Do your foundation skills meet employment standards?

Posted by Design & Construct on 28 Jan 2016, 15:17:07

In Architecture, Construction, Engineering, Labour Hire

Regardless of whether you are looking for employment in the construction, engineering or project management sectors, there are always niche industry skills that will set your application apart from the crowd.

However, before thinking about these skill sets, a recently released report suggest that candidates need to work harder on their foundation skills in literacy and numeracy. In any industry job, basic skills should be a given, but analysing global statistics reveals Australia is well behind worldwide averages.

Poor skills, poor results

The Tackling Foundation Skills in the Workforce report published by the Australian Industry Group polled more than 300 employers and found that the majority (93 per cent) were encountering issues because employees hadn't grasped basic literacy and numeracy skills.

"These results indicate a deepening concern about the level of foundation skills in the workforce."

Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, explained that this hurts the entire country, not just the business in question.

"These results indicate a deepening concern about the level of foundation skills in the workforce and a continuing drag on the nation's productivity," he said.

"As Australia continues to evolve towards the digital economy, increasingly more sophisticated skills within the workforce are required. The rapid expansion of ICT skills and technological advancement is changing the nature of employment."

According to the report, the lack of literacy and numeracy skills is commonly highlighted as the reason for poor completion of workplace documents. This problem was cited by 42 per cent of respondents.

Other issues which surface include material errors and wastage (32 per cent) and communication/teamwork complications (28 per cent).

Basic literacy and numeracy skills must improve in Australia.
Basic literacy and numeracy skills must improve in Australia.

STEM skills - an issue among younger workers

Based on information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are more than 250,000 school leavers entering either higher study or the workplace. This should represent good skills entering the market, but PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Young Workers Index cites that the country's STEM knowledge is falling compared to other countries.

In the latest report released at the end of November, Australia ranked 17th in the OECD in employment where STEM skills are vital. This is four places lower than in the last findings.

"Australia now ranks lower than all other OECD countries in the Asia-Pacific. We are well and truly middle of the pack among the 34 nations despite holding firm at 13th place between 2006 and 2011, during the worst of the global financial crisis," PwC Australia Economics and Policy Partner Jeremy Thorpe said.

In 2016, it will prove key for all candidates to ensure their STEM and basic skills are up to standard. If you would like more assistance with finding a job for your skill set, contact the helpful consultants at Design & Construct today.