Someone has to take charge
COMPANIES in engineering and construction are in desperate need of project managers, says Lisa Barry, national partner in charge of human capital with Deloitte.
‘‘ Everyone talks constantly about the shortage of engineers, but one thing that is often overlooked is the equal shortage of project managers,’’ she says.
‘‘ It’s such a serious issue - they are at least as short as engineers in all the key areas.’’
For semi- skilled and unskilled workers, the current situation presents some great opportunities.
For longer than most people can remember, the construction industry has relied on huge pools of casual and often very mobile workers for its projects. Now, with this resource all but gone, workers in these areas can easily forge themselves a career.
‘‘ Pay is getting pretty strong but there is also an opportunity for unskilled people to learn some skills along the way,’’ Ms Barry adds.
‘‘ As an employee, they could grab the fast money but if they’re smart about it they can see which of these organisations can do what for them. There is a good argument for semi- skilled and non- skilled workers at the moment - all the trades and all the professionals are just maxed out.’’
A positive flow- on effect from the shortage of unskilled and semi- skilled workers in construction an engineering is that this segment of the labour market is now empowered to exert pressure on employers to improve their standards for things like safety.
‘‘ Obviously, employees need to do the right thing by themselves first and make sure they are only working with safety- aware employers,’’ says Ms Barry.
‘‘ We’re seeing with the skills shortage that all the of reputational issues are starting to come into position.
‘‘ One of the most interesting questions we have now is ‘ How are employees responding to the skills shortage? ’’