A study into L&D trends in the construction sector by Thales Learning & Development has revealed that an overwhelming 82% of respondents believe the construction industry is experiencing a skills gap.
In addition, 94% of respondents agree that Learning & Development (L&D) is a very important factor in retaining talent in order to help overcome the skills gap.
The research, which surveyed HR decision-makers in the UK construction industry, finds that employee retention is the main driver for investing in L&D (52%); however, boosting productivity (50%) and upskilling employees (44%) are also deemed important.
“The UK has always had a strong heritage in the construction industry and it is key that we continue to develop the people within it to help the industry to thrive”, said Lyndon Wingrove, Director of Capability & Consulting, Thales Learning & Development. “By having a structured L&D programme in place and understanding the benefits it can bring in terms of retaining and attracting talent, construction organisations can future-proof their businesses.”
Currently 50% of L&D is being delivered through classroom learning which is predicted to marginally decrease to 47% in 2015. In parallel, online learning is expected to increase with adoption of e-learning expected to go up from 13% to 17% and webinars increasing from 7% to 9%, suggesting that the use of technology in training delivery is increasing in popularity.
Wingrove continued: “A particularly interesting finding from the research is the expected increase in online learning. Our research found that the biggest barrier when delivering learning in the construction industry is actually getting access to employees (34%) as they often work on site or across various locations. It’s great to see that the industry is overcoming this challenge and embracing technology to ensure people get the training they need, not just in terms of compliance but also long term career development.”