Developing Essential Skills for Construction Workers

1. Introduction

During large infrastructure projects, it is not only important to complete the projects timely, but also to maintain a quality standard as well. The latter requirement means that everyone in the industry, from the laborers to the engineers, needs to be at the top of their game during the construction phase of the project. However, the South African construction industry labor force often includes workers who have little or no former training before they are employed. These workers usually learn through gaining workplace experience, which exposes them to possible accidents and injuries that can occur. This is particularly the case with skilled craftsmen such as boilermakers and welders who play a key role in such projects.

In order to assess the essential skills, a literature study was conducted, exposing various skill sets as outlined by authors and institutions in the United States of America (USA). The results of the literature study, along with the identified skill sets, were then utilized to establish skills to be used in tasks. The authors’ findings indicate critical factors that, when addressed adequately, have the potential to create successful career entrants for the construction industry.

In an industry that is growing rapidly and involves high incidences of work-related injuries, the necessary skills to start building a career in construction are rarely taught to pre-employment students in secondary education. This study assesses the essential skills that students need to be competent in to be successful construction career entrants. The importance of awareness of essential skills increases the chance of increasing students’ success upon entry to a construction career.

2. Communication Skills

It is difficult to quantify the communication skills required for work in construction industries. However, it is evident that the skills play an important role in the safety and efficiency of research within construction. A report prepared by Civic Sydney in 2012 ranked oral communication as the number one most in-demand skill in the majority of NSW industry qualifications. It provides a foundation for working with colleagues and clients, as well as with a wide range of emotion, conflict, and enjoyment. Communication skills are needed at both the social and cognitive level. At the social level, it involves having conversations with colleagues, not hiding your knowledge and thoughts, and showing respect for other people’s ideas. At the cognitive level, it involves generating statements, sending messages, and sharing effective and accurate information with colleagues.

Good communication is essential in construction. Employees need to clearly convey ideas and information in meetings, as well as in written reports. They are often required to listen to other workers and discuss how to solve a problem or brief others on what they are doing. The need for effective communication is even higher for managers and executives who may need to have formal discussions with business partners or employees, as well as with engineers, architects, clients, or tradespeople while on the worksite. Basic communication skills are needed so that construction workers can tell each other what task is to be done, how to do it safely, that it has been undertaken and completed, and if there is a hazard or anything unsafe is seen.

2.1. Verbal Communication

When thinking of skills that might provide a good basis for a construction career, verbal communication usually does not come to mind. Nonetheless, verbal communication is a necessary skill for any worker, from unskilled to skilled labor. The importance of good skills in the verbal communication area is highlighted by the fact that this skill has been prioritized by every group of participants in this study. This result is partly because of the demand for clear communication on a construction site. Poor communication can have serious safety repercussions and can delay a project. Everyone quickly learns to communicate clearly. People learn to get the message across irrespective of the level of noise in the background and the receiver’s understanding of the language. The concept of “Workington” was used by Kempton and Harris in 2005 when describing this sector. The use of hand signals to communicate is so common on construction sites that workers comment that they feel as if they are talking with their hands. Evidently, a good working knowledge of the six most common hand signals used on a construction site is useful, irrespective of the worker’s or contractor’s background.

Most construction workers understand the importance of good communication. While actual words are essential during verbal communication, voice tones, pauses, emphasis, and body language are also important. Lack of communication or miscommunication can have dire consequences on site. Speaking clearly and emphasizing the words will ensure that the information reaches everyone on site, regardless of the noise. An advantage of working on a construction site is that everyone quickly learns to communicate clearly.

2.2. Written Communication

Through the years, there has been a considerable improvement in lecturers and courses in college in attempts to teach students in construction-related fields effective writing because an increase in writing occupations has been classified as ‘appropriate’. In the decision to make improvements in the writing of construction students, the following challenges have been offered. With minimum emphasis on writing in college engineering and construction programs, the students’ writing was considered substandard despite a high volume of writing tasks. As a result of the writing tasks assigned to the students, it was found that the informal side of their writing was good and could be related to career development. It was also noted that the manner in which students could relate to the assignments, as a consequence, their informal writing is developed to an extent. When it came to the formal writing of the assignments, much criticism was received regarding both its contents and style. Some of the problems identified by the students included the recognition of a specific or definite audience, the level of the register had to match the project objective, and the importance of grammar.

Constructive communication with co-workers and clients is a fundamental skill for construction workers. With modern technology, it is easy to think that people who are unable to write things down with pen and paper are uneducated, which is not always the case. The skills required to communicate face to face or via the pen are the same. However, as technology enriches the working environment, it is critical and essential that ideas and plans are set down clearly and concisely, as every stage of a construction project needs effective written communication. It is also better that one is given and can act quickly on a written order rather than the spoken variety, which can sometimes be forgotten amongst the hustle of the building trade.

2.3. Active Listening

33. Refer to the following tips to develop effective active listening: Take time to think about what someone was telling you. If you want to ask a question, wait until the person finished talking. Establish appropriate eye contact and body language (posture) and respond with appropriate expressions. Look for deeper meaning in the delivery and messages of the other person. Don’t become frustrated or try to overtalk when they were telling you. When working with clients in a face-to-face encounter, their posture, gestures, and facial expressions can show discomfort, confusion, or other changes. These cues can help you understand their opinions and improve their construction and versatility, care, and traction. Communicating with clients is an essential part of meeting construction goals and promoting safety.

32. Endorse advocates for advancement in the area of active listening for older workers. This is because not understanding or misunderstanding a message can lead to injury. This is why employers demand that these skills are developed by all construction workers. You should never assume that you know what someone is telling you. You need to listen closely and ask questions to clarify instructions.

