Training is a key element to success in the workplace. Few of us would disagree with this statement. We believe intuitively that a well-trained workforce is able to produce better quality products in less time and with fewer accidents. The tricky piece is finding or creating this well-trained set of employees who can deliver excellent work.
In the construction industry, there have been many historical factors such as lack of training, the economic cycles, and demographics that have contributed to a diminishing skilled craft workforce. Today, we are presented with the challenge to create recruiting and training programs that will attract new employees and better hone the skills of our existing craft workers. Using and improving our safety and skilled craft training programs is a logical first step.
Craft training programs, according to a joint study between Canadian and U.S. universities1, result in five positive outcomes: increased productivity, reduced rework, decreased absenteeism, lower turnover, and better jobsite safety. Building a sustainable training program requires long-term vision on the part of company leadership. Often the initial time and money investment needed to identify training needs, build training programs and send employees to training courses seems daunting. When companies rise to the challenge, it has been shown that the investment in craft training is able to generate a cost to benefit ratio of 1/1.52. This means for every dollar invested in craft training, there is potential to see 150% return to the business. It is important to remember that the return on investment may not come in the form of easily measurable dollars but is evident in higher quality work, fewer safety issues, reduced project costs, increased productivity, greater customer satisfaction, and ultimately in a sustainable workforce. Additionally, the investment in continued training of the workforce leads to workers that are safer, at work more often, have higher morale, and are more likely to make a career with your company.
The construction industry working collaboratively through organizations like C3 can begin to bridge the gap for the unskilled craft worker in our current ranks as they grow into the sustainable skilled craft workforce of tomorrow. Programs like the C3 Craft Training Framework and Endorsement are designed to afford companies flexibility with their individual craft worker’s training needs while moving towards common skillsets for entry level workers.
C3’s training framework is an investment in the future and creates a better outlook for the craft workforce in the Houston region.
For more information, or to participate in a pilot of the C3 Craft Training Program, contact Angela Murphy.
1Analysis of the benefits and costs of constructions craft training in the United States based on expert perceptions and industry data. Construction Management and Economics. (December 2010).
2University of Texas study, 2010