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Exeter Works doors will be closing on 31 March, but you will still be able to get support and guidance on our website. The Youth Hub will open the doors to its new home in Exeter Library from 3 April.

We at Exeter Works are passionate about highlighting different industries and job opportunities available across the city. We had a chat with Emily from ITS Construction to find out more about life in the construction industry, from how to find a job in construction to what you can expect on a day-to-day basis. 

Often, the main challenge people find when starting work in the construction industry is to do with money. Emily says that in her experience, many people may see the initial entry wage into the construction industry as underwhelming – labouring rates may not initially be as high as you would think. However, in the long term, as you gain experience and develop your skills in the different trade areas, the rate of pay vastly increases, and often defeats other industry wages in comparison.

Another challenge for most labourers will also be a CSCS card. Often the process and price of acquiring a CSCS card will discourage most labourers, but it really can expand your career opportunities extensively.

You can often find training opportunities which offer the chance to gain your CSCS card on the job, which would start you off in a great position for the rest of your career in construction. We asked Emily for more of her top tips on finding a job in construction:

“Go in with an open mind! It’s important (especially when you’re first starting out) to take what you can get, persevere, and gain as much experience as possible. Once you have that site experience, it’s useful to look further into trades and to hone your skills and specialise. This will not only raise your wage but will hopefully get you into the work you enjoy the most!”

So, what is it really like to be on-site?

“Working on site can often be very reactive: you will have to problem solve quickly, work collectively and efficiently with trades, and keep up to pace with the teams around you. Most construction work is outdoors and entails manual labour. Whilst challenging, it can also be rewarding and satisfying to see the site come together around you.”

Despite the stereotype, for the most part anyone can work in construction, although this can depend on the site and the type of work or job role you undertake. If you show determination, reliability and a good work ethic, there is no reason why a career in construction cannot be a rewarding and successful one.

Typically, on site you will find a whole range of people: men, women, people of all ages and different nationalities. There aren’t any entry requirements and nobody should think they can’t work in construction; as Emily says:

“In general, it will help if you’re physically fit, but if you’re not it’s a way to become fit! Most sites will accommodate people who are less physically fit (such as allocating light duties like sweeping or clearing up site) but if you’re applying for a labouring job, its best to ask what sort of work you will be doing. Some labouring work can be tough and heavy work, such as moving plasterboard or other materials, and being physically fit for these jobs is essential. For the most part, the construction industry caters to a whole range of people with a range of abilities, so never feel discouraged or like you can’t do anything!”

Thanks Emily! There are currently several vacancies available with ITS Construction – just check out our recent #VacancyRoundup as a starting point!

If you’re looking to start a career in construction, why not come along to the Building Greater Exeter Job Shop, held at the Exeter Works Hub every Wednesday from 10am-2pm? 

For advice and guidance on all things careers; including CV writing, help with interviews, apprenticeship advice and more, get in touch with Exeter Works today. You can make an appointment to speak to one of our specially trained advisors, book your free Career Consultation, and find out more about training opportunities within the Greater Exeter area. Get in touch today and follow us on social media at the links available here.