One of the few things politicians of all persuasions agree on is that the country needs investment in its infrastructure to ensure that we have the systems in place to take us into the future. While they argue about how much and so on, for the construction industry as the plan for infrastructure takes shape, it is having a dramatic effect.
There are several areas where such large construction plans matter, and one of the main ones is the skill shortage that needs to be addressed. In almost every aspect of construction connected industry, from truck drivers to haul materials through to skilled heavy machinery operators to work on site, there are shortages of people with the appropriate skills.
Construction throughout the country hit new highs at the end of 2017, with over $1 trillion in November, and with government infrastructure construction spend yet to really get moving, there is much more to come. Everything from housing, where demand is high but inventory being low, through to major infrastructure projects are coming online requiring more people and more skills.
The lack of skills is a problem all over the country, and this became apparent last year after contractors struggled to recruit skilled staff in the response to Hurricane Harvey, and those problems persist today in almost every state. It is not just a recruitment problem for today either, with many skilled professions in the building trade having an average age of 50, this is a long-term issue that is now becoming a critical problem.
For those looking for a career though, this problem definitely represents an opportunity, and for those willing to learn those in demand skills, whether that is craftsmen, heavy machinery operators, crane operators and everything in between, there is much to enjoy about the coming infrastructure spend. Gaining those skills is a commitment of course, but with vocational schools now back on the political agenda and awareness that there is an alternative to college to build a career, it is one people are beginning to choose.
With a skill shortage, these are careers that are paying increasingly well, and with the construction projects put in place over these next few years often stretching out into decades long commitments, they are also able to offer a level of job security that many other areas cannot hope to match.
The ability to be a part of projects that will shape the future of the country is an amazing opportunity for anyone today, and with the right skills, even in the 21st century, you can still leave your mark on this great land.