Construction Jobs in Cornwall: Could the building boom boost Cornwall's economy?


There is no doubt about it: there’s a building boom in Cornwall right now. Here at Hysmark, we’ve been completing construction jobs all over Cornwall. We’ve loved meeting all of our clients and helping you with your construction and renovation projects. We’ve completed new builds and entire renovations. We’ve worked on beautiful old Cornish listed buildings and chic modern homes. From Padstow to Bude, from Port Isaac to Liskeard, we’ve been all over the county! It’s been a busy old time, so we’re saying a very big thank you to all of our very lovely customers!

Current job opportunities in tourism

This building boom means that companies and contractors like Hysmark have been enjoying lots of work. It has also been extremely positive for young Cornish people. This winter, due to the an abundance of construction projects, young people in Cornwall have enjoyed well-paid employment out of season. Cornwall’s economy is unusual in Britain for many reasons. Much of the employment for young people in Cornwall is seasonal. Therefore it is intense work, with long, hard hours during the busy school holidays. Jobs in hospitality and in the tourist sector are sometimes minimum wage. Young people are often employed on zero-hours contracts, with no guarantee of regular hours out-of-season. Whilst this might be ok for some young people looking for a weekend job, for others it does not offer stable or gainful employment.

Young Cornish people and hospitality work

In the hospitality and tourist sector, there is often not the scope for growth, progression or promotion for young people wanting to have interesting and financially-viable careers. For some young people finishing college or school in Cornwall, it seems like there is little choice but to move out of the county, or work in the tourism and hospitality sector. In fact, an article from Business Cornwall predicted that coastal communities could lose up to 49% of its young people.

“Jobs were cited as the overwhelming reason with 70% saying they would be more likely to stay if the right career opportunities were made available.”

In this report by Charlie Meyrick for the University of Bristol, the research shows that whilst Cornwall’s unemployment rate is no worse than anywhere else in Britain.

“Cornwall’s economy is dominated by agriculture and tourism”.

Now, don’t get us wrong. We love that Cornwall has so much to offer its summer visitors. The tourism and hospitality industry is part of what makes our county so special. Cornwall has some of the greatest restaurants, retreats, spas, sports, outdoor pursuits, hotels and attractions in the whole of Britain. There are so many fulfilling and secure careers to be had in the sector. But, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how relying on just one industry can leave Cornwall’s economy endangered.

“Cornish workers may be more vulnerable than most to the economic effects of the pandemic.”

Many young people have understandable reservations about hospitality and tourism, as they consider their next steps into the world of work.

The benefits of construction jobs

An additional option is needed. Cornwall has so much to offer young people. Perhaps construction jobs and the building sector could offer an additional option for young people who want steady, well-paid work. Construction offers many opportunities for apprenticeship schemes (earn-while-you-learn), up-skilling and promotion into management positions. Careers in construction present young people with the chance to learn valuable and desirable skills. Talented tradespeople, such as carpenters, plumbers and builders, are often highly-paid. Their expertise is always sought after, and is often recession and ‘disaster-proof’! (We will always need electricians!) Construction jobs are very resistant to lulls or crashes in the economy.

Construction jobs also help young people develop skills that can be transferred to other well-paid sectors. Cornwall’s sustainable and renewables industry is one that could also offer young people many great careers and opportunities. Many of the skills learned in construction can also be used in the science, technology and engineering sectors. Sustainable construction practices are integral not only to the ecological health of our county, but the economical health of our county.

How much could I get paid doing construction jobs in Cornwall?

Owing to this report, the median wage in Cornwall is approximately £25K for full time workers. We’ve made a list here of several different construction jobs, and how much you could earn working as a full-time, fully qualified construction worker in Cornwall. Please note, these are average wages, calculated by, in February 2022.

Therefore, the wages from these jobs may be less, or may be more.

Average wages of construction workers in Cornwall

Could there be a future for you in construction?

Wages for construction jobs tend to be slightly higher, or a lot higher, than the median average wage in Cornwall. Construction jobs therefore offer young people the opportunity to earn more, and able to access things like mortgages, property, higher education, holidays, give back to society and enjoy a great quality of life! If you’d like to find out how to start your career in construction, you can find apprenticeships on this website.

Construction jobs are widely advertised right now, with the current building boom in Cornwall, so do keep checking the job sites for opportunities and vacancies, as well as checking in with construction companies.