Assessment of current and future critical skills in the South African construction industry

Innocent Musonda, Chioma Okoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The role of skills development in attaining productivity and competitiveness in industry and global level cannot be overemphasized in the construction sector. The study aims to evaluate the critical skills needed in the construction industry. Design/methodology/approach: A quantitative study was conducted, and data were collected using questionnaires distributed amongst construction professionals including project managers, construction managers, quantity surveyors, architects and engineers based in South Africa. The data amassed were analysed to output descriptive statistics. The skills were ranked according to the level of priority as perceived by the respondents. Findings: Findings from the empirical data analysis established that the critical skills needed within the construction industry at present and in the future are health and safety competence, decision-making, leadership and problem-solving skills. On the other hand, public speaking, big data mining and Internet of things (IoT) were not considered to be critical. Practical implications: These findings indicated that even with technological advancements, managerial skills are needed to ensure that projects are delivered successfully. Originality/value: The study sheds more light on skills considered critical at present and which might be relevant in the future. The study signposts the importance of critical skills to an individual and the entire construction industry. Efforts can be made to ensure that relevant critical skills for high output are emphasized and planning can be made for future and predicted construction industry workforce needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1067
Number of pages13
JournalHigher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2021


  • Construction industry
  • Performance
  • Productivity
  • Skills shortage
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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