Britain’s building sector is facing serious skills shortages now the economy has turned a corner – that’s according to Christine Gausden senior lecturer at the University of Greenwich who says its construction industry graduates are being snapped up by big business.
“With Business Secretary Vince Cable saying the construction skills gap is a ‘horror story’ when he gave a speech at last month’s Government Construction Summit in London, it’s clear there are opportunities for people willing to study,” says Ms Gausden.
But she says the university is helping students land top jobs in construction.
Among them is Scott Herbert, 21, who has been accepted on ISG’s graduate programme after being awarded a first class BSc in building surveying. ISG is the global company responsible for the London 2012 Olympic Velodrome, and revamping the Royal Festival Hall, among others.
Tom Fryer, 23, a fitness trainer turned quantity surveyor, is still deciding from a choice of offers from top companies.
And father of three Keren Scott, 45, says he’s proof that university can help you change career in mid life. He’s been offered a management role at housing developer United House as well as signing up for a masters in project management at Greenwich.
All three say the university did a great job of preparing them to step on to the professional career ladder. Scott said: “My course was accredited by the Chartered Institute of Building which is essential if you want to enter at graduate level. In five years’ time I hope to be chartered and working as a project manager.”
Tom said: “Our tutors have industry experience and invite professionals to lecture us, as well as organising site visits and work experience. We apply our knowledge to real life situations so we are ‘work-ready’ when we graduate.”
Ms Gausden added: “Students at Greenwich are encouraged to develop their employability skill set and this is integral to their core studies, ensuring they are well equipped for the work place.
“Courses at Greenwich provide 'live' clients and project scenarios to test and assess the students; all learning is contextualised and referenced to the real world.”
The students also say studying at Greenwich gives them a head-start with networking. “The university is well known,” says Scott. “When I’ve done work experience I’ve met lots of people connected with it which has been a real help.”
Keren, who got a first in design and construction management, is the third in his family to attend the university: “Both my sister and partner came here and gained good results. They liked the environment so I felt I would be in a good place to study.”
People already working in the industry will find a range of courses aimed at them which can be studied part time or through distance learning, as well as full time and on campus.
Ms Gausden added: “Students of construction are in high demand. There is a shortage of professional skills and opportunities are vast for the pending graduate.
“Construction and property are exciting and fast-moving environments to work in, with extensive career opportunities in London, the UK and overseas.
The University of Greenwich has a wide range of under and postgrad degree programmes, available full-time, part-time, on campus and many via distance-learning too.
All are accredited by the appropriate professional body: see the key facts online for each course for details.
Degree subjects include:
- Quantity and building surveying
- Construction and project management
- Property management and development
- Real estate
- Facilities management
- Safety, health and environment (SHE)
Sustainability is a key theme across all subjects. Programmes cover technology, science, law and management, as well as building links with the industry through work placements, site visits, visiting lecturers and competitions.
For more information visit www2.gre.ac.uk/about/schools/