
According to the CSN report, in Greater London alone 18,250 construction jobs – 3,650 a year - are expected to be created over the next five years, with each year the capital needing 1,210 builders, 480 glaziers, 420, wood and interior fitters, 200 floorers and 480 non-construction operatives.
Strong investment in commercial and infrastructure projects and a growth in private housing, at levels not seen since before the start of the recession in 2008, have led to the demand for skilled workers.
In Greater London there are also a number of large projects in the rail industry which are also expected to continue to require skilled workers over the coming years, including Crossrail, HS2 and the Thames Tideway Tunnel.