An assessment of construction craft trainee career priorities through the Analytical Hierarchy Process

New Entrant Trainees (NET) to construction trades have a number of concerns, motivations and interests surrounding the nature of their employment. However, it has been suggested that some of these trainees subordinate their consideration of career development in favour of satisfying hygiene factors such as work conditions and pecuniary concerns such as basic pay and bonus incentives. This may not lead to an appropriate career choice, and in the long term may contribute to the industry's high attrition rates. Using the psychometric technique known as the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), the primary career choice motivations and perspectives of 563 trainees were profiled. AHP was used to evaluate and empirically test the relative importance of career development against five other career related stimuli: financial incentives; work conditions; social relations; job content; and job security. The results reveal the central importance of career development in retaining new entrant trainees to the construction industry. Indeed, it suggests a more sophisticated set of career priorities amongst the craft group than was expected. It is therefore recommended that the industry devotes more attention to the career development of these often overlooked employees in order to redress the high attrition rates and skills imbalances throughout the industry.