Construction careers expert Christian Warden takes on AI opposition in a quick-fire test of recruitment knowledge
The hot topic in construction is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential to shape the future of the industry.
Here, CIOB People pits AI tool ChatGPT against Christian Warden, engagement director of construction early careers platform Talentview Construction, to see which source of information comes out on top.
Full disclosure: we allowed Warden a bit longer than the 30 seconds granted to his AI opposition!
- What advice would you give an apprentice starting out in construction?
ChatGPT: As an apprentice starting out in construction, embrace every opportunity to learn, ask questions, observe experienced workers, prioritise safety, be reliable, develop a strong work ethic and constantly seek to improve your skills.
Degree apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular and allow you to earn while you learn. They are designed for those who want to embark on a career in construction in higher level roles
CW: Gather as much information, advice and guidance as possible. When people hear construction, traditional roles such as trades or architects might spring to mind but they are part of a smorgasbord of skills.
With the onset of net zero, some roles might not yet even exist. Speak to your local further education (FE) college and employers about the skills you will acquire through your apprenticeship.
2. How should an apprentice go about getting their first job?
ChatGPT: To secure your first construction job as an apprentice, network with industry professionals, seek apprenticeship programmes, enhance your skills through vocational training and create a compelling resume highlighting your enthusiasm, dedication and willingness to learn.
CW: Talentview Construction’s strong links to industry and education mean you get tailored, impartial advice and information.
Direct contact with those in the know, such as industry professionals, is invaluable – and you have access to apprenticeship opportunities you can apply for.
It is crucial you speak to someone who can help identify the best career path for you.
3. Can an apprentice get a degree?
ChatGPT: A construction apprentice typically does not earn a degree through their apprenticeship. However, they gain valuable hands-on experience, industry-specific certifications and the opportunity to progress towards a journeyman or master craftsman level.
CW: Yes. There are four apprenticeship levels – intermediate (equivalent to GCSE); advanced (A Level or T Level); higher (Higher National Certificate); and degree (Bachelors or Masters).
Degree apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular and allow you to earn while you learn. They are designed for those who want to embark on a career in construction in some of the higher level roles.
4. How can employers help apprentices excel and make the most of their apprenticeship?
ChatGPT: Provide clear goals, regular feedback and opportunities to learn and apply new skills. Encourage curiosity, collaboration and a growth mindset. Foster mentorship and provide exposure to various aspects of the industry.
CW: Remember that they are young people, not numbers; make them feel valued and provide mentorship, understanding their individual needs and aspirations. Give clear goals and regular feedback, and work closely with the training provider on their training plan.
5. What does an employer really want when it comes to attracting young talent?
ChatGPT: Employers look for young talent who possess a strong work ethic, adaptability, a desire to learn and grow, innovative thinking, excellent communication skills and a passion for making a meaningful impact in their chosen field.
CW: Employers want someone who will add value to their business and whose behaviour matches their culture and ethics. They are looking for people keen to learn and with a ‘can do’ attitude, who can be relied on to be punctual. Getting on with colleagues is a must.
Christian Warden’s verdict
ChatGPT is a useful tool and if it helps steer the next generation towards the construction sector then that is a positive thing.
But it provides a starting point, and no more. My advice would be to always seek out someone with extensive knowledge and connections in the industry – Talentview Construction is the platform for that.