Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Top building firms unveil new scheme to hire 150 graduates

Professor Greg Lloyd

ALMOST 100 construction jobs and over 50 work placement opportunities could be available to new graduates with some of the top companies in Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Lagan Construction, McLaughlin & Harvey, H&J Martin, AECOM and Grahams, met with students and recent graduates of the University of Ulster to explain the potential for jobs in surveying, health and safety, construction management, renewable energy management and civil engineering.

Of the 150 positions on offer, approximately 90 are full-time graduate level jobs while the remainder are highly sought-after 12-month work placements.

The opportunities were announced at a 'built environment placement and graduate recruitment' event organised by the University of Ulster, for students seeking year out placements and full-time graduate employment.

Professor Greg Lloyd, head of the University of Ulster's School of the Built Environment, said that the number of opportunities on offer is extremely positive news for a sector particularly badly hit by the financial downturn.

"What is particularly impressive is the fact that our talented students are so sought after by both local and Great Britain firms who could easily access graduates elsewhere," he said. "Many of the firms have spoken of the strong work ethic and commitment demonstrated by Ulster's graduates which makes them so employable."

"Placements make our students even more attractive to employers once they graduate as they will have the industry ready skills required to make a real, positive difference in their future careers.

"I hope as these opportunities come to fruition, that many more people will be encouraged to pursue a career in the built environment and construction sector and play a part in future economic growth and stability," he said.

Construction has been the sector hardest hit by the economic downturn, though there were some signs of recovery in 2013 – a revival which is expected to take hold this year.

Building firms have also been benefiting from recovery in the UK and Republic construction sectors.

According to output indices for the third quarter of 2013, sub-sectors involved in the making of construction-related materials have seen increased output.

Output in basic metals and fabricated metal products grew by 28% in the second and third quarter of 2013, while rubber and plastics increased by 13.5% in the same period.