Do Generation Z’s care about career opportunities in construction?

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Written by Don Valley Engineering on 11 October 2016 in Opinion
Opinion

Don Valley Engineering explore how Minecraft video game can build the next generation of construction workers.

More can be done to help Generation Z’s have an interest in construction and show it’s a valuable career option. Photo credit: Fotolia

Apprenticeships are incredibly beneficial to the UK as they are an excellent way of teaching people essential skills and getting careers on track.

In some cases, getting an apprenticeship is more valuable than going to university as apprentice get hands-on and practical experience that is not always available in schools and lecture rooms.

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Construction is one of the biggest industries in the country. It provides a wealth of jobs and puts so much back into our economy. However, in the coming years, there will be a growing demand for more workers to go into construction. 

Why is there a need of construction workers?

At the moment the construction industry is struggling to attract young workers. Millennials (Generation Y born in the 1980s and 1990s), have been drawn more to service industries, and this means the baby boomer generation is approaching retirement and there is no one to replace them. 

Construction apprenticeships are an excellent way for Gen Z’s to get important skills and experience. Apprentices on construction sites get to work alongside other workers. This is very valuable experience compared to sitting in a classroom. However, at the moment, the number of new construction apprentices does not fulfil the growing number of vacancies in the construction industry.

In recent years, there has been a growing increase in apprenticeships, but more can be done to help Generation Z’s have an interest in construction and show it’s a valuable career option. 

How are games having a positive impact on youth and construction industry?

Building games are having a positive impact on the younger generation. For example, Minecraft, a game where the primary goal is for the player to break blocks and build has been considered by some as an excellent way to get the next generation interested in construction. 

With Minecraft young people can have a significant impact on the environment they create. They can build incredible structures and even recreate famous landmarks. 

So far, games like Minecraft have already made its way into classrooms. Microsoft will soon be releasing Minecraft: Education Edition which is specialised for classes. The game is designed to teach youngsters programming and coding skills in a virtual learning environment.

However, the construction element of Minecraft can be used as a teaching method to get more children interested in building.

There are also other ways that construction can be promoted to the younger generation. 

  • Online courses: Today’s youth have grown up using digital technology. They regularly use the internet to learn. Having free and educational content online about construction would be beneficial resources, people can use it to learn more and help them determine whether a career in construction is for them.
  • Advertise more construction apprentice roles: Apprenticeships for a range of industries are being advertised more often. It’s clear more people are considering apprenticeships as an option rather than thinking university is the only path forward. But advertising more construction apprenticeships online, television, in print, etc, would reach more Generation Z’s.  

Recent studies about Generation Z’s have determined that they’re imaginative, open-minded and career-driven from an early age. Excellent qualities required for a successful career in construction. Gen Z’s can potentially provide a fresh approach to construction and introduce new ways of building.

There are many options out there for Generation Z’s. From working on house building sites to building specialised production and manufacturing plants. They can gain experience using machines and equipment to build constructions that are designed to last.

Gen Z’s can certainly benefit the future of UK construction but only if we show them the options and pathways available for them. 

 

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