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As with businesses in any other industry, construction companies need to adapt to changing times in order to remain viable and the new generation of workers who are entering this industry are bringing fresh ideas and perspectives that will shape its future.

A survey of the young generation starting out in the construction sector by revealed some of the things about the industry they want to change.

Work-life balance

Of the 500 young people in the industry that took part in the survey, nine out of every ten were happy with their jobs, but an area that they see room for improvement in is work-life balance. 16 per cent cited this as something they want to see change. They argued that the drive to complete projects – whether it is a fit-out, refurbishment or any other kind of building job – as quickly as possible means long working hours that can be costly to home lives.

Gender balance

The same survey revealed that gender equality within the industry remains a problem, with the lack of women in senior roles being an issue cited by some young women who took part. 45 per cent of young male respondents said that entering the building industry had been recommended to them at school, while only 23 per cent of young women said the same. This continued lack of gender parity might be a contributory factor in the long hours expected of workers carrying out construction jobs, as a recent piece in Image found that the desire to spend more time with children is still seen by many bosses as one that affects women more than men.

How is the next generation going to change things?

Clearly this is an issue that the next generation entering the working world takes seriously and with the building industry facing a skills shortage, it is vital that more young people are attracted to construction. To achieve this, the industry is working to get more young women engaged using visits to building sites, placements and building work taster sessions. As more young men and women enter, we are likely to see a much greater emphasis on balancing the completion of projects with the demands of family life, even if it means longer deadlines.

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