A Career in Construction – Common myths debunked

Leading construction companies trust Acorn to source candidates and fill roles on upcoming projects. Building relationships with employment agencies can, therefore, help you to secure permanent work within the industry. However, some are cautious to approach agencies about construction opportunities, due to misconceptions about working conditions, pay and eligibility. Here are the most common myths about the sector.

‘‘Will I be on a zero-hour contract?

You will never be asked to sign a zero hour contract. Your Acorn consultant will instead request you to sign ‘a contract for services’, meaning you are free to accept or decline work offers as you see fit. Under these conditions, you are also free to work for more than one employer, enabling you to reach the amount of weekly working hours that best suits your lifestyle.

‘‘Will I only receive minimum wage?

Our agency workers are paid a variety of rates for a broad range of roles. Many of our posts offer the possibility of overtime, along with good progression routes and paid-for training. Like any role, your hourly rate will be continually reviewed by your employer in line with your performance.

‘‘Will I be contacted about work on a day-by-day basis?

Many candidates worry about getting called into work at the last minute, but Acorn Construction jobs work differently to other sectors. Almost all our roles offer a predictable Monday to Friday working schedule. In fact, more than 50% of the people we placed in 2018 stayed in their role longer than four weeks. Many of our contracts are for upwards of 6 months, meaning we offer a much more stable and secure working arrangement than people expect before they meet with us.

‘‘Do you deal with permanent jobs and long term roles?

Many of our contracts are for upwards of 6 months, meaning we offer a much more stable and secure working arrangement than people expect before they meet with us. For long term projects our clients look to recruit candidates for over a year at a time. We also see short term placements lead to permanent opportunities, either with the same employer or with sub-contractors working alongside them.

‘‘Will I get the same rights if I am an agency worker?

Under the Agency Workers Regulations, you will be entitled to the same basic working conditions (e.g. holiday entitlement & hourly rate of pay) as a comparable employee of the client; after you have completed a 12 week AWR qualifying period. Changes will depend on the client where you are working and you will be notified of any changes by your Acorn Consultant. From the first day of your assignment, you will be able to access all the on-site facilities and amenities such as; on-site parking, canteen, lockers etc.

‘‘Will I be overlooked because of my age, sex, experience?

Never. Acorn and the construction companies we represent have a commitment to equality and diversity. Despite construction being a historically male-dominated industry, women have excelled on our sites, alongside workers from a variety of backgrounds, often having never worked in construction before.  We look for positive attitudes, commitment and reliability.


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Lawrence Beach
Client Development Director
Specialising in the construction sector, Lawrence works closely with our customers to continually find solutions and improve recruitment services. He creates, develops and delivers initiatives that create social value, particularly through employment of disadvantaged groups and works closely with the third sector.
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