An investigation into the poor image of the construction industry and its effect on the sustainability of the industry.
The construction industry is an important role player in any country. Past research has shown that the industry suffers from a poor image which, inter alia, resulted in a lack of new entrants. A quarterly survey conducted by the Construction Industry Development board (CIDB) showed that over 50% of survey respondents recorded a severe shortage in skilled labour. The objective of this study was to determine how young people viewed the construction industry, how employers and employees within the industry viewed construction, whether companies were involved in promoting the industry, and if the industry was attractive as a career choice to high school students. The literature reviewed stated that the construction industry was globally suffering from a poor image and critical shortage of skills. The literature provided the researcher with a number of factors which contributed to the industry’s poor image. These factors were empirically tested against the opinions of high school students and employers and employees in construction via questionnaires. Interviews were conducted with industry professionals who had over 20 years of industry experience. The interviews allowed insight into the image and what has made it poor. It also indicated that there was little being done to promote careers in the industry. The industry did have a poor image from the perceptions of high school students, employers and employees. Very few students indicated a willingness to work in construction. The lack of new entrants, shortage of skilled labour and lack of promotion were not conducive to a sustainable industry. The dissertation ends with recommendations for addressing the issue of the image from the perspective of high school students and recommendations for further research.
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