In light of National Apprenticeship Week (8-14 Feb) – a key occasion for young people and businesses across the UK – we look at why as a business it is important to inspire the next generation of construction professionals.
One of the great things about bringing young people into an organisation is the fresh perspectives they offer. The majority of apprentices have come straight from college or school. Whilst they may have worked in part-time jobs, for the most part they are entering into a full-time career for the very first time, without any preconceived ideas about an industry and how it operates. This brand-new, refreshing perspective is hugely beneficial for the construction industry, especially from a digital point of view.
Most of the young people starting apprenticeships today know technology like the backs of their hands – they are the Generation Z-ers who have been rightly dubbed ‘digital natives’. Generations Z-ers have a different relationship with technology and information, and they also have the potential to see construction in a completely new light. The industry is famed for its risk-averse mentality, something borne from ever tighter margins that are a reality throughout construction. This mentality has inevitably led the industry to be very hesitant of new methods including technology. Many of the young people entering into construction today have not experienced construction in this way. This can be hugely beneficial for all sectors, as young people see construction as full of possibility and without restriction.
For a digitally resistant construction industry that is sceptical of change, young apprentices’ tech-savviness and brand-new perspective are aspects we can embrace. There is potential for young people to develop skills in the industry that don’t quite exist yet, but are needed in the market. There is a huge skills shortage across construction which will only become larger as the adoption of technology continues. Investing in new talent is therefore a no brainer.
Amodal is on a journey to becoming a B Corp organisation, a certification which showcases that a company is inclusive and sustainable. A big part of being a B Corp and a force for good in an industry, is realising you have to put your beliefs into practice. It is why we stand by our convictions that people are central forces in an organisation.
At Amodal, we always want to make sure we create environments for young people to thrive in. Not only are we equipping our apprentices with the skills and knowledge to understand how construction operates, we are helping them explore the ways industry aspirations are defined and realised.
From an information management perspective, we are showing them how to structure data and then align it with international standards and a businesses’ needs. We break it down into small increments, so they have a better learning experience and have time to ask questions that sometimes make the more experienced team members think differently! We think it is important to give apprentices a voice and encourage them to be part of the team. A healthy, open environment is where young people set their foundations and learn the skills to flourish in their chosen career path.
National Apprenticeship Week is the perfect time to draw attention to the important part young people are playing in the construction industry. Construction can learn so much from its apprentices and the fresh possibility they offer. In doing so, I am sure it will create a more aspirational and inspirational industry for all.