Industry Viewpoint with Managing Director Lisa Kerford

Our managing director Lisa Kerford has more than 25 years’ experience working in the electricity and multi-utilities industries and over that time, she has seen many changes. Here she discusses the perception of the construction industry and why it’s in need of an image overhaul.

Recent research carried out by not-for-profit organisation Deconstruction showed that 69% of UK adults would not want to work in construction. Given the importance of the construction sector to the UK economy, this statistic makes for grim reading and shows that sadly, many of the myths about working in the sector still exist.

The poll of more than 2,000 people also found that 77% of full-time students between 18 and 24 would not consider a career in the industry, with jobs perceived as stressful and unsafe.


With a need to find thousands of additional workers to meet construction industry demand, it’s vital that more work is done to improve the industry’s reputation and showcase the huge array of careers available. Inspiring the next generation means talking about digital innovation and the strides the industry is making when it comes to sustainability goals.


To make a real difference to the industry’s image, we need to start at school age. At Aptus, we work with local schools to drive our visibility and we know that many of our customers and partners do the same. To solve this national issue, we need more companies visiting schools, and establishing long term educational partnerships.

For a number of years, we’ve worked closely with further education college Utility & Construction Training (UCT) which provides classroom-based learning for our apprentices. We also work with Alliance Learning in Horwich and Wigan and Leigh College, and recently partnered with Bolton College to offer T-Levels. These qualifications were recently introduced to inspire more young people to explore careers in our industry. Offering more routes into the profession can only be positive and I’d welcome more initiatives like this. We’ve just welcomed the first cohort to Aptus and are excited to see how their careers progress.

The construction industry offers a wider scope of career opportunities and more flexibility than ever before. With growing labour shortages, we need to keep working to improve the industry’s perception and prove that it is about so much more than hi-vis jackets and hard hats.

Published on 14th December 2023

Natasha Clarke

Natasha Clarke

People Director

Natasha Clarke heads up the People functions at Aptus, including Human Resources and internal and external communications. She has assisted in the training and development of a number of key members of staff and has also ensured a number of Business Administration Apprentices have successfully obtained their qualifications.

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