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TECHNICAL AND SKILLED MANPOWER AS PREQUISITE FOR ENHANCED PRODUCTIVIY IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

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International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET)
Volume 10, Issue 03, March 2019, pp. 726–742, Article ID: IJCIET_10_03_070
Available online at http://www.iaeme.com/ijmet/issues.asp?JType=IJCIET&VType=10&IType=3
ISSN Print: 0976-6308 and ISSN Online: 0976-6316
© IAEME Publication
Scopus Indexed
TECHNICAL AND SKILLED MANPOWER AS
PREQUISITE FOR ENHANCED PRODUCTIVIY
IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
Aigbe Fortune
Physical Planning Department, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State
Ikpefan, Ochei Ailemen
Professor, Department of Banking & Finance, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State
Egolum, C.C
Professor, Department of Estate Management, UNIZIK, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
ABSTRACT
The present difficulties, in getting competent and seasoned craftsmen, to work on
construction sites, calls for great concern. Nigeria, being a developing country with
the potentials for a geometric population growth that would culminate to an attendant
rise in the quest for shelter. would require the services of adequate and competent
skilled workmen to meet these need. Presently, the construction industry is
experiencing skill shortage, the experienced hands are ageing and retiring, the
apprenticeship scheme is outmoded and unstructured while many youths prefer other
quick money making ventures than learning skills. The emphasis on skill instruction in
technical colleges has become secondary. An appreciable percentage of the available
hands seem to be incompetent and half-baked. This study, therefore aims at analyzing
how technical skilled manpower serves as prerequisite for enhanced productivity in
the Nigerian construction. The methodology involves survey design, review of related
literatures, structured questionnaires. The sample techniques involved purposive
sampling techniques. Data were analyzed using mean and rank order; while Chisquare was employed in testing the hypothesis. The findings revealed that there are
basically these categories of skills which are: Professionals, eg. Architects, Builders,
Crafts and Tradesmen, e.g. Tilers, Machines/Equipment Operators, etc. Among the
factors responsible for skill shortage are: low wages, high cost of training, etc. The
impacts of such shortages are: increase in cost of construction and delay in time of
project delivery/completion. This study therefore, recommends improved
technological awareness, improved incentives for skilled personnel in the construction
industry in order to encourage them for improved productivity and also reduce
attrition.
Key words: Technical Skill, Productivity, Construction Industry, Construction
Management, Virtual reality.
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Cite this Article: Aigbe Fortune, Ikpefan, Ochei Ailemen, Egolum, C.C, Technical
and Skilled Manpower as Prequisite for Enhanced Productiviy in the Construction
Industry, International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology 10(3), 2019, pp.
726–742.
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1. INTRODUCTION
In the 21st century of rapid technological development; professionals in the construction
industry requires insight on new ways of doing things more than ever before because the
scripture says the people perish for lack of knowledge. Since 2000, new ways have evolved in
the construction industry. In the past, absence of technical skilled manpower has led to
collapse in household and public buildings. Since the discovery of oil and the subsequent oil
boom, the Nigerian construction industry has experienced changes in terms of volume and
complexity of work with the emergence and construction of mega projects in terms of road
construction, buildings, bridges, dams, sewage plants. Therefore, the need for the training,
development and consistent provision of local manpower is expedient, owing to the fact that
most of the technology of construction are comprised of both local and imported.
Construction is the activity which creates all types of new buildings and engineered
structures, as well as the maintenance and/or repair of existing facilities (Wallis, 2002).
Rafael, Jennifer , Dana , Gabriel , Wei Zhou & Aviad (2015) study shows that consultation
and dialogue with an experienced construction professional are highly beneficial for building
construction.
Construction is viewed as a convenient tool for regulating the economy in most countries
due to its industry – relative large investment requirement (Ojo & Dada, 2005). The
construction industry is categorized into two, i.e. the building construction industry and the
civil engineering construction industry. The construction industry plays a key role in the
economy of every country contributing a lot of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The
Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics estimated that construction in
Nigeria contributed 3.2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). A nation‟s economy is reflected
by the robustness of its construction industry (opoko and Ali,2005, Rafael et al2015) and the
activities of the industry goes a long way in determining a nations socio economic quest of
providing shelter, infrastructure and employment for its citizens. According to the National
Bureau of statistics, the percentage of the total workforce in Nigeria employed in the
construction industry was 0.61% in 2010, up from 0.55% in 2016.
Besides shortage of skilled manpower other factors expected to drive the construction
industry in Nigeria are: General Economic Growth and Increased Economic Activity (such as
the development and mining industry), rapid urbanization, demographic and housing demand
and the increasing popularity of private public partnership worldwide. The projected inflow of
investment into the construction industry in Nigeria (which would attain $9.4 billion in 2021)
could be threatened by the present skill shortage in the construction industry according to the
2012 first quarter report of Business monitor international.
Skill is the ability to perform a task to a predefined level of competence (Frogner, 2002);
while Leitch (2006) defined skill as capabilities and expertise in a particular
occupation/activity but the pervasiveness of abandoned projects has assumed an alarming
proportion in Nigeria. Areghan, Ochei Ikpefan, (2016) posited that in a bid to improve their
infrastructure some projects have been abandoned because of paucity of funds.
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Construction related skill can be classified into two (2) broad categories: namely trades
construction and other construction related skills and the management, finance, business and
administration, scientific and technical occupations such as architects and civil engineers
(Kwantlen University College et al, 2010) while Obuks (2007) categorize construction skills
as hard and soft skills; Soft skills are transferrable and/or hard skill which are nontransferable. Some examples of soft skills are communication and team work; while an
example of a non-transferable skill is technical trade. In the construction industry, site
activities vary from the simplest to the complex, hence adequate training and supply of
