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Construction scholarships open up multiple opportunities

President urges young locals to take advantage
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How important is it that people get a chance to make their profession a career in construction? Crucial. Essential. Vital.

Getting local talent into the construction field is the whole reason why the Construction Association of

Bermuda dishes out scholarships to six recipients each year. The cash can be used both locally and overseas, and potential recipients can be broader in scope than you might think.

“There’s a recognised need to educate the local population in these professions,” emphasises Simon

Tully, president of the CAOB. “We must grow our own talent.”

The facts support this. Around the 1980s, there was a lot of big construction going on, but foreign companies were behind most of the work – they simply subsidised local companies. Since then, CAOB scholarships have helped to put more work directly into local hands.

The CAOB handed out $16,000 in scholarships to Bermudians this year, helping them embark on courses including civil engineering at Dalhousie University and the University of Edinburgh, and mechanical engineering at the University of Portsmouth. The programme is funded by donations and sponsors from within the industry.

Almost anyone can apply for the scholarships, but they are ultimately given depending on financial need, so Mr Tully encourages all applicants to apply for multiple scholarships. For theirs, you have to be in university in a construction-related field and return to Bermuda to work. Pretty simple, right?

The CAOB has long-standing relationships with the Department of Workforce Development, the Department of Corrections, the Ministry of Education, the Bermuda College and the Bermuda Industrial Union. This means that no matter what your journey has been so far, there may be a prospect just your size.

Mr Tully said there are many educational paths people might consider to get into the construction field.

“Construction isn’t about just a desk job or just outside work,” he said.

“There’s a balance. You can be outside with people, looking at projects, pitching in where necessary.”

There are physical labour options, the boots on the ground so to speak, like carpenters, plumbers, HVAC professionals and masons. Then there’s careers in civil engineering, quantity surveying, construction management and procurement and more. If you’re someone who enjoys “grunt work” or prefers to be an influencer, there’s something for everyone.

Mr Tully is not worried that rising costs for materials and supply chain issues and might influence potential careers and jobs.

“This field is extremely secure because wealth breeds construction,” he said. “When you have money you want nicer things. Even the dog gets air conditioning nowadays!”

He encouraged people with a variety of backgrounds to consider entering the construction field.

“If you’re in reinsurance or even project management, the work is not much different,” he said. “Your background can lead to opportunities.”

As there is a worldwide shortage of people working in construction, there are plenty of opportunities to grab hold of.

“We need to raise awareness of what is possible and available,” Mr Tully said. “From tradespersons to professional designations, we need to keep progressing and let our people know what’s possible.”

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