3. Teamwork Skills

Workers who possess strong teamwork skills add value to companies and experience faster advancement and higher levels of promotion. For many types of jobs in construction, teamwork is necessary. Most construction workers are required to keep projects organized as they complete their daily work. They must work directly with other people such as subcontractors, clients, suppliers, and the workers on their crew. This means communication and team-building skills are critical. Many times, when working on a construction project, workers must solve problems as a team. A team is generally more capable than an individual, and when a problem arises, they can generally solve the issue faster. Individuals generally only have the knowledge that they possess, but when combined with a group of individuals, critical thinking, analytical, and reasoning skills widen in scope. Building skills are one of the most significant factors present within the construction industry. To be efficient and effective on the Native American construction crew, you must be capable of working well with others.

Construction work involves many different types of teams. A construction team might consist of a foreman, the laborers, a contractor or subcontractors, a superintendent, and a site manager. An office team might consist of estimators, purchasing agents, office managers, and staff who may occasionally work outside. After construction has begun, there is often interaction with banking teams, architectural and engineering teams, and clients who want to ensure the project is progressing according to their plans. Knowing how to complement and conduct oneself to sift through an extensive community of stakeholders is an invaluable skill for construction workers.

3.1. Collaboration

General instructions when delegating tasks to team members and contractors. Each team member fully understands their expectations. In terms of results, all team members and participating contractors clearly understood the requirements of the work and the requirements of the process. The team members and participating contractors communicate with each other, it is important to provide feedback to the project. To create a high-performing team that is focused on collective goals and can truly advance the work, there is a need for positive interaction between all team members, a consistent communication strategy, and communication and discussion of progress, collaboration, and problem identification and solving to motivate and create opportunities. Data analysis, 3D models, and Internet of Things are being used to collect and analyze construction field data. Accurate job-related data can be collected in real time. Digital construction troubleshooting to meet production goals can increase collaboration through effective data demonstration to help construction workers focus on teamwork through effective and transparent communication.

Cooperation is the foundation upon which all construction work is based. Therefore, it is necessary for all construction workers to have the ability to collaborate as much as possible under the premise of ensuring the safety, quality, and progress of the project in the process of construction. Team members identify and organize work effectively for the team to achieve common goals and objectives. In order to achieve this, team members need to clarify the specific expectations and plans for achieving team goals. The division of tasks is to establish accountability for task completion. First of all, the division of responsibilities between the team members and all the contractors must be clear. Through effective communication, team members can understand the situation fully and can ensure the efficient realization of goals and progress. In order to create a sense of ownership and establish a commitment for the team members, it must be established for who is responsible for each team member on the construction project and how tasks are divided at an early start.

3.2. Conflict Resolution

Finally, this research offers practical implications for resolving these conflicts, in terms of its contribution to the construction management knowledge base. Residing in Estonia, workers and supervisors are a somewhat collectivistic society group. Conflict resolution orientations are important cues toward the emotions and tactics employed in conflicts. This reinforces the often intuitive relationship between the conflict participants’ thought, emotional levels, and behaviors. found, respectively, that Russian (in terms of leadership style) and Polish (hierarchical reporting orientations) construction companies preferred similar traits. However, it is difficult to predict the intensity of these contextual factors. Prior studies focused on public administrators, industrial engineers, and university education faculties. Since construction groups are particularly unique, existing results of values on approval may not apply.

This research examines the construction framework processes underpinning team relationship conflicts. Precisely, it concentrates on understanding the workers’ and supervisors’ decision-making and problem-solving behaviors. This study conceptualizes and empirically explores work-related relationship conflict as a significant emerging behavior that affects project outcomes and ongoing relationships. It is hypothesized that importance and stress level are key contextual factors that can mitigate or exacerbate the workers’ and supervisors’ conflict resolution behaviors. Using the Television Viewer Toolkit data program to measure Estonian workers’ and supervisors’ work relationship behaviors and moderated hierarchical regression analysis, Hypotheses I and 2 are tested. Construct validity of the items is ascertained, and item reliabilities are reported through factor analysis and Cronbach’s alphas.

The purpose of this study is to establish the extent of conflict and its management in the current construction groups. The research fills an important gap in extant knowledge by exploring how supervisors of construction groups can manage the conflict of a team member. The knowledge gained will contribute to elevating the current leadership behaviors of the industry leading to a heightened realization of project goals and minimized resistance to supervisor control.

Among human interactions in a construction site are workers and their immediate supervisors. Construction industry supervisors adopt the autocratic, single-direction leadership that they believe can boost team productivity. Studies show that without close supervision, construction workers are likely to work at a leisurely pace. The leadership style drives the autocratic command supervisors adopt at the work front. Conflict between the construction group and their supervisors is frequent. Conflict management strategies are necessary to help address and minimize the resistance felt by construction workers towards their supervisors. This requires multiple efforts by on-site leadership to understand and meet the needs of construction workers.

Conflicts in the workplace are caused by human interactions. Workers have various co-workers, clients, supervisors, and subordinates that they work with on a daily basis. Each of these relationships is prone to conflict. There are different levels of conflict depending on the immediate solution at hand. While all conflicts need resolution, it would be worthwhile to categorize them into serious conflict based on the severity, and minor conflict. Minor conflict can be verbal or through serious discussions, by offering or seeking suggestions so everyone involved can win.