sufficient number of competent and skilled workers in the form of craftsmen and artisans
becomes an essential tool for good quality product delivery.
In the construction industry, semi-skilled, skilled and unskilled workers make up a major
component of the labour requirement; and the various tasks they perform eventually
determine the quality of products. Therefore, in order to ensure the smooth flow of activities
on construction sites and the incessant production of good quality work, then the training and
development of this group of workers is expedient. Construction skilled workers are a major
resource for construction output; therefore, the quantity and quality of skilled workers
available in the construction industry could greatly affect construction output (Odusanmi,
2010). Furthermore, Cole (1998), The Employment Workplace Relations and Education
Reforms Committee (2004) found that there is a dearth of skills and declining levels of skills
amongst site staff in the construction industry.
Wallis (2002) posited that skill shortage is the inability to fill current levels of vacancies
while Frogner (2002), opined that inadequate skill leads to underemployment. Deficiency in
skilled labour generally has effects on the time, cost, quality of work and also on diverse parts
of construction projects, which invariably compromises the attainment of the economic
prospect for which such projects were intended (Odusanmi, 2010). However, Obiegbu (2002)
and Njoku (2007) posited that the construction industry in Nigeria have a great deficiency and
poor quality of craftsmen. According to Odusanmi, (2010). there‟s a preference for
foreign/migrant site workers by contractors engaged in construction works in Nigeria than
those trained in Nigeria. Also Aniekwu, (2010) despite the high percentage of tertiary
institutions offering engineering and numerous technical colleges skill shortage still exist in
Nigeria.This invariably infers that the shortage of skilled manpower is not just in quantity but
also in quality. The construction industry is a labour-intensive one, requiring more human
effort both skilled and unskilled Muya, et al, (2006); Ubenyi (1999).
Martin, Kent, Regine, Anders & Marianne (2018) posited that visionary leadership is
required to direct the skilled manpower in the construction industry. Thus, the quality and
availability of skilled workforce is considered an important factor in the effectiveness of the
construction sector. The shortage of competent skilled workers in the industry has hampered
the effectiveness of the sector which is populated largely by unskilled, insufficient, and
dissatisfied workers, who see work in the industry as a „stop gap‟ till better things come up in
the future. In the light of the above, this research is focused on analyzing the impact of skill
shortage in the Nigeria construction industry. Samwel Alananga,Charles Lucian &Moses
Mpogole Kusiluka (2015) Opined that construction is significantly enhanced through longer
construction periods, the use of local cement and drainage system materials and larger built
space
Nigeria, being a third world country with the potentials for a geometric population growth
which would culminate in an increase in the quest for shelter would require the services of
skilled workforce on its construction sites., the quality of tradesmen such as bricklayers,
carpenters etc. and their inputs goes a long way in determining the quality of construction
industry‟s product since they form a bulk of the site labour. There is the existence of shortages
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and poor quality of craftsmen in the Nigerian construction industry Obiegbu, (2002) and
Odusanmi, (2010). Noted that, presently the construction industry is experiencing skill
shortage, the experienced hands are ageing and retiring, the apprenticeship scheme is
outmoded and unstructured while many youths prefer other quick money making ventures
than learning skills. (Awe et al, 2009); (Awe et al, 2010). The emphasis on skill instruction in
technical colleges has become secondary, an appreciable percentage of the available hands
seem to be incompetent and half-baked. In Port Harcourt, most youth would prefer to take up
a part time job as a security man or helper in an oil company than take up a full time job in a
construction company; some would even prefer to drive commercial buses/bikes than work in
a construction company. Also, some construction companies would prefer to employ craft and
tradesmen from neighboring countries like Togo,Ghana or Benin Republic than employ a
Nigerian. For example, a company built an estate in Abuloma,Port Harcourt and most of its
workers were from Gambia.
The Federal Government in its bid to wade into the issue of skill shortage in the country,
organized a re-skilling program for artisans, in partnership with the Nigerian Institute of
Building (NIOB), under the auspices of SURE P and N-POWER program (through the N
Power build program, in which the Federal government is training artisans in some areas such
as Plumbing, Welding, Bricklaying for companies that need them) etc. Also, there is the
Rivers State Government skilling program called Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI) in
partnership with Greater Port Harcourt Authority. These efforts show that there is a prevailing
situation of skill shortage in Nigeria and as laudable as these efforts are, the situation still
lingers; this has necessitated the need for this research.
The objective of this research aligns with the research questions and hypothesis which are
to analyze the impact of skill shortage in Nigeria construction industry, with a view to closing
the gap of technical skill shortage in the construction industry. Therefore, the objectives of the
study are as follows:

To identify the categories of skills available within the building construction industry in Port
Harcourt metropolis.

To identify the areas of skill shortage in the building construction industry in port Harcourt
metropolis.

To investigate the factors responsible for skills shortage in the building construction industry
in Port Harcourt metropolis.

To identify the impact of skill shortage in the building construction industry in Port Harcourt
metropolis.
Construction activity plays a vital role in the process of economic growth and
development through its product (via infrastructure, building, etc) and the employment
opportunities created in the construction production process (Jha, 2002). Therefore, this
research will be beneficial to the government in that they will become aware of the economic
benefit of having the right quality and quantity of skilled manpower in the construction
industry. The government will also become aware of the fact that competent and adequate
skilled manpower are vital for the attainment of its goals of providing shelter, infrastructure
and employment for its populace. Rafael, Amotz &Ronen (2013) recommended the use of
virtual reality in construction safety training for improved performance. Ochei.Ikpefan,
Enobong, Osuma ,Evbuomwan (2018) alluded for an effective leadership that requires
combination of teamwork, right organization, power and appropriate style of leadership for
improve building construction.
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Construction companies would significantly benefit from this research in that they will
become aware of the consequence of their inactions of refