In contemporary Western cultures it is possible for individuals to work in 5-10 different occupations before retirement. However, current thinking on careers tends to be conditioned by older and sometimes outmoded concepts of what a career ought to be.
The relatively stable patterns that many in New Zealand enjoyed from 1945 - 1985 represents a past of relational contracts, steady advancement and mutual loyalty which is difficult to replicate in today's society (Elkin, Jackson & Inkson, 2004).
A study conducted by Michael Arthur and his colleagues at the University of Auckland looked in depth at the careers of 75 representative New Zealanders from 1985 to 1995 (Arthur, Inkson & Pringle, 1999). Arthur's study found that individuals moved between employers and between jobs with relative ease. Very few of these moves were upward, career building moves such as promotion. For example, Arthur found that more than 60% of the people in the sample changed occupations in the 10 years covered by the study. Eighty five percent moved between organisations.
The Centre for Research on Work, Education and Research Limited conducted case studies of four industries including the construction industry. ...
(Centre for Research on Work, Education and Research Limited, 2004).
Some skilled tradesmen in construction who had become independent contractors in the past when made redundant or by choice were reported as being worse off financially than previously. These men were a supply of labour because their alternative was to work as a sub-contractor on private building sites where they might, for example, work for 60-70 hours a week but earn only an effective $7-$8 an hour.
Researchers claim that people employed in the construction industry are classified as realistic. They have mechanical abilities, like working outdoors with tools and objects and they prefer dealing with things rather than people.
Construction workers tend to like practical and physical activities and they are task orientated. The construction sector is highly labour intensive. Whereas other industries can increase production by using a mix of more people and more machinery, construction is much more reliant on people.
The construction industry is seen by some people as hazardous or dangerous. The injury rate per thousand workers for the Total Construction Industry calculated from ACC Entitlement Claims Data as a whole for the 2004 year was approximately 30 injuries per thousand workers. The rate of injury was relatively stable over the 2001-2004 period even though New Zealand experienced somewhat of a 'boom' period for the industry, with many new and inexperienced workers entering the industry. (New Zealand Construction Industry Council, 2005). On the other hand, injury costs for the industry over the period 2001 to 2004 show a downward trend. As