May 16, 2020

Construction graduates finding employment faster in recovering economy

Construction employment
uk construction
Construction employment
3 min
Construction graduates finding employment faster in recovering economy
A new survey reveals construction graduates fare far better than their counterparts from other fields in finding work within six months.The study 'W...

A new survey reveals construction graduates fare far better than their counterparts from other fields in finding work within six months.

The study 'What do graduates do?' from the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) shows 2013 construction graduates had an employment rate in this time-frame of 89.7 percent and an unemployment rate of just 4.8 percent, compared with a 70 percent employment rate and 7.3 percent unemployment rate for graduates of all subjects.

A total 256,350 full and part-time first degree graduates were asked their employment situation in January 2014, six months after leaving university, with the improved figures suggesting the economic recovery is impacting favourably on their work fortunes.

In building management subjects, there were 3,680 graduates in 2013, 2,705 in architecture and 1,070 in planning. Architecture graduates enjoyed an employment rate of 78.4 percent, with planners on 78 percent.

When the three disciplines were grouped into a single category of 'architecture and building', the overall employment rate was 78.4 percent, with unemployment at 6.1 percent.

However, just 64.7 percent of 2013 'architecture and building' graduates were employed in their degree subject field, comparing unfavourably to 76.5 percent of civil engineering graduates.

12.3 percent of this category took up roles in management, business, HR and finance roles, compared to 9.2 percent from the civil engineering category.

The 'architecture and building' figures show a marked improvement on the fortunes of 2012's graduates, where the employment rate was 74 percent and unemployment 8.8 percent.

However, the survey also shows a decline graduates from 'architecture and building' from 8,195 in 2012 to 7,775 in 2013. There were 8,695 such graduates in 2011.

A total 2,920 students graduated from civil engineering in 2013 with a six-month employment rate of 75.2 percent, and 3,800 mechanical engineering graduated that year with an employment rate of 76.4 percent.

The graduate unemployment from all subjects fell from 8.5 percent to 7.3 percent year-on-year: the largest decline in early graduate unemployment in 15 years. The graduate employment rate also jumped, from 73.6 percent to 75.6 percent in the same time period.

HECSU's Deputy Director of Research, Charlie Ball, noted the last 18 months were a fascinating example of how quickly the market can change, noting that construction-related subject graduates enjoying one of the most dramatic improvements in their employment outcomes.

He said: “The variations in the employment rates of these graduates reflect the complex relationship between the construction industry and the economy. Students must bear this in mind when deciding which subject to study. It’s vital that they seek careers advice early and take work experience to better inform their decisions and prepare for employment.”

HECSU's employment figures include full and part-time work, overseas work and work-study combinations.

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Jun 23, 2021

HS2’s Old Oak Common station in London given go-ahead

2 min
Construction of HS2’s station at Old Oak Common in London has been approved by the UK’s Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has today given the go-ahead to construct the HS2 train station in Old Oak Common in London. It is said that the station will be the UK’s largest built in one stage, and will create more than 2,300 jobs.

Mr. Shapps said: “The start of permanent works at the largest train station ever built in the UK in one go, Old Oak Common, marks yet more progress in delivering HS2, the high-speed, high-capacity and low-carbon railway that will form the backbone of our national transport network. This ‘super hub’ station shows our Plan for Jobs in action – kickstarting major regeneration, creating 2,300 jobs and 250 apprenticeships in construction – and underlines this Government’s determination to build back better”. 

Construction of the 32-acre site will include a 1.1-mile-long underground wall making way for six HS2 platforms. HS2 Ltd said the station aims to offer “unrivaled connectivity” with services to four crossrail platforms, four mainland platforms in South Wales, as well as platforms in the Midlands and North of England. 

A notable feature of the station is its roof, which is the size of three football pitches. Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, said: “The start of permanent works at Old Oak Common station, our first station under construction, is a significant step for phase one of HS2, as we deliver world-leading engineering to create what will arguably be one of the best-connected railway super hubs in the UK”. 

The HS2 project so far

Announced in January 2009 as a government plan to construct a new high-speed railway network connecting London, the West Midlands, Leeds, and Manchester, HS2 or “High Speed 2” initially sparked criticism for its potential impact on the country’s green spaces and countryside. 

The HS2 route map. Image: HS2 Ltd


With costs of over £42bn for the tracks and a further £8bn for rolling stock, the HS2 is the single most expensive project ever attempted by the British government. While the plan may have been announced over a decade ago, construction started in 2017 and is still ongoing. It is due to be completed in 2025, although the COVID-19 pandemic has almost definitely put a spanner in the works. 

If the process goes according to plan, HS2 Ltd says that Phase 1, the London to Birmingham line, will open to the public in 2026, following commissioning and testing. Phase 2, which includes a route from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, is due to start construction the same year, with an estimated completion and operation date of 2033. 


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