3.3. Leadership

The men and women new to management and leadership positions have the most to lose, and they have the greatest opportunities. They are the ones who are often terrified and sometimes bored. They must have the courage to work in difficult situations and the ability to control themselves in easy ones. It’s easy to get lost in difficult and overwhelming situations, and they are often anxious. A leader of high-performance and high-level motivated teams needs to have high emotional intelligence (EI) – leadership is not about the leader, but to position people to achieve the goals, and emotional intelligence is based on multitudinous, complex interpersonal relationships. They’re composed of self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-motivation aspects, precisely the qualities required of a leader. Developing the firm’s strategic vision, delegating tasks that facilitate developing in-depth knowledge and securing opportunities for continuous learning, recognition and support are the characteristics that lead to commitment and work engagement. To successfully delegate tasks means to develop trust within the team, clarifying the mandate, allowing team members to make their decisions and promoting collective commitment.

While there are only a few people in any company called director, president, owner, or title of similar status, there are leaders at different levels in every company. Some leaders have an official title that identifies them as supervisors, others do not have official titles, but people follow them due to their knowledge and experience. Without people who are willing to make decisions, take on responsibilities, and guide others along the right path, the construction industry is in chaos. Having the skills to lead in everyone makes tasks less challenging and stressful, as others can and will assist on the project tasks regardless of their official position.

4. Problem-Solving Skills

Engineers work in a complex landscape that demands a creative approach. Whether developing innovative structures, repairing a structure or processing drawings, good civil and environmental engineers apply knowledge-based problem-solving, often in previously unmet situations. It’s no surprise that graduate employers look for problem-solving skills in applicants. These skills help you deal with conflicts, cope with job issues, and understand and work through tasks effectively. Problem solving is also an important skill in higher education. As engineers must apply their knowledge to new and innovative tasks, assignments, and examinations are designed to do exactly that. Complex problem solving is the number one skill that Wall Street employers demand from students in this field. This applies to both new graduates and school leavers.

Construction workers are regularly required to resolve problems that may occur on site. In problem-solving situations, construction workers often need to assess the issue at hand, troubleshoot the consequences, and use past experience to help resolve the problem. This is often not just a matter of making a decision but can require troubleshooting, data collection, analysis, and a variety of other skills. To become effective and efficient in making quick decisions and enhancing problem-solving skills, workers should assess and improve their abilities. Some problem-solving strategies include identifying the problem, analyzing the information, providing solutions, evaluating the alternate solutions, choosing the best solution, and developing and implementing an action plan. When developing problem-solving skills, it is important to first identify and understand the problem at hand and explore various ways to solve the problem. Strategies associated with developing problem-solving skills include defining the problem, gathering data, assessing the problem, developing solutions, and implementing those solutions.

4.1. Analytical Thinking

However, according to OECD, PISA 2006 Assessing Scientific, Reading, and Mathematical Literacy, only 71% of 15-year-olds in 57 countries did not use their high level of scientific attitude to help solve complex mathematics. This includes the calculation of frequency distribution of some phenomena that require very adaptive solution processes and not rigid rules of mechanical calculation. This suggests that there is a lack of problem-based knowledge and analytical exploitation of mathematical information based on general and scientific information about spatial, chemical, or percentage of change data. Perhaps this is due to their inability to combine natural, domain-specific, and cross-disciplinary ideas that explain some facts, rules, and theorems and solve through intelligent-action protocols that can help them reach general and adaptable conclusions. According to Kratonos and Klegeris, the main problem in many teaching approaches is that they concentrate mainly on the way the discipline is formally presented by a curriculum, rather than on the development of a deep concept about what scientific knowledge actually represents as a noun and uses an elaborated verb when solving problems related to the problem.

Analytical thinking is the mental process in which you examine and analyze the problem to understand it. It is a skill that can be the capital to succeed in a professional or personal environment. Those with analytical thinking skills approach problems simply and effectively, envision the wider implications, and make sound decisions that solve issues. Having the best analytic, critical-thinking, structural, and problem-solving skills for each career is a great added value for every professional. For example, someone who has to regularly review and accumulate information in order to draw accurate conclusions and suggest appropriate solutions. As stated by Clancey & Sloan, traditionally, successful performance in engineering sciences university education is highly dependent on the learners’ capacity to apply their responsibilities, such as problem-solving abilities.

4.2. Decision Making

Intelligence is the capacity to process information, a concept that allows a person to adapt to unknown circumstances. In other words, if a person has good decision-making skills, this implies that the person is intelligent. Essentially, intelligence is the ability to make decisions that will most likely lead to a successful project. Managers in the construction sector are expected to take effective and successful decisions because they are both responsible and accountable for their decisions. Data and analysis technology is commonly used successfully for decision-making in various fields; in construction, these technologies can be used successfully in the same way. In order to improve his understanding of contexts within complex organizations, the construction manager needs learning portfolio to make decisions about projects he is responsible for and should acquire several experiences of decision-making.

Decision-making can be viewed as the process of identifying and choosing potential options that are likely to result in a specific outcome in effort-based situations. Because the stakes are high in the construction sector, particularly in project management, problem solving, making and executing plans effectively and efficiently require effective decision makers. Each construction manager is usually expected to make a large number of decisions during the course of a day and should be able to make the best decision in a timely manner. It is also required in any level of management in order to determine, implement, and finalize the projects efficiently and effectively. He should also have knowledge related to the basic concepts related to management.

4.3. Creativity

Some current tendencies of thought, such as connectivism, can contribute to the expression of creativity also in the field of work. Connectivists are focused on the development of the individual as an agent to learn. Thus, the educational process is not the one that directs the steps, but the individual is responsible for their learning. If we adapt this idea to the scope of work, we collaborate for a critical formation, operators with responsibility and commitment in the exercise of the profession in order to understand, question, provoke ruptures, and reinventions. Any innovation demands some capability of creativity, always aiming it from a beginning with a refined idea and a time for its execution. Thus, zero tolerance to the creativity and the search for the innovative attitude.

