- Taking a holistic approach to the skill gap is essential, keeping in mind the existing challenges, gaps, and opportunities.
- Having the right skills increases the chances of landing and retaining a job, leads to increased income, and provides a pathway for growth and change.
Digital technologies have advanced so much today that major industries like construction and manufacturing have been at the forefront of battling the changing nature of work. And this momentum is only expected to build up in the future.
It is, thus, essential for organizations as well as employees to address the skill gap. A need has been felt for companies, workers, and society to assist the workforce – to skill or re-skill them to prepare them for jobs available today and in the future.
Notably, we must understand how to help the workforce – skilled enough for specialized job roles but lacking a traditional educational degree — leverage advanced technological tools and adapt to the changing nature of work.
In this blog, we will understand the construction and manufacturing ecosystems by analyzing skills and occupations. We will also look at some key trends likely to be the most important for workers and employers in the ecosystem moving forward so that all parties involved can adapt and thrive.
Analyzing the skills conundrum
Automation, technology, and the constantly changing nature of the global economy are expected to impact current/future workers and employers in the construction and manufacturing industries. As workers ensure that they are equipped for the present job market and those to come, skills garner more importance than ever before. Having the right skills increases the chances of landing and retaining a job, leads to increased income, and provides a pathway for growth and change.
In the US, for example, several jobs in construction and manufacturing explicitly require a bachelor’s degree or less. However, a significant fraction of job postings in the construction and manufacturing industries do not list an educational requirement. Instead, they seem to require skills and competencies to identify workers most suitable for the position.
On the other hand, in the UK, most construction and industrial job postings do not specify educational requirements for applicants, implying that the most significant qualifications are skills and abilities. Without these formal education requirements, there is an opportunity for certification and educational programs to come in and give the training to guarantee people are competing for these occupations.
Contrary to the US and the UK, there are no job postings that omit educational requirements in Germany. Most job openings there need short-cycle tertiary education for applicants.
Advances in technology, automation, and the changing nature of the world economy will impact the current and future workers and employers.
In general, the skill gap in the manufacturing and construction industries will continue to grow. Furthermore, tech advances will call upon a mix of evolving soft and technical skills and learning models.
Employers and the workforce must be prepared to brace for the challenges ahead.
What the future upholds
Skills will be of paramount importance; this is not to say that upgrading skills will be enough. Taking a holistic approach to the skill gap will be essential, keeping in mind the existing challenges, gaps, and opportunities across the full workforce and employment ecosystem.
Trends to keep in mind
- Workers and employers must focus on the fastest-growing skills to remain prepared for future roles. Businesses that bank on building talent in such areas will stay ahead of the competition. Likewise, employees equipped with these skills will see higher demand from employers. Meeting this demand will also allow employers to establish a talent strategy that will ensure the availability of the right talent when in need.
- Owing to the emergence of automation, many tasks may witness a sea-change. Particularly, employees may be affected. They will either complement the tasks they execute or complete them on their behalf. Workers can utilize their skills to pivot to a new role that’s lucrative and less susceptible to automation in the long run.
- Changes will most likely revolve around technology. Optimizing processes, data-driven decisions, and streamlined management practices are poised to disrupt these roles. Workers need not fear change as this will not involve re-skilling. Rather, they can build upon their skill set to focus on roles that need similar skill requirements and offer stability.
The points highlighted above point towards multidimensional challenges and multiple potential areas for improvement. This calls for the involvement of multiple stakeholders to address the skill gap. Across roles and geographies, skills are of prime importance. Investment in skills on the part of the employer as well as the job seeker is necessary.
As global and national economies experience changes in construction and manufacturing jobs, it is important to understand the roles and skills in demand today. Organizations must look at the best ways for workers to help them prepare for the in-demand roles and skills of the future.
Research in the construction and manufacturing industry points towards the growing importance of skills and the decreasing importance of specified levels of education. Upskilling current workers, training future workforce and identifying how skills can stabilize the jobs of those at risk of disruption due to automation offers a trifecta of opportunities for those in construction and manufacturing.
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