There has been a serious downturn in the amount of construction being done in Ireland, it is estimated that by the end of next year around 65,400 construction workers could lose their jobs.  As a result of this fact and due to rising unemployment in Ireland already, the Irish state training agency has begun suggesting that those in the construction industry actively think about going abroad to find work.

The likelihood is that a similar situation will arise in the UK, with many homebuilders already downscaling their plans for the near term.  As fewer buyers come to the market and there is ultimately less demand for property in the UK – as is the case in Ireland already – it seems probable that greater numbers of construction workers will find themselves out of a job for at least the short-term.

If you’re in the building industry and you’re concerned about your financial and employment future, in this article we’ll look at how you can begin preparing for a construction job abroad if you do ultimately decide to expatriate – even temporarily – to find a job.

The current problems that the likes of the UK, Iceland, America, Ireland, Spain and Germany are facing are not being universally felt.  Whilst the economic issues are having a global impact as we have become more internationally focused, some nations are less exposed to import export fluctuations, to currency issues, to a so-called credit crunch.  In other words, there are nations out there with healthier economies than ours that are in a good position to weather the current fiscal storm that the UK finds itself in the eye of.  In these nations there are of course construction jobs because the building industry is alive and kicking.

If you’re a qualified and experienced individual in a given construction industry related trade, there is nothing to stop you from actively applying for any of the jobs available.  Naturally you have to look into the visa restrictions on you going to live and work in a given nation – but the majority of recruitment sites and agents will advise you of your requirements when you apply for a job.  Alternatively you can arrive in a country like Dubai speculatively and hope to find work once you arrive – and if you do take this sort of path to finding a job, just ensure you a) have your permissions in place, b) have enough money to accommodate yourself for a few weeks and c) have enough to get yourself home in the unlikely event that you fail to find work.

Many overseas construction sites employing foreign labour have a very high turn around in terms of the number of staff they get through each year.  According to Expat International, the turnover can be 100% in as little as 15 months – and the main reasons for this are that the expat construction worker in question is not prepared for his new job abroad.

If you want to find jobs abroad in the construction industry and you want to succeed when you land a good posting, here’s what you need to know: –

1) You need to have a clear understanding of what the conditions are going to be like that you will have to work in.  Health and safety and consideration to workers may not be key in employers’ minds abroad, so you may have to work longer hours in harder conditions.  Can you cope with that?
2) Think about the cons but also remember the pros – if all you see are the negative aspects of working abroad, chances are you won’t stick it.  If on the other hand you see it’s a temporary solution to a short-term problem, that you may be better paid and have tax advantages, perhaps this will make the job easier to commit to.
3) You may very well have to work abroad alone and leave your family and spouse or partner behind, as accommodation abroad for construction workers is often single sex and very much family disorientated!  Can you cope with long periods of enforced separation?
4) Remember that you may well be working with people from all walks of life and many different nationalities.  This can lead to all sorts of clashes and it may mean you’re working for a less considerate or pleasant boss than you’re used to as well!

If you prepare yourself for all of these eventualities, chances are you will be able to make a successful go of it when working abroad.  Good luck.