4.3. Creativity. Workers with creativity must have curiosity about their field, and for this, they will be able to solve general issues in the project, make better decisions, find new technologies, and foresee occurrence and field problems as well. Such workers update themselves and create new knowledge in their field. The knowledge that was not directly visualized from the job systems is generated through combinations of concepts, like intuition, imagination, originality, problem-solving ability, besides a wide knowledge in a determined field. Imagination allows us to think and conclude considering the reality of our senses and our previous experiences with things. Imagination gets rid of some data but needs logic and a base to consolidate. argues that the human being has all the resources in itself, but it is important to have creative characteristics while having openness to unveil and discover.

5. Technical Skills

Include Classifications in Your Education History. Specify your construction industry-related classifications or studies (i.e. Concrete, Carpentry, Masonry, HVAC, etc.). Providing these details points to the fact that you’ve acquired proper construction training, becoming more valuable. In some regions, the blueprints change as the work progresses and changes to suit the experience of the construction worker on the job site. Many experienced construction workers understand that the blueprints or plans for the construction project are the most important aspect and are critical to the success of the project. These plans may also back up the workers in court if any legal action takes place.

Understanding of Technical Drawings. To work in construction, you must have a basic understanding of technical drawings associated with the building industry so you are aware of what is required when on site. You are usually required to have knowledge of how to prepare specifications and the ability to understand complex drawings and sketches. When working on the construction of a project, it is crucial that everyone is working towards the same goals and knows exactly what the requirements are. You may not necessarily be required to know how to create a drawing, but you should be able to read and understand one.

5. Technical Skills. Construction workers require a number of technical skills to be able to carry out basic construction tasks. Some of the requisite skills are:

The construction industry is full of job opportunities and requires a variety of technical and soft skills. Some of the skills you would need to succeed in the field are the ability to understand technical diagrams, teamwork, and manual dexterity. To further increase your chances of getting a decent job in construction, knowing some of the basic construction skills would be beneficial.

Section Title: Developing Essential Skills for Construction Workers

5.1. Construction Techniques

Construction techniques that involve temporary works such as formwork and scaffolding (used to support the working platform, provide a safety welfare, and crane handling with reach equipment). This hazardous coping system, wood lagging, and protective components are usually fabricated and built-up by a specialty carpentry subcontractor. Risk-management techniques. Temporary structures are disconnected and dismounted before the superstructure construction can start. Horizontal structures are storefront windows and doors, security gates, storefront vestibules, entry matting system, and bring down awnings. Vertical structures are light poles, benches, bollards, and site amenities. Coordination and collaboration between different owners, designers, architects, engineers, and specialty consultants are crucial in delivering structural safe structures and ensuring “The Site Safety Plan” to protect site workers.

When we refer to construction techniques, we’re discussing the methods, tools, and construction machinery construction workers use to build. Although we may not consider it, this is a significantly vast section. Creating a comprehensive list of construction activities is impossible because any construction project is going to adapt based on numerous factors: location, design, safety requirements, accessibility, regulations, and local and international building codes. However, some typical construction techniques are widely used and can be learned in a construction handbook, a good construction class or course, a publication, or a trade show. The main intent is to provide a basic understanding for how materials are traditionally assembled to make structures: buildings, bridges, highways (roads), parkways (subway), and waterway ports (marinas). The reader certainly should get acquainted with two essential terms in the construction field: the General Condition of Construction, called General Conditions (which define how things are done) and the Project Schedule.

5.2. Equipment Operation

The ability to judge distances between the machine’s edges and obstacles, other people, and other machinery is called visibility. Visibility is critically important. There is no standard requirement in terms of visibility, but according to the area extending from the front to the rear of the lower edge of the roller frame and up to at least 1480 mm from the ground must conform to the strength requirement. There is no overall standard in operation, and it is important that you consider this risk when making a decision on what machine to choose. Instruments and indicators such as rear-view mirrors are there to provide you with information and not to ensure an aerial view. Keep in mind that what is shown in the mirror may be closer than it appears.

As with driving a motor vehicle, a great deal of practice and the appropriate skill levels are required to master mobile plant operation. In the construction sector, some operators are seen and referred to as being “A Grade” operators, meaning they are highly skilled. These individuals are skilled at performing multiple tasks at the same time, able to operate their machine with no effort, perform all functions simultaneously, and are able to avoid obstacles. They can use the machine to its full capacity and are acutely aware of their machine.

5.3. Safety Procedures

Removing and cleaning debris from a work site is often a significant hazard to all construction staff. Therefore, it is necessary to provide construction employees with health and safety training to ensure compliance with OSHA rules to prevent injury while removing debris. Staff need to comply with strict standards for the design of ladder brackets to avoid risks and should learn how to safely and effectively use ladders when they are part of the job site. Staff should also attend training programs, such as the certification of ladder training, from qualified instructors and obtain technical expertise on safe handling processes to climb stairs to avoid these serious health hazards. Note that there are various OSHA standards that construction employees should follow, including the removal of uncovered tubes, blowout retention techniques and the orderly arrangement and storage of lighting devices, to minimise fueling at the worksite. Other security standards such as fire hazards, construction tool protection, and health devices for primary respirators must also be taken into account to avoid health and environmental hazards.

One of the most important parts of any job in the building construction area is to ensure that everyone working in construction is constantly safe. This is especially important in the construction area, as the smallest mistake can lead to death. Typically, there is a number of safety procedures or regulations that must be followed when working in construction, and this is done to ensure that everyone is safe and that the job can be done. By following these regulations, you can ensure that the staff will work safely and that the job is done to the best standard. To ensure that all employees know how to be careful when working, have trained workers to lead anyone new to construction related training, and more. Regardless, before work begins, ensure that everyone is aware of the safety procedures and what they can do.

