According to contractors, there is one big obstacle that those in the construction sector have been fighting. The industry image.

This is an image of grubby, dirty work with a lack of career mobility, low pay and little benefits. According to Bill Caldwell though, the president and CEO of Waldorp Mechanical Services, those within the industry are just as much to blame for this poor image.

“In the industry, we have to shoulder a lot of the blame for that image because we have not done enough to change it.”

Roger Liska, a chairman of the Clemson programme, supported this view. He stated that the issue is with the overall perception people have of the sector.

“The impression is that it is a blue collar, not a business job, and they don’t think of things like project management or even leadership… they really don’t get a complete picture.”

Another image issue is the stigma of the cowboy builder too. Apparently, 60% of people feel that it is fair to call tradesmen ‘rogue traders’ or ‘cowboys’. Take a look at the full report here.

This image issue though has led to a steep decline in the workforce for the construction industry. According to Mac Carpenter, the president of BE&K Building Group, the industry’s image is not the only factor to blame for a reduced workforce though. He stated that the sector also introduces new challenges for prospective workers.

“What I see today is people looking for the work/life balance.”

However, within this industry, there is the possibility that workers will have to travel around to find work. He continued, the sector “makes people uproot themselves personally or their family and that is hard for people to do.”

Liska states though that there are measures that can be taken to improve things for the construction industry. One way he proposes to do this is for contractors to invest more into training their employees. He stated, “companies need to open their eyes and realise there is a benefit to providing training.”

“There is the return on investment.”

So what do you think? Do you think the construction industry has an image issue? Let us know in the comments below.


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