Education and Training (Archived)

RT-014b Topic Summary
RT 014b


Human resources are the most valuable aspect of any effort to upgrade productivity and quality control. Therefore, to attain the goal of more and better construction for the money, it is necessary to upgrade the supply and preparedness of human operatives at all levels. 

The CII Education and Training Task Force was charged to determine the education and training requirements to meet the needs of the construction industry in the 1990s and beyond. The scope of this study effort includes addressing the effectiveness of existing programs, types of training, worker certification, attractiveness of construction as a career, management development, and responsibility for funding the necessary improvements. 

Widely held perceptions of the study respondents are that current education and training at all levels are not adequate to meet the needs of the construction industry, and that the problem is particularly acute in view of the anticipated emergence of more complex technologies. 

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Continuing Education

Education and training are viewed as a continuum over a career. Formal education provides approximately 30 percent of the preparation needed to perform in a career, thus it should concentrate on fundamental knowledge and skill development in communications and problem solving. Beyond formal education, a combination of special training and on-the-job experience should provide the other 70 percent of career preparation through ongoing individual improvement and adaptation to the changing needs of the industry and of society at large. Continuing education is lifelong. (SP14-2, p. v)
Reference: (SP14-2)

2 : Construction Industry Hierarchy and Skills

Construction functions within a hierarchy of occupational levels and each level has identifiable skills and traits which are required for adequate performance. The levels and titles, from senior executive to sub-journeyman, are in general broadly accepted in the U.S. construction industry, and the required skills and traits also have wide general understanding. (SP14-2, p. 27)
Reference: (SP14-2)

3 : Short-term and Long-term Strategies

A path forward and blueprint for action should include both a short-term strategy and a long-term strategy. The highest immediate priority is craft training, followed by attraction of youth to construction careers, improvement of jobsite supervisory personnel, and expansion of management training beyond college. (SP14-2, p. vi)

The long-term strategy involves improvement of primary/secondary education including vocational training, review of two- and four-year college curricula, and emphasis on unified continuing education programs. 

Reference: (SP14-2)

4 : Retention and Recruitment

Retention is as important as recruitment. All parties to construction should recognize that retention of good workers is as important as recruitment, and that training is an important aspect of retention. As workers become well trained and thus have investment in careers, they tend to stay longer in those careers. (SP14-2, p. 52)
Reference: (SP14-2)

5 : Reward

A positive relationship exists among training, rewards, and career development. The task force feels that improved training will lead to improved rewards and longer construction careers. (SP14-2, p. vii)
Reference: (SP14-2)

6 : Implementation Tool # 1

SP14-2, An Assessment of Education and Training Needs Among Construction Personnel
Education and training are viewed as a continuum over a career.  This publication provides a blueprint for improvement with both a short-term and long-term strategy.
  • Short-term strategy focus on immediate returns such as craft training, attract and retain new works, jobsite supervision and management training among others.
  • Long-term strategy focus extended to primary/secondary education, vocational education, college level curricula and continuing education.
Reference: (SP14-2)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved employee retention, Improved employee productivity, Improved employee recruitment, Improved employee performance, Improved quality

Research Publications

An Assessment of Education and Training Needs Among Construction Personnel - SP14-2

Publication Date: 04/1992 Type: Special Publication Pages: 64 Status: Archived Tool