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Meet two construction interns

Published on: 28 Jan 2010
Candice Homewood, environmental engineer graduate
Candice Homewood, environmental engineer graduate

The problem of unemployed construction graduates is widely acknowledged.

About 36,000 people graduated in construction-related subjects in 2009. But when Building magazine surveyed a sample of 600 in September, we found that 60% were unemployed, and a third were already considering working outside the industry.

Evidently we don’t need more employees right now, but the industry is predicted to grow by 3% a year between 2011 and 2013.

To keep pace with that, we need to recruit 37,000 new entrants a year between 2009 and 2013, according to ConstructionSkills. This includes 3,770 “professional and technical” roles a year.

So how much of a difference could internships make in the battle to keep talented graduates?

Stephen Gee, managing partner in John Rowan, has made an interesting calculation. He reckons that if every firm in the industry made up just 2% of their workforce from interns in 2010, this would be enough to give each currently unemployed graduate at least one placement.

He says: “Given that the ‘professional and technical’ element of the industry accounts for about 300,000 jobs – excluding senior executives and construction managers – then that 2% will maintain skills slightly above the forecasted level, allowing for some losses along the way.”

Building met two interns, a QS and an environmental engineer. Read the full article at Building Internally grateful.