6. Time Management Skills

Poor time management is a common problem for all construction workers. They can feel overwhelmed by their workloads, not knowing how to ask for help or organize their work. By working on both aspects, understanding how to work effectively and efficiently while embracing the help available, experienced construction workers can benefit from a more positive work experience. It can also help inexperienced construction workers transition from a poor time management state with high cognitive burden and inefficient working behavior. In the face of rapidly changing tasks, construction workers build a foundation for problem-driven delivery by learning how to strategically focus and systematically tackle a wide variety of communication strategies. Information about different construction types, including commercial construction, industrial construction, and residential construction, is needed to streamline the process of managing stakeholders and completing active tasks.

Time management is a critical skill for employees who move from one site to another. Since they work with new teams on a regular basis, construction workers develop measurable skills, including time management, which are among the essential skills required for the job. While the job involves selective assignment of tasks, it is essential for a construction worker to understand how much time should be allocated to each task, however small, to ensure that all deadlines are met. Although the complexity of the tasks may vary depending on the project, working in such a rapidly changing work environment has made construction workers comfortable in multitasking and completing tasks of different types. Time management in the workplace is not only important to complete the assigned tasks but also to overcome temporary job limitations and enable the construction worker to increase work productivity and maximize his/her potential. Future research can also develop measurement scales to measure the similar constructs in both local and global construction industries, in order to validate existing models.

6.1. Prioritization

The 11 priority traits of the model construction worker (as chosen by the respondents) are: Safety & Hygiene, Efficiency, Hardworking, Team Player, Patient & Collaborative, Communication, Attention to Detail, Problem Solving, Independence, Precision, and Flexibility. The key characteristics of the prioritized essential skills for the model construction worker are predominantly Reciprocal Interpersonal Interactional Traits (R.I.I.Ts). Independence made it to the list of eleven, while Close Co-operation was listed as the secondary Focus group. R.I.I.Ts primarily belong to the Essential Skills focus group Overarching Terms. Efficiency was the only attribute with a context of being “self-employed” or a non-mobile work setting. A quasi construction-specific Skill Gaps analysis was executed for each of the 10 essential skills or skill subsets. These analyses are discussed in further detail. There are theoretical and practical implications of prioritizing the essential skills/traits of the model construction workers. Future research will test the Macedonian skills of a model construction worker in meticulously defined jobs, and with particular inclusion of recognizing workplace as wise, rigid, and unsafe work settings. Results might also be influenced by demographic, qualification and professional employment characteristics, thereby supplying implications to education and the workplace, among others.”

“#6.1 Prioritization

Construction skills are not only needed to execute the grueling workload that the sector typically demands, but also to develop the necessary interpersonal relations to effectively collaborate on a typical mixed-skilled construction site. As the construction workforce grows more diverse, particularly through economically and socially deprived groupings, there appears to be heightened necessity for ultimately understanding the priorities of construction skill levels within education. Through a process of prioritization, the essential skills will be highlighted and scrutinized in further detail for the model construction worker.

6.2. Task Planning

How do you develop good planning skills in your Construction Technology class? Of course, a good place to start is talking to students about something they are familiar with – video games. Then too, a bell ringer or small class starter unit on the topic could be a challenge where students have to plot out how to build a model or other such task. Another very good bell ringer activity on this topic is to pass around a raw egg. Have the students think for a moment and guess the number of different ways they can figure out to break the egg. After getting all the guesses, write the guesses where everyone can see them. Set the egg aside and go on to other topics for a while. Return to the egg later in the hour or even the next day. With modern adhesives, etc., there is more than one way to accomplish this task. Just as there is more than one way to even think about accomplishing other tasks. Some are better than others. Just as some methods or projects for going about completing an or housing task. Set this aside until after discussing planning for a while and then as a problem after talking about the issue, it helps to tie the day’s discussions together.

Those who plan their work can work at it. Developing an effective plan and then moving onto those plans can increase success and the likelihood that all of the items, certainly the critical ones, are completed on time. Workers who develop a good plan know what materials are required, what equipment they may need, and how long it will take to complete an assigned task. Good plans include checks to ensure that the worker or crew working on the next item will not damage it or be damaged by it. Safe work plans also help the builders follow the general contractor’s schedule. When a plan is thought out thoroughly, the plan rarely changes. Furthermore, giving the planner the additional role of work leader/foreman gives them additional perceived leadership skills as well as potentially greater self-confidence.

6.3. Meeting Deadlines

To increase construction activity is to decrease profitability. It is economically inevitable that if such a decrease is detected, the construction industry will turn to a downturn in the country. Therefore, a number of strategic applications must be organized according to the current market and future market conditions for the construction of the contracted construction collaborations without delay. For this, the employer, the contractor, and the executive team should be informed about the field of activity together, and the planning and implementation processes should be done jointly. It is generally called the critical path or critical performance. This is the least amount of time it takes to complete all activities and that connects each other in a consecutive relationship. Thus, it shows the least number of activities with the longest total duration and identifies the need for time management throughout the construction process.

A fixed deadline is the deadline that must be met according to the agreement between the employer and the contractor. It is very important that this deadline is met without alteration. Expressed as calendar days, the hours counted between two dates are counted.

In any construction activity, work deadlines are very common. Whether it is a newly built construction or a maintenance job, they are related to cost management, overhead, and revenue. Other trades in the project are ready to begin their work after the previous work is finished. It is a construction activity that depends on the time and the work object allocated to the trades. For this, the superiors, the employees, the resources, and the relationships between them should be appropriate and properly managed to meet these deadlines.

