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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article21 June 2024European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion2 min read

There’s no better time to pursue a career in the construction sector

Construction is consistently ranked among the sectors facing the highest labour shortages in the EU. It has been systematically overlooked as a career choice, but the time has come for a major change. 

There’s no better time to pursue a career in the construction sector

The latest EURES report on labour shortages and surpluses states clearly: almost half of the occupations classified as being in shortage belong to the construction sector. Examples include, but are not limited to, welders, plumbers, electricians, concrete placers, floor layers, tile setters, plasterers and painters. 

Why is construction low on the list of potential career options?

One of the most significant reasons, highlighted also in this report, lies in the sector’s unattractiveness, especially from the perspective of young people. Work in construction is frequently portrayed as tedious and potentially dangerous, with increased physical demands that are part and parcel of the nature of the work. 

This might also explain why the level of female employment in construction remains relatively low compared to other sectors, with only 15% of workers being female.

Moreover, construction is often seen as an unstable sector, with most work carried out on a subcontractor or freelance basis, which often means high levels of temporary and mobile employment. This can be discouraging for those focused on job stability. 

Construction is one of the smartest career paths you can take

For starters, the digital and green transitions are transforming the sector. The need for new infrastructure, e.g. solar and wind farms, and the retrofitting of existing building stock to address the new energy demands are constantly creating new specialisations. This leads to a strong job market for construction, where options are plentiful and pay can be very competitive.

Most jobs in the sector enjoy a higher degree of job security for another reason, too. They are less likely to be displaced by AI and automation because they require a high level of dexterity, adaptability, as well as decision-making and problem-solving skills, which AI is simply not equipped to take over.

Bringing gender balance to the sector is also being addressed. Initiatives such as the EU-funded ‘Women Can Build’ project have made great strides in mapping out gender-inclusive approaches and removing the misconception that construction cannot be ‘female-friendly’.

Construction work can be very rewarding in other ways, as well. Teamwork is at its strongest here, as the various stages of construction projects are largely interdependent. Strong networks are formed, fostering a sense of belonging. 

Last but not least, the nature of construction work means that you get to see immediate results from your work, and this can be extremely motivating and gratifying.

Read more about why you should consider a career in a skilled trade sector here.


Related links:

Why you should consider a skilled trades job 

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

Pact for Skills in Construction

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Articles are intended to provide users of the EURES portal with information on current topics and trends and to stimulate discussion and debate. Their content does not necessarily reflect the view of the European Labour Authority (ELA) or the European Commission. Furthermore, EURES and ELA do not endorse third party websites mentioned above.