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Construction workers among most secure staff in the UK

In a study of over 2,000 UK employees, just 18% of construction workers said they feel worried about losing their job. This is one of the lowest proportions of any industry in the UK and is well below the wider national average of 23%. The only industries in which workers feel more secure than construction are finance, wholesale and hospitality. 

The findings show that the level of job security being felt by construction workers has increased since the nadir of the recession. In 2009, just 47% of those working in construction said they felt secure in their job, a figure which has now risen to 65% thanks to the skills gap in the sector creating confidence among construction workers whose skills are in demand.

Owen Goodhead, managing director of Randstad Construction, Property and Engineering, said. “Job security is good for employees because it leads to higher levels of professional fulfilment. It’s good for employers because it leads to higher productivity and lower cases of absenteeism. However, strong levels of job security in an industry need to be achieved through positive rather than negative influences. The skills shortage being felt by the sector including multiple vacancies in many organisations has created less competition for jobs and staff feel safer in their roles because of a lack of talent knocking on the doors of their employers. However, job security through lack of competition is unsustainable and needs to be addressed for the long-term health of the industry.”

Sector

Proportion of insecure workers

IT

32%

Arts

32%

Professional services

30%

Public sector

26%

Admin/cust services

25%

Transport

25%

UK AVERAGE

23%

Manufacturing

22%

Social work

22%

Nursing

21%

Teachers

19%

Construction

18%

Finance

17%

Wholesale

17%

Hospitality

13%

Construction Working Smarter

Despite high levels of job security among construction workers, employees are refusing to be complacent. Nearly two in five (37%) of those working in construction have stated that they are working smarter and getting more work done in less time in order to make their positions more secure. This is in contrast to 2009 when just 11% of construction workers said they were working smarter. Instead, the highest proportion of construction workers in 2009 (39%) were protecting their position by training in new skills or qualifications.

Owen Goodhead said, “Construction workers often have to work in very lean and dynamic teams with high workloads. This leaves employees with the choice of working longer hours in order to fulfil their commitments, or working smarter in order to get the job done. Those working in construction are often an industrious bunch, so it’s good to see so many are now choosing to work smarter rather than risk burn-out through extended hours.”

Job Security and Professional Fulfilment

Job security is a key factor in professional fulfilment and a vital part of a fulfilling career.  Academic research suggests that a lack of job security is often associated with lower well-being at work. In addition, job security among the workforce is important for employers because it increases employee motivation, productivity and reduces the likelihood of staff taking time off work due to illness.

 

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