Document Detail

Title: RS231-1 - Construction Industry Craft Training in the United States and Canada
Publication Date: 8/1/2007
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Tool
Pages: 36
Views craft training as where safety training was in the early 1990s: an investment now can pay big dividends. Presents the business case for craft training, including a benefit/cost ratio analysis. Includes checklists (for owner, employee, trainee, and journeyman) that can be used as basis for pre-qualification, work force development, self-improvement, and more.
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Enhanced craft training is where safety training was 15 years ago. Safety improvements garnered much attention then, and efforts to improve the skills of the industry’s work force are now receiving similar attention. Improving safety resulted in large payoffs, and continuing to emphasize safety is the right thing to do. Evidence exists that craft training pays off just as well.

CII established the Construction Industry Craft Training Research Team to examine construction craft training. The team concludes that each dollar invested in craft training can yield $1.30 to $3.00 in benefits. The benefits accrue in the form of increased productivity and reductions in turnover, absenteeism, rework, and other areas.

Since the 1980s, the average age of craft workers has continued to climb. Currently, real wages are rising rapidly and could attract new entrants, who unfortunately may stay only briefly. Craft training will be one major way to retain these new entrants in the construction profession and make them fully productive.

A large body of evidence shows that construction craft training can be effective in a broad range of circumstances. The research presented here shows that the business case for craft training improves the longer craft workers are engaged in training.

Some owners have begun requiring craft training and certification for all craft workers. Current shortages of certified workers are driving up wages, which will attract new craft workers to enter the profession. These new workers will need training in construction basics and will benefit greatly from mentoring and formal on-the-job training programs. When new craft workers recognize that efforts on their part to obtain training pay off in higher wages, they will make the sacrifices necessary to move ahead.

This CII study received financial support from the Construction Users Round Table (CURT) and the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).