Celebrating United Nations’ World Youth Skills Day

Today, July 15th is the United Nations’ World Youth Skills Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the importance of equipping young people with the skills needed for a successful career. The current skilled labour shortage throughout Australia highlights the ever-increasing significance of upskilling and education opportunities for young people.

Will Twomey, Director of APAC Solutions Consulting, Procore says it’s important to reframe the industry and create a new understanding of the opportunities available to young people in construction.

“The construction industry is currently under immense pressure, facing a number of challenges, including rising commodity prices, supply chain disruptions, and a protracted labour shortage. More than 30% of construction businesses reported job vacancies in May 2022, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Further, a February 2022 Procore survey found that 46% of Australian construction leaders believe the industry is suffering from a ‘brain drain’, and it is hard to compete with other industries for good employees. There is a clear imperative to ensure there is a pipeline of young talent entering the struggling sector,” says Twomey.

“Traditionally male-dominated and manual labour-oriented, the construction industry is quickly transforming due to the influence of climate change and the impact of accelerated technological development. New roles and career opportunities are being created in the industry all the time – due to an increased focus on sustainability and with robotics and automation replacing a lot of physical and administrative tasks. In fact, 47% of respondents in Procore’s How We Build Now 2022 report expect some future construction functions won’t require human labour and 36% think builders will need a broader skill set.”

The construction industry continues to move towards sustainable development with the implementation of new technologies, innovative processes and practices, and creative thinking. As this transformation continues, we’ll see construction professionals focusing more on problem solving, strategy, technology and ethics, both onsite and in the office.

“We must continue to educate the market about what it’s really like to work in construction, and in particular, ensuring young women are aware of the exciting opportunities in sectors they may have previously discounted. Just 39% of APAC construction leaders believe that women will form a key part of the construction workforce over the next 10 years – a number that must improve,” says Twomey.

“Celebrating United Nations’ World Youth Skills Day serves as a reminder that the business community has a responsibility to create pathways for young people to develop the skills they need to have a rewarding career. It’s also a fantastic time to build a better understanding of the dynamic opportunities that exist in large and rapidly evolving industries like construction.”

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