An article written by Nick Zieminski for Reuters on August 26, “Lack of skilled workers threatens recovery” captured my attention. The article highlighted a research paper published by Manpower Inc., and quoted their Chairman, CEO and President Jeff Joerres as saying about the skilled trades shortage “It becomes a real choke-point in future economic growth.”
Construction Citizen previously wrote about Manpower Inc., a global staffing and employment services company, and their assessment that strategic migration of workers will be part of the solution to the global skilled worker shortage.
Another strategy is educating the younger generation and encouraging them to seek training for careers in construction. Manpower’s research paper states:
“The view that skilled trades work is for people who do not excel academically, that the jobs are noisy and dirty, that they are too hard for most women, etc. must be corrected. Employers, trade groups and educators must partner to create a societal mindshift that brings honor back to the skilled trades.”
Providing ways for our craft professionals to acquire training and credentials that are portable and transferable even from one segment of the construction industry to another just makes good business sense.
In a previous blog (Danger Music), I mentioned just one or two initiatives that the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) is doing to both identify and address workforce issues. Another organization that is providing amazing support and collaboration is the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). NCCER is providing standardized craft training curricula and assessments that are approved and used by contractors, training programs, trade programs, association programs, and secondary and post-secondary institutions.
We must leverage collaborative efforts by organizations like these in order for us to better manage not only new entrants into our industry – providing them with well-defined career paths, but also to better manage our current workforce. If you are a member of our industry, you should be using programs like the ones started by NCCER and CURT which will help improve the quality of the entire industry as a whole.