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Wed September 19 2018

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Porr tackles skills shortage by building its own educational campus

5 days Austria-based major contractor Porr has begun construction of an educational campus aimed at tackling the shortage of skilled labour and the battle for the best talent.

Training sessions at the campus are set to begin in September 2019.

“Only those who implement the appropriate measures today will win the battle for the best talent and thereby remain competitive in future”, said Porr CEO Karl-Heinz Strauss. “Construction is a people business. Every individual counts, as it is only possible to deliver superlative achievements in a team that is highly motivated and exceptionally well-educated. With our new educational campus we are ensuring that our staff members are fit for the future and that their know-how is always completely up to date”. 

Cross-sector digitalisation is at the top of the agenda for Austrian companies – including construction - and is currently being explored more intensively than any other issue, said Porr. Recruitment requirements for employees are rising steadily as the result of ever more complex processes at work in the construction industry, it said. At the same time, attracting and retaining skilled workers is becoming ever more of a challenge in the building sector.

At the educational campus, Porr will offer every apprentice an additional internal training course for three weeks per year. This should help to increase the number of apprentices from the current 4% to 5% in the short term and to 8% in the medium term.

Personnal development for skilled workers also plays a key part at the educational campus. Porr will be offering skilled workers and labourers a broad range of further training opportunities both in terms of vocational expertise and soft skills.

In addition to multiple classrooms and a workshop of around 500m², the compound will also house halls of residence with about 50 beds together with sports and leisure facilities. The curriculum will cover practice and theory that is more difficult to convey on the construction site itself. This will include training on how to handle state-of-the-art construction materials, smart machinery and an introduction to the new world of work. In addition, school pupils will be able to form their own first impressions on a building site through a range of taster days.

“Today the career opportunities in the construction industry are at least as diverse as the range of different specialisations that apprentices can strive for in this sector,” said the mayor of Vienna,  Michael Ludwig. “The pilot project in Vienna Simmering underlines the appeal of apprenticeships in construction as well as the appeal of Vienna as a site for training.”

“Digitalisation has far-reaching consequences on both construction apprenticeships and on job profiles in the building sector,” said Michaela Schindler, apprenticeship expert for the Federal Guild of Construction. “Highly skilled experts are always in demand in the construction business. Practically no other sector offers job and career opportunities that are as good as those in construction. Companies have to employ holistic educational concepts in order to counter the lack of skilled labour in a timely manner and motivate talented youngsters to take up apprenticeships in construction."

MPU

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