7. Adaptability Skills

An important age-old adage states that there are three types of people: those who watch things happen, those who make things happen, and those who wonder what happened. The construction industry needs people who make things happen; in other words, workers who are effective, can solve problems, and have to adapt. Consequently, adaptability skills are highly sought after and are needed in nearly every occupation. Adaptability is not an innate talent but rather something that can be developed. Expecting the unexpected is a fact of life in the construction industry. Therefore, the need to develop and possess adaptability skills is particularly important for construction workers. To be successful in the construction industry, workers working in the field require specific skills that may trump the skills traditionally believed to be needed to build a successful construction career.

A concrete worker who takes a new volunteer under his wing and mentors him through the tough early days on the project is an example of how adaptability skills can help create a positive work environment and help new volunteers learn. The worker is able to recognize the challenge a new volunteer faces and takes steps to provide him with the support needed to successfully complete the project and the positive project experience resulting from a positive homebuyer experience. In a team environment, this adaptability not only has the potential to motivate the new volunteers by creating a positive experience but also has the potential to motivate the skilled workers by being able to share their knowledge and do their part to help build up their community and their profession. Other adaptability skills that would help the skilled workers in this scenario include flexibility to learning other crew members’ crafts and a willingness to work outside of your domain of expertise.

7.1. Flexibility

The construction sector is faced with an increasing demand for skilled construction workers and professionals. At the same time, central sector developments such as the transition to a low-carbon and circular economy demand a different mix of skills of the construction workforce. For the sector to meet the increased demand and to answer these developments, entrepreneurs, managers, and workers themselves will need to develop alongside each other. Optimal use can be made of opportunities by investing in the acquisition of the essential skills of workers, such as problem-solving, creativity, persistence, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, and negotiation by utilizing work-based learning programs.

One attribute necessary in any job is adaptability, especially in the dynamic construction sector. The interdependence between the adoption of new technologies and the response to new social challenges has wide implications for the employment, competences, and mobility of the construction workforce and for the operation of the sector as a whole. Flexibility in this regard indicates the ability to adapt to new challenges and technologies. There are different aspects of flexibility: Behavioral flexibility includes the ability to adapt behavior. Cognitive flexibility means that employees have cognitive and emotional flexibility. This implies that employees can accept change, adapt to new ideas and situations, and think in innovative and creative ways. At present, the focus in recruitment often lies on the acquisition of specific skills, in the sense that educational institutions or employers target specific job titles. Paying more attention to developing and supporting these essential skills seems important to maintain a competitive construction sector and foster work-based learning.

7.2. Resilience

Working in construction is always a tough job and you need calm and resilience even to start. Construction workers need to have what it takes to maintain their physical and emotional strength, especially because the way the job is carried out affects deadlines and the future of the company. It is important to know how to lead with the rigor of the activities and the extreme physical effort. Because the deadlines in construction are always quite tight, often the situation may require the person to do more work to be able to guarantee the end, always following a predefined quality standard. Knowing how to manage time well is essential, because knowing how to balance work and personal life is not simple, which can make you feel frustrated and demotivated. Building a solid career in construction requires excellent time management with calm and resilience.

The ability to remain focused on a construction project is an important factor that has a great influence on eventual success. It means to be resilient, to remain constant even working in adverse weather conditions, knowing how to deal with various stress and worry issues, and above all, knowing how to manage your workload. If you are the kind of person who is easily knocked down by the first method of being then, you need to ask yourself if you have what it takes to get into the construction site. Strong emotions and reactions to everything can be harmful to productivity and can also suffer damage.

7.3. Problem Adaptation

7.3.2. Innovation: Construction workers have limited access to career development—many professionals in this area have formal education that is limited to the equivalent of compulsory school and sometimes some additional post-secondary education. As a result, construction workers usually have little academic training, and often lack the ability to prove their knowledge to potential employers or customers. Workers build this capacity through career development, and apply ad hoc strategies using what one could call “entrenched knowledge”. Through interaction with more experienced workers, either informally or through structured notions of tacit knowledge, workers accumulate experiences over time that allow them to recognize solutions and support innovations on the execution of construction work.

7.3.1. Segmenting Work: There is no single response to emergencies like the current pandemic—countries have applied a wide range of measures, from hard lockdowns that prohibit most activities, to mild measures that only recommend people to avoid certain activities. However, it is a fact in most of these cases that workers have little margin to decide on how they can adjust their work to meet those challenges, other than immediate measures they may implement. Still, in more stable contexts, construction workers have some degree of freedom in the execution of their tasks. While a certain degree of standardization is necessary to ensure quality and match required specifications, workers can make a major contribution through the so-called ad hoc methods or changes.

8. Leadership Skills

Do you have the integrity to set the example or show the way, even if no one asked you to? Do you actively speak up in meetings to contribute your ideas or do you just sit there? Do you claim recognition for your own successes and give recognition to your teams for theirs? The answer to these and similar questions help determine if someone has initiative. When someone sees a job that needs to be done or an issue that requires attention, it is their responsibility to take the appropriate action. Individual groups or companies can do great things if everyone buys into the idea of being an “owner” or a leader in their role. The world of construction and the talent needed to perform the work that takes place within it is constantly evolving. With the focus of education mostly on the technical skills and knowledge development required in order to be a successful contributor to project teams, inactive or passive participation doesn’t cut it. Every worker must harness essential skills such as leadership, initiative, and efficiency in order to be a truly effective contributor.

