Why are builders fleeing from Ukraine and what to do about it?

Why are builders fleeing from Ukraine and what to do about it?

Today in the construction market there is a sharp lack of professionals in absolutely all areas. If we conditionally divide the personnel into workers, management and designers, then among the first group it is quite difficult to find qualified workers.

Experienced specialists try to leave, and the young are reluctantly hired. There is a certain natural selection: in order to get a job, a “green” employee needs to be able to quickly learn, admit his mistakes, correct himself and quickly introduce modern technologies and processes. There is also the so-called “elite” – they do not seek to leave the country, they are passed from hand to hand, as high-class specialists, and often it is they who dictate their conditions to the employer.

For both the second and third directions, the education system has changed significantly – it has become less quality, highly specialized and at the same time does not lay down the skills of self-development and training, the development of strategies and ways to solve problems.

Over the past 4 months, we conducted more than 50 interviews for the position of architect – not a single specialist under the age of 35 was able to provide evidence of their professional activities at least at the average performing level. The main problem is a narrow conceptualization of the task: if there is a task to work out the node, then the applicant does not even try to go beyond the node and understand its impact on the project – he simply does not think that this is his task. If earlier one could hear rational proposals, see the initiative, now the concepts of “no one owes nothing to anyone” are prevailing “this is not my area of responsibility”.

After Ukraine gained independence, a trend has emerged in everything to look at the West – at their training format, at their approach to doing business. But the attempt to reorient to the Western model of education did not take into account either our reality, mentality, or standard of living and security. Therefore, in the end we got several generations of underspecialists. Personnel hunger is already the result of a bilateral problem: there is no professional training, on the one hand, and the desire of the investor/owner to get a ready-made professional right away, on the other hand.

Entrepreneurs do not want to invest in long-running projects and wait for dividends in the form of competent specialists. It takes from 3 to 7 years (training plus practice). There is also a high risk that a trained specialist will then be lured to a higher salary. In addition, to raise a specialist, you need a strong corporate culture, the spirit and faith of the company in its employee.

Yes, today there are a lot of different master classes and continuing education courses. Is it informative? Of course. Does it help? As the result shows, no. There is a tendency – during any crisis, like mushrooms after the rain, courses and programs usually grow that promise to tell the most golden rules and the most correct steps to learn the truth of the business and will certainly lead to success. People want to get simple instructions, but none of the programs is responsible for the result, so there is no result. But there are certainly exceptions. I know several real programs where they struggle to ensure that the listener comes out as a specialist, and not just listen to the course, as it is actually written in all certificates.

But the situation can be changed. It is necessary to create a social project with the participation of the state – to oblige a certain part of the construction business to take students to practice, using social advertising, to increase the importance and respect for working specialties, to motivate continuous learning and growth, starting from school to conduct career counseling classes. This will keep the person motivated in their development, which is so lacking today. After all, the state is primarily people!

Elena Yampolska, Chief Project Engineer, Project Manager of the development company DC Evolution

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