Over half of construction companies state that they cannot hire enough skilled workers for their projects. On the other hand, millions of workers are not properly trained or prepared to fill entry-level positions. The skills gap involves everyone from young workers without work experience to highly experienced workers without the ability to adapt to new technologies.
The Skills Gap Exists
Although many critics attempt to disprove the existence of a “skills gap,” it’s an unfortunate reality within the construction industry. As job opportunities continue to grow annually, there are not enough skilled workers to fill these positions. As Tampa construction lawyers, we are devoted to discovering ways to bridge this gap. As we discussed in the last section, apprenticeship programs can be one way to combat the labor shortage problem. As we will discuss in this section and section three, it’s important to understand the challenges these apprenticeship programs are up against. In section four, we will offer a few solutions to these problems.
Reasons for a Skills Gap
Recruiting capable workers, training these workers, and retaining them has become more and more challenging for construction companies over the years. Although there are tons of theories out there as to why there is a labor shortage problem, some of the main reasons include that the education system steers high school students towards the four-year college system over trade schools, woodshops and other introductory trade classes have been removed from high school curriculum, and federally funded programs have simply failed to reach the right audience in recruitment efforts. Other theories include the lack of diversity in the construction sector, the lack of introductory training for construction jobs, innovative technology surpassing trade school training techniques, and even the opioid crisis.
Repairing Construction’s Reputation
Perhaps the most significant impact is the perception of construction industry jobs being a last resort instead of a lucrative career route. The irony is that many of these apprenticeship positions will be created to help resolve infrastructure issues that exist in the United States; however, many young people do not understand what types of tasks these positions entail.
What Are Infrastructure Positions?
“Infrastructure” is a relatively broad term that reaches across all public and private sectors and impacts pretty much every industry or occupation in some form across the United States. To be clear, infrastructure positions do not have to be involved specifically in horizontal construction or the process of building a bridge or road. Although erecting buildings, bridges, and roads are highly valuable and important areas of infrastructure, other important aspects of infrastructure include working in departments like water utilities, transit systems operation, and hazardous and solid waste positions as well.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.