There is a huge shortage in the construction industry when it comes to leadership. If leadership is the action of leading a group of people or an organization, then every employee is a leader in some capacity and should therefore seek out ways to develop themselves as such. The following are various leadership skills that every construction employee should develop in order to move themselves, their teams, and even their companies forward.

8.1. Decision Making

Construction, an accident- and injury-prone industry, relies heavily on the human capacity to make operational decisions. The decision is considered to be a fundamental process in human behavior. It involves a short period of gravity, which might depend on one or many factors before it is done. In general, decision making and problem solving, together with other cognitive skills, encompass and are encompassed by a complex network of mental activities that develop through such areas of focused attention, thinking, and planning. Worker safety, together with property preservation and work monitoring, is first and foremost a primary policy in all construction operations. Protection effort is minimized, and best practices play only a small part in the assignments requiring safety expectations to protect and support accidents. Demonstration can help to improve skillsets and support the overall training and educational needs of construction workers.

Practicing decision making and problem solving can help to improve skillsets and support the overall training and educational needs of construction workers. Problem solving is an internal or external operation in which the persons involved seek to modify their actual situation into the desired one. It involves finding a solution to a difficult situation, which may be a decision-making process developed through some internal task that must be accomplished once the construction team has found a specific problem. This process can be considered one of the most important cognitive skills and plays an essential role when applied to professionals across various domains. Decision making and problem solving usually involve several areas of the brain, resulting in strong cognitive processes.

8.2. Motivation

For many years, construction was a sector with the highest demand for workforce and production. Today, the construction sector faces many important challenges, including the large number of enterprises (mainly micro-enterprises), the lack of perspective or long-term planning, the low level of organization, the difficulties in contacting individual enterprises or suppliers of information, and education and training. In order to be successful in increasing students’ interest in construction and crafts, it is important to study their motives behind their choices.

Interest in VET has been fluctuating in the field of construction. According to Hasski (2013), the sector is not able to accommodate the flexible nature of the talent, and what is currently being taught is unsatisfactory. According to researchers, Greece has the advantage in specialized personnel, which offers vocational training. However, construction is not a popular sector for students, and it is difficult for research findings to convey the sense of what makes construction students separate from technical or technical areas (Stanik, 2008). Stanik argued that it was difficult for the construction industry to compete with other sectors in terms of pay, and unfortunately, students may be indifferent to construction such as working in a financial institution. Ushkov (2018) agrees with this problem, suggesting that a lack of interest in crafts is a common problem in many European countries.

The main differences between construction workers and other sectors can be linked to their higher rates of accidents and their exposure to manual handling. Lack of motivation and enthusiasm could be regarded as some of the key reasons why this sector shows a fluctuating interest in VET. VET could attract a wider range of students if students became more involved in, desired, and valued the completion of Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) VET projects. This may also include a greater focus on systems of values for students, in particular, the teaching of essential and innovative education elements in every subject alongside technical skills. It is suggested that NQF requests reflection and reaction studies for students who wish to participate meaningfully and be profitably integrated into all active educational, cultural, and social sectors.

Construction workers typically seek independence and flexibility, expect recognition and respect, and different levels of physical exertion and working hours from an occupation. They are also influenced by the terms of payment of wages and location of work. The only distinction is that each group has different roles and conclusions. For example, whereas safety is a priority for construction workers, engineers or architects may have different concerns.

Workers’ motives can be considered as a combination of general human traits, such as needs, prerequisites, values, and skills on the one hand, and individual phenomena and situations on the other. Every person working in any field seeks to meet some primary needs of his own. Each worker is motivated by a different context and not by the job itself.

8.3. Delegation

For people working in the fields of construction, which is considered a labor-intensive industry, delegation is key. Often the ratio of field supervisors or foremen to workers (craftsmen) can be between 1:8 and 1:20. These supervisors or foremen rely on the skill and expertise of the construction worker and delegate this type of decision-making to them. This is especially so when considering the fact that often the lead craftsman is related to the rest of the field staff, which often results in an accelerated trust level. Full delegation is having the authority and the responsibility of and for the decisions on the job task being performed by the employee. It allows employees to maintain the decision control power to act on behalf of themselves and the external environment while performing the job task. Full delegation is coupled with a mentor from the parent organization. Common in leadership positions, full delegation allows a mentee to have firsthand experiences and learn from them while simultaneously experiencing mentorship regarding the work.

Delegation is the assignment of responsibility and authority to another person (normally from a manager to a subordinate) to carry out specific activities. However, delegating involves much more than simply the manager deciding to be relieved of the responsibility and pass it on to someone else. When delegating, a manager is ultimately responsible for the delegated work, relinquishing some authority regarding a delegated task, investing trust in the subordinate to complete the delegated work, and directing the nature, purpose, and scope of the delegated work. Most construction industries also use another concept involving delegation, namely accountability. Once a manager delegates a task to an employee, the employee becomes accountable for its completion. The concept of delegation is extremely significant for people working within the construction sector. Demands for owners to review and approve a substantial amount of design and construction information have resulted in increased demand for more effective delegation of construction coordination responsibility. Also, the traditional and highly segmented contractual and liability lines that define a typical construction project compel several different construction organizations to work together to satisfy these demands. Proper delegation can help in this regard.

9. Continuous Learning Skills

2. Suffice it to say that you should take the opportunity to define measurable tasks wherever possible in the work that you do (or in the work that you may be expected to plan or supervise). Being able to identify the success criteria for a task is invaluable when you want to issue or follow up on instructions for others, and may avoid misunderstandings between you and your workmates before work is commenced. Setting measurable tasks is the foundation for your ability to monitor and report on the work you do or the work that you supervise. Next, take the time to check your work to assess whether it was performed to the company standards. This self-scrutiny saves supervisors from having to leave their own work to oversee yours and relieves them of the worry that quality will be maintained. Finally, having shown that you are responsible for completing quality work, you may eventually be given working plans and the materials and tools required to complete a whole task, or instructed to oversee others as they complete a task.

