As of January 2018, the construction industry is facing a skills shortage of nearly 200,000 workers. With such a large gap in supply and demand for skilled workers, it’s no wonder that more and more companies are turning to apprenticeships as a solution. Apprenticeships not only provide hiring companies with trained new employees but also help trainees develop marketable skills to further their careers after the program ends. After all, studies show that 90% of apprentice programs result in an offer of continued employment with the company that offered the apprenticeship. With such high retention rates and so many benefits of taking on an apprenticeship, you might be asking why this isn’t something that has been implemented sooner. The answer lies in the changing face of construction.
What is an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a formal program that allows individuals to train with a company in a specific trade by combining on-the-job training (OJT) with classroom instruction. Apprenticeships are most common in industries such as construction, manufacturing, healthcare, and engineering, where hands-on trades are required. With a large number of workers retiring in the coming years, many of these industries have seen a sharp rise in the demand for skilled workers, which has created a shortage in supply. To combat this, many companies have turned to apprenticeships as a solution, as they provide a way to train new employees while also providing experienced workers the opportunity to further their own skills.
Why are construction companies turning to apprenticeships?
As mentioned earlier, the construction industry is facing a major skills shortage. With an aging workforce and fewer younger people entering the sector, the construction industry is struggling to meet the high demand for skilled workers. As such, many construction companies are having trouble finding skilled workers, especially as the population becomes more interested in jobs that are less dangerous. However, with apprenticeships, construction companies can not only find new employees but also train them in the skills necessary to succeed in the field. Not only does this help construction companies meet immediate demand, but it also provides a way to retain skilled employees for the future. In fact, many apprentices are offered full-time positions after their term has ended and are some of the most sought-after employees.
6 benefits of taking an apprenticeship
Although many people may be hesitant to take on an apprenticeship, there are a number of benefits that come with participating in an apprenticeship program. Below are 5 reasons you might want to consider taking an apprenticeship:
- Increased earning potential – A study has found that workers who complete apprenticeships earn on average close to £43,000 more than their non-apprentice counterparts.
- Higher chance of employment – Another study has found that 90% of apprentice programs result in an offer of continued employment with the company that offered the apprenticeship.
- Improved employment outlook – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction jobs were expected to increase by over 11% between 2016 and 2026.
- Improved work-life balance – Apprenticeships allow workers to earn while they learn, meaning you can get started on your career sooner.
- Better work environment – Apprenticeships are designed to create a positive and supportive work environment, which can help reduce stress.
The Future of the Construction Industry
As mentioned earlier, the construction industry is facing a shortage of skilled workers. However, the increasing demand for construction, both in the U.S. and abroad, means that this shortage will only continue to grow. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the industry will need as many as 200,000 new skilled workers each year. With so many construction companies turning to apprenticeships as a solution to their hiring struggles, it’s predicted that the demand for apprentices will rise as well. With the increasing demand, construction companies will likely see even more benefits from their apprenticeship programs, including a more diverse workforce. After all, construction is expected to be the second most popular field for women, and apprenticeships are a great way for companies to diversify their workforces.
As more and more construction companies turn to apprenticeships as a solution to their hiring struggles, you may be wondering if you should take the same route. There’s no doubt that the construction industry is facing some major challenges, but it’s also an exciting time for those who want to get involved. With more companies turning to apprenticeships as a solution, there are more opportunities for those looking for their first job in the industry. After all, apprenticeships provide a way to train new employees and allow current workers to further their skills. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that construction companies are turning to apprenticeships.