WANT to help build the next generation of homes, schools and workplaces, but not sure where to begin? Well, the good news is there are many ways you can get into construction. And, even better, the industry welcomes everyone from absolute beginners to people with just a little experience to later-in-life career changers. If you’re a school leaver trying to decide on your next step, gaining an apprenticeship could be a wise decision.

Gaining a trade now could be the best thing you ever do. There are currently a number of schemes designed to help people of all ages take the first step, from Foundation Apprenticeships for fifth and sixth-formers, to Modern Apprenticeships, where you’re paid while you learn, and even graduate-level apprenticeships, where you also earn a degree at the same time.

All of these are a good, long-term bet for a satisfying and rewarding career and new vacancies appear every day for people with both theoretical skills and practical experience. Meanwhile, if you’re thinking of changing careers, your skills can be of great value to construction employers.

No matter your industry background, if you can show you’re hard working, can handle deadlines, be a team player and communicate well, you’re half way there. Add to these some technical skills – maybe you already have computer-aided design or experience in engineering as a technician or project manager? – then you can get a steel toecapped boot on-site and begin climbing the career ladder.

If your previous role is in manufacturing, let potential employers know all about your prowess in handling machinery, strictly adhering to health and safety guidelines and being able to manage resources and production targets. Skills in number crunching can be attractive, too. After all, accountants and financial analysts are at the heart of every major building project. Then, of course, there’s a need for marketing properties and handling the building company’s PR needs.

Finally, Customer Service professionals can use their people-pleasing skills to ensure a company not only builds offices and homes but also builds lasting relationships with developer clients and homeowner customers.