1. Review additional resources to help you keep up with environmental and technological changes. Read professional and industry journals, attend seminars, complete additional coursework on technological or environmental topics, and review Life Skills courses before and after the tree planting season.

9.1. Industry Knowledge

Estimating the gain from current teaching-combined experiences, teachers were able to produce the skills of college students, employees, employers, and customers visible as separate strengths taken into separate non-college coursework in order to learn from separate subject matter areas. As motivation has been widely known as a learning handicap in science, alternating academic competencies have been found to require motivation. Recent SISS research documents confirmed evidence that motivated students are skilled in proficiency with complex problem-solving in mathematics and science, conveying general education skills from science to variations mindset.

Teacher workers are prepared through a substantive general college preparation of equal importance to the core subject area of vocational preparation. Positive attitudes and achievements across subject matter areas produce the capability needed for the complex thinking increasingly demanded in the workplace. Manufacturers, parents, and employment industries worried about negative school working environment practices believed that general and special preparation in college curricula would eliminate the perception and concern.

Managers and organizations need to ensure that the resources are used to build the skilled infrastructure needed to meet future business challenges. Entry-level workers frequently do not have the basic skills necessary for workplace success and, hence, the resources to teach these basics are reallocated from other areas. By teaching these basic skills to young people and young adults, teachers and programs could better meet occupational and workplace expectations. Employers have difficulty identifying these “career-ready” youth among an adult population frequently not employed in competitive work experiences.

9.2. Professional Development

Teaching the habit of learning and lifelong learning within a learning environment is the ultimate goal of each learning unit. But attitudes that support and reinforce these skills can be nurtured and supported through developing a “pact” among employer, journeypersons (who may also be recent-graduate crafts students), and apprentices. Involvement and expectations of the journey workforce are essential to creating a shared perception of the value of education that can carry beyond the individual few who are engaged in formalized education. A commitment of the journey workforce as well as apprentices gives instant credibility to education and places the employer’s commitment of resources in a positive light. Full attendance and active participation serve to reinforce the value of the learning environment.

Developing the skills of all workers in the construction industry is essential. Professional development programs for all workers involved in building projects will enhance performance and efficiency of the team. The first step necessary in growing and preserving any business is for the owner to clearly understand the value of personal professional development. Whether the owner is an engineer, a general building contractor who works with highly trained craftspeople, or a skilled tradesman who contracts directly with the public, the value of personal continuous improvement supports competitive advantage. An apprentice, by definition of being brand new to a career, will quickly grasp an employer’s attitudes about education. Stepping back, setting attainable business objectives, and developing a plan to achieve those objectives reinforces the messages from early formal education and positively impacts how one’s workplace will be perceived as a learning environment.

9.3. Learning Strategies

Depending on your goals, previous experiences, and preferences, you may implement techniques and some advice shared by teachers, tutors, other co-workers, peers, study guides, or you may seek coaching. Do not be afraid to ask for help from your supervisors or from those who are knowledgeable and want to help. Knowing how and having good study habits can help you make better use of your study time, so do not advance your learning.

3. Study techniques: Review the best study techniques for you and use them. Try to answer questions as you read the texts or the guides. Work by making a certain number of questions and answering assignments before activities in the classroom or tests.

2. Active participation: Find ways of making notes or sketching, asking questions, relating new learning with prior learning and experiences, and summarizing, reflecting, and sharing ideas.

1. Agenda: Create and use an agenda (what to do and when). Prepare in a visual rug or other system that works for you.

Many of us struggle with how to best use our study time, which is why it is important to have good strategies and set goals. Setting long and short-term academic goals can keep you motivated and can also help increase your confidence in achieving what you set out to do. Time management is important, including how to best use limited study time, as focusing on getting things done in small amounts of time is of particular concern to construction workers who often have a very full schedule. You will learn memory techniques and tools that will help you remember material better and be more successful in your studies.

10. Conclusion

Those who study success within the industry often, at some point, dismiss or downplay technical skills. The long-term goal of the industry should be not to have construction workers who are pros at using the tools, but those who are able to make good decisions using the available techniques and processes. But what is in the best interests of having skilled construction workers? Would we accept a doctor who did not have the ability to decide whether a patient had the flu or a more complicated illness? Day One graduates do not have that expertise, and the similarity between a first-year young doctor and a first-year worker is the same. If experts or master workmen are required, they must be developed; it is not something that a person reaches in the course of a day of training. The solution may lie in developing these experts through projects that teach and develop expert skills. It is time for industry, the educators, and administrators, however, to realize the need to change the training education paradigms in favor of developing a pool of skilled and competent workers.

Having seen the list of essential skills required of a construction worker, one is immediately struck by the multifaceted nature of the skill set. Precisely how one teaches such a complex skill set is the nub of the issue. Educators often believe that by teaching some concepts about a set of ideas (such as Engineering Drawing), those students will be able to calculate a skill. But is that true? It is only teaching models! If one expects to extract system schematic designers from a group of students, one cannot simply teach the concepts. It is time for educators to think more deeply about the emerging set of problem solvers that are required in the workforce. What are the educational requirements? How does a student acquire the level of skill required? When and where do they learn? The introduction of computers in the early 1980s forced the shift from teaching facts to learning how to learn. That shift in thinking is required again if we are to have skilled construction workers.