Construction industry urged not to ‘waste’ graduate skills

Construction companies across the UK are being urged not to ‘waste’ employee skills after it was revealed too many over-qualified graduates are entering the industry and their skills are not being utilised.

Anita Bickerdike (pictured), owner of Shropshire-based Positive Intention, which provides bespoke training and management development courses for the construction sector, says it is vital companies are in a position to take advantage of graduate skills.

Her comments come after a new report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found the majority of university graduates are working in jobs that do not require a degree.

The report has led to concerns that graduate numbers have now out-stripped the creation of high-skilled jobs.

The trend is particularly prominent in the construction and manufacturing sector.

Anita said: “The report clearly shows that more and more graduates are taking jobs in the construction industry where there is little demand for graduate skills.

“Whilst some sectors have and are upgrading jobs to take advantage of graduate skills, this report suggests this does not appear to be happening in the construction sector and creating a distinct mismatch of skills.

“This is not only a waste of graduate skills but also a lost business opportunity.

“It demonstrates the importance of continued training within the industry to take advantage of the skills that exist within the workforce.

“With Business Information Modelling (BIM) soon to become a major requirement in the construction industry it is likely that employees will need to be trained in different skills to those traditionally required within the sector.

“There is actually no better time for companies to be investing in their own employees.

“Capitalising on employees’ existing skills and giving them the new ones they need for the future means a workforce equipped to deliver better return on investment now and prevent skills shortages in the future.”

The report commissioned by the CIPD found that overall 58.8 per cent of graduates in the UK are in jobs deemed to be non-graduate roles.

For more information on the training and management development services offered by Positive Intention visit the website at or contact Anita on 01630 685689 or email