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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article26 October 2023European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion3 min read

Building your career: How to get your first job in construction

The growth of the green economy has created many new opportunities in the construction sector, but entering this field demands specific skills and training. Read on for our tips on getting your first job in construction.

Building your career: How to get your first job in construction

Enrol in apprenticeship and work experience schemes

Getting a job in construction requires a unique skillset and training. If you are thinking about getting a job in this sector, there are several ways you can develop your skills. Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to gain on-the-job training, while also earning a wage. The skills you will learn can help you find your first construction job and, in the longer term, build a successful career in construction. An alternative way to develop your skills is through work experience schemes. These are usually more flexible, and can last for shorter periods of time. They are a perfect alternative for those who have already busy schedules.

Get certified

A great way to make yourself stand out is to become certified and receive training in the area you want to work in. There are many different paths to training and certification. Many colleges offer vocational construction training and education, where you can learn the basics.

Trade schools offer more specialised training in specific areas, such as operating complex machinery, welding, and masonry. These courses provide the practical training you will need to find your first job in construction. What’s more, you will receive a certification, which can be attractive to potential employers in the sector.

Remember to highlight your soft skills

Soft skills are an important part of getting your first job in construction. Your employer needs to know if you are the right person for their team. So, remember to highlight your soft skills alongside your practical capabilities in your interview. Here are a few examples of soft skills that you can transfer to construction:

  • Communication skills are key on a construction site. You need to be able to listen to and give instructions quickly and carefully, and the safety of you and your team is dependent on it.
  • Teamwork is also important, as most jobs in construction require you to work in a team. You should give examples of how you have thrived in a team environment previously.
  • Technology is becoming an important factor in how we work. The construction industry is no different, so be sure to highlight your previous use of technology in the workplace, and any associated technical skills you may have. You could also familiarise yourself with the latest software and programmes that are being used in construction in order to prepare for your interview.

Make yourself visible

You have the skills, training and certification for your first job, but how can you make yourself visible to potential employers?

Job fairs are a great way to network and meet people in the construction industry, and to familiarise yourself with different companies currently active in the sector. Treat these events as a series of mini interviews, and talk to as many industry leaders and employers as you can. You can find information on upcoming job fairs on the European Job Days website.

Did you know that construction workers are among the top 15 professions in demand in Europe? To find out more, check out our recent article on labour shortages and surpluses.


Related links:

European Job Days

EURES answers your top questions on labour shortages and surpluses in Europe


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