When we created the OHBA Job Ready Program, we knew that what we were going to offer was unique. Though our participants often have no prior experience in construction, we equip them with the technical skills and wrap-around support they need to build a career in the industry.
Participants complete ministry-required health and safety and construction fundamentals training, the costs of which are supported by the program to take the financial burden off of their employers. What the participants may lack in traditional experience, they make up for with enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn. These types of transferable skills quickly become their greatest asset.
Brian Cooke of Air Sealing Professionals saw this first hand: “[The Job Ready participants] really brought a general enthusiasm to learn and from there really helped our company through an exciting growth period.”
David Calder of Blue Valley Building also observed these transferable skills in action: “Although almost all of our Job Ready employees had very limited experience in construction, they were open-minded and very safety conscious. These employees are really cognizant of the need to be detailed and take pride in their work.”
Soft Skills Needed in Construction
As participants gain more experience on job sites during their six month placements we maintain a feedback loop with employers to gather their suggestions along the way. The most common ask from employers is clear- the importance of soft skills on the job site.
Their feedback is consistent with larger data sets. In job platform Monster’s The Future of Work 2021: Global Hiring Outlook, the four top skills desired by employers surveyed across industries were
In other words, all soft skills. We call them power skills.
Construction Skills Plus Power Skills Equals Success
Technical skills may increase immediate employability, but developing power skills like resilience and emotional literacy was also important for participants to progress in their placements. And power skills like communication and initiative turn good employees into great team players.
To better prepare our participants for their careers, we offer additional power skills training on emotional literacy and resilience, conflict resolution, and work ethics. These sessions take place during the participants’ work placements to ensure that they have options to pursue their professional development.
Participants learn how to understand and cope with challenging emotions, express their feelings effectively, and what to do when they feel stress. An entry level workforce that is emotionally resilient and communicates well will make the future of the industry more inclusive and psychologically safe.
Participants who develop their power skills alongside the role-specific technical skills they learned on the jobsite set themselves up for a long and successful career in the construction industry.
To find out how we help participants build up their power skills in a safe environment, learn more about the wrap-around support they receive throughout and after their placements.