Shortage of Skilled Workers In Construction Industry
Shortage of Skilled Workers In Construction Industry
The construction industry is on the rise and the demand for workers is greater than ever. The major driving force behind construction industry’s boom is the growing population and increase in people living in urban areas. All this together has driven up the demand of construction workers to a great level. On the other hand, the supply of workers is insufficient to meet the needs of construction firms. This shortage of workers can decrease firms’ performance, productivity, and sustainability and upset industry’s growth despite the fact that construction industry is one of the largest and most important industries of the world.
    Labor Shortage – The Biggest Challenge for Construction Industry
      The biggest issue construction industry is facing today is workforce challenges, especially the shortage of skilled workers. These challenges are becoming more and more intense with every passing day and putting pressure on the construction firms. These firms not only have to compete within the sector but also have to ensure that everything is going smoothly on the construction sites. However, shortage of skilled labor has worsen the competition and struggle to survive for the construction companies. Some companies have even fallen in the dead zone.
        Construction companies who are confronting these workforce challenges with their head up are however enjoying incredible growth.
          The first time construction firms faced the issue of labor shortage was in 2012, just when the real estate industry began to recover from the early 2000s’ crash. This issue has only gotten worse since then as construction projects have started to increase. The employment of labor force just couldn’t keep up with the rapid growth in the construction industry.
            The Future of Construction Industry
              The future of construction industry, despite these challenges, looks bright. The spending on construction in the United States witnessed a growth of 8.7 percent in 2016. This percentage dropped just bit in the next two years. However, the growth rate was still significant.  The construction firms across the world also faced similar circumstances.  According to forecasts, industry will continue to grow at similar rates in the United States and other parts of the world in near future.
                The future of construction industry looks bright because it continues to grow since 2012 despite of the serious workforce shortage challenges. However, construction’s growth is pointing at the critical labor shortage challenges that companies must confront if they want to survive in the future.
                  Other Workforce Challenges
                    Another issue which is not given much importance is the conflict within the workforce. For example, if a workforce has people from different generations, they may not work in harmony with one another. It is expected that millennials will make 75% of world’s labor force by 2030 and many Baby Boomers and Generation Xers will not retire by then. These generations have a different set of ethics and values that may lead to conflicts between old and new workers. These conflicts can hinder firm’s efforts to maintain high productivity and peak performance at sites.
                      Construction industry is adopting latest technology to boost their efficiency and productivity. This technology adoption may also lead to workforce challenges in terms of workers’ skills and training. Veteran workers usually do not have much know-how of the new technology and prefer using old methods to perform their job. To avoid any conflicts, companies should integrate new technologies slowly and steadily instead of forcing them on workers all at once.
                        Ways to Overcome Shortage of Skilled Labor
                          Construction firms have to work proactively in finding solutions to the labor shortage issue. Here are a few steps they can take to fill the labor demand-supply gap:
                          • Hiring more women in the construction workforce
                          • Creating a workplace culture which is based on safety and security of employees.
                          • Increasing and improving training opportunities
                          • Screening new candidates carefully
                          • Encouraging and appreciating transfer of knowledge and skills.