Aurecon: Five ways millennials can thrive in construction

Embracing diversity of thought and developing strong communication and problem solving skills are among the trends Aurecon says graduates need to maximise employment

Aurecon highlighted its top five trends for millennial employability
Aurecon highlighted its top five trends for millennial employability

For millennials joining the construction workforce, good communication is as important as technical skill when it comes to employability, according to Aurecon.

The engineering and infrastructure advisory firm, Aurecon, highlighted its top five trends for millennial employability.

Based on a survey of its global Generation Y staff, which comprises around 50% of its workforce, Aurecon found that 73% of respondents felt they had the skills and capabilities needed to enter the labour market upon graduation. But this dropped once grads started their first role. And nearly four in 10 graduates (39%) said they were not prepared when they started.

Based on this, Aurecon’s chief people officer, Liam Hayes and Penny Nugent, global chair of Limelight, Aurecon’s young professionals’ network, listed five ways millennials can maximise employability.

1. First, soft skills are the new hard skills.

“Fine tuning your communications skills, especially in a team environment, is a key ingredient in helping you become a more valuable employee,” said Hayes.

The survey found half of millennials valued a 60/40 split between technical skills and softer skills such as communication and problem solving in their first role.  Four out of five millennials also felt that the most significant skills necessary to securing a job lay outside technical expertise.

2. Embracing diversity of thought was another trend.

From eager graduates with fresh ideas to seasoned practitioners with vast experience, developing a workplace in which everyone feels comfortable to contribute is vital.

“A work environment where everyone feels respected and is willing to contribute fosters diversity of thought,” said Hayes. 

3. Getting and staying connected is Aurecon’s third trend.

Millennials need to build strong, interdepartmental alliances, but should also “think strategically about social media,” according to Hayes. LinkedIn is a good place to start building business contacts and engaging with like-minded pros can help millennial employees with trends one and two: developing soft skills and embracing diversity.

4. Amassing hands-on experience is the fourth trend.

Graduate CVs may look slim after university, but can be beefed up with volunteer work in areas relevant to the grad’s chosen sector. In fact, one in ten graduates ranked this as a crucial part of gaining hands-on experience.

5. The fifth trend is this: technical skills remain vital

Developing sound technical knowledge at university is fundamental to maximising employability. More than a quarter of survey respondents ranked technical skills related to their career discipline as among the most important assets necessary to securing that important first job.

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