Japan Builders Trying to Carry Veteran Skills to Young

Here's an interesting little construction tid-bit I came across in regards to practices of training the younger workforce entering the construction industry. The following information was supplied by LexisNexis: Japanese construction firms are acting to carry veteran workers' skills and knowledge to young staff as they are concerned about a shrinking workforce at a time when baby boomers are retiring. Taisei Corp. has started deploying retired employees in building and engineering work sites to teach young staff. In May last year, Shimizu Corp. started letting veteran staff visit construction sites regularly to give advice. The company launched workshops in February to allow workers to share improvements in skills. Tobishima Corp. has appointed over 30 veterans, mainly in their 50s, as skill keepers. "We hope to surely preserve Tobishima's DNA," a company official said. According to the Japan Civil Engineering Contractors Association, five major Japanese constructors are expected to lose 12,000 workers together for compulsory retirement over seven years starting in 2005. I like the concept of "skill keepers." The thought of how you are going to replace your aging workforce may have been pushed to the back burner in the recent market, but now may be the time to start crafting your plan on how the skills and knowldge of your older employees don't leave with the workers but get passed down and remain in your crews.

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