A word about skills shortages in construction

Back in July, an article in Metal Construction News drew my attention, because it discusses an issue we also face here in Australia, skills shortages in construction. While the underlying causes may not exactly match the ones in the U.S., the effect is the same. Delayed projects.

Currently in Australia, it is very hard to find skilled metal roofing estimators, we know that because our estimating service bureau is bursting from its seams with jobs. For my company, I have all but given up on finding estimators through job ads. What I do is contact our local high school and colleges and speak with career advisors. They send me young people who are keen to give it a go. They learn our software from scratch, like any new client for our software would, and away they go.

I have come to the conclusion that I cannot wait for government policies to determine my business’s fate. It is in my hands as Managing Director to pass on my skills and knowledge to the generation we need to fill the labour shortage. It is up to us to train who we need in the way we need it.

Running a business is a privilege, and it comes with the possibility to shape the future by leaving a legacy. We can leave a mark and leave the place a little better than the way we found it. We just have to stop pointing fingers or waiting for others to solve our problems. Invest in young people.

Ray Smith