How can you help bridge the skills gap in Construction and Infrastructure?

Close skills gap Ellis Fox Blog

The more the industry works to close the skills gap, the more it persists. We talk about perception, how it’s an industry that’s not seen as attractive to work in. We talk about how focusing on improving diversity can bring in untapped expertise, but transformation is slow. Despite knowing what can and needs to be done, achieving real change remains a challenge.

The industry is under pressure. It needs growth, and it needs expertise. But there still aren’t enough people with the right skills in the industry to make that happen. As much as companies and industry organizations are working to change that, perhaps we as individuals have a role to play too.

If you’ve been working in the industry for more than 5 years then you already have skills and knowledge that can be shared. For those whose careers already span more than 15 years there’s even more value there. Consider contributing to building up the skills needed in the industry in the following ways:

Having a voice – Today most business networking happens online on platforms such as LinkedIn and other industry portals. By simply commenting and contributing to posts shared by industry colleagues you’re adding your expertise to the conversation for the benefit of everyone. Don’t underestimate the reach and influence that your voice can have. As you grow in confidence sharing broader insights as your own posts and articles can also contribute to broader industry knowledge.

Industry participation – Becoming more active in industry organizations has multiple benefits. It’s a great way to broaden your personal professional network, but it’s also an effective means of understanding more of the challenges the industry faces. It’s a way to be part of the solution, share ideas and expertise, and share opportunities when you hear of them with your network.

Mentoring – There are few things that help people develop personally and professionally more than mentoring, and the benefits extend both ways. For the person being mentored it’s a way to fast track their learning and industry knowledge. As a mentor you can also gain insight into some of the challenges junior people in the industry face.

Overcoming the skills gap in construction and infrastructure is going require a consistent and collective effort. The more people willing to participate, the closer we can get to harnessing the potential in the industry.