Workforce and Training

FT-08 Topic Summary
FT 08


This research effort focuses on “Lessons Learnt” relating to the end user acceptance of mobile IT within the UK construction industry, developing core technology competencies around mobile IT, and user acceptance of mobile IT to provide recommendations for improving the technology readiness of construction industry graduates.

Further, it is to gain a better understanding of the current challenges related to training the next generation of graduates in the face of a shortage of qualified personnel in the engineering and construction field. Among the reasons identified for this shortage is the lack of communication that exists between academia and industry about the core competencies necessary for the future workforce as they graduate from current construction management programs.

To prepare the construction industry to be in a position to negate the effect of a shortage of qualified personnel, industry and academia must work together to train and educate the next generation workforce to take their position. Productivity increases for construction will be needed to ensure that capital projects continue to meet the needs of owners in a cost-effective manner.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is proving to be a promising technology that will have an impact on the delivery process of the architectural, engineering and construction community, and is revolutionizing the way facility projects are designed, constructed, and eventually operated and maintained. The industry is moving toward the implementation of BIM as part of a more collaborative delivery process and the educational process needs to seek ways to implement BIM into the construction management curricula. This research explored the needs of industry related to the skills desired for new hires and how educational institutions can help (E8-4, page 36).

The research consisted of two phases:

  1. The first phase identified the core competencies requested by the construction industry for college graduates entering the workforce. 
  2. The second phase identified best practices and cataloged instructional techniques utilized. Recommendations for improvements to more closely align academic programs with industry needs identified are included.

Industry partners should be involved in the academic process to input their needs/desires for graduates from the universities and should offer assistance to construction programs that are implementing or seeking to implement BIM, BIM related courses, or other related Technologies such as laser scanning, RFID, etc. (E8-4, page 36).

In summary, and as outlined by the FIATECH Capital Projects Technology Roadmap, a technology and knowledge-enabled workforce is key to advancing the use of technology within the construction industry, ultimately reducing time and cost for the project lifecycle. Workers in all functions of the capital projects enterprise will be enabled by technology that assists them in doing their jobs more effectively.

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Industry Response Indicating Sector

As seen in Figure 12, the majority of the respondents (47%) represented Engineering Construction (EC) Firms and 25% represented combined Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) firms. The companies are located in the US, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. The majority of companies (66%) are large companies, with over 5000 personnel and gross revenues of over $1 billion annually. The BIM software would benefit the large companies since they are involved in both the design and construction phases of a project (E8-4, page 17).

2 : Future Use of BIM for Current Non-users

From the respondents to the survey, 56% indicated that they use a Building Information Modeling (BIM) software. Of those who indicated that they do not currently use BIM in their company, 46% plan on using BIM in the future (see Figure 13). This indicates that approximately 77% of companies ultimately foresee using BIM in their future work (E8-4, page 18).

3 : BIM Software Used by Industry

With several different vendors of BIM software for the AEC industry, the majority of the respondents use Bentley products (85%) with approximately half of the respondents (48%) utilizing Autodesk products. Respondents also indicated they use other software including Archicad, AVEVA, VICO (see Figure 14) (E8-4, page 18).

4 : Which Tasks Industry Uses BIM to Do

Most companies use BIM for design, concept development, and construction documents. Fewer companies use BIM for scheduling, estimating, and the procurement process (see Figure 16) (E8-4, page 19).

5 : Industry’s Expectation of New Hire Knowledge

As indicated in Figure 15, the majority of companies (70%) expect new hires to have a working knowledge of 2D line drawings for use as construction documents, more than the ability to develop and work with conceptual modeling (56%) (E8-4, page 19).

6 : Implementation Tool: Fiatech Capital Projects Technology Roadmap

Fiatech Capital Projects Technology Roadmap (E8-4, page 7)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved productivity, improved cost, improved schedule, improved quality, improved project information

Related Resources

A Summary of “Lessons Learnt” Relating to the End User Acceptance of Mobile IT within the UK Construction Industry (E8-1)

Publication Date: 09/2007 Resource Type: Fiatech Publication Source: FT-08

Developing Core Technology Competencies: A FIATECH Research Report (E8-4)

Publication Date: 09/2009 Resource Type: Fiatech Publication Source: FT-08

User Acceptance of Mobile IT – Phase II (E8-5)

Publication Date: 03/2012 Resource Type: Fiatech Publication Source: FT-08