A career in construction can be wholly rewarding and provide a host of opportunities for progression but many young people are being put off the job path.

New research by the Edge Foundation has found that teachers and parents are telling school leavers that they are "too clever" to work in construction. The survey noted that some youngsters are being actively discouraged from choosing vocational education, this results show a worrying trend for the future of the construction sector.

It comes at a time when construction is going through one of the best periods it has had in years. Recent figures from the Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers' Index showed that output had spiked at its fastest rate since August 2007 and that it was making significant strides from the economic crash in 2008. Companies were seeing their order books fill up once again thanks to a surge in the housing market and commercial buildings.

Despite the good times almost being back in the construction sector, the research from the Edge Foundation suggested that students were not being encouraged to consider this as a career. Thirty-six per cent of young people that were looking to pursue a vocational career path said they were advised by school that they would be "more successful" if they chose an academic route.

It was a similar story at home where only half (51 per cent) of parents said that they backed their child's choice of picking a vocational careers. This was dwarfed by the 74 per cent who said they would support their youngster if they were going down an academic path.

Jan Hodges, chief executive officer of the Edge Foundation, said: “It is disappointing that so few parents and teachers see vocational education as being worthwhile, when in fact both routes result in similar levels of happiness, job satisfaction and financial gain. The stigma attached to vocational learning is old-fashioned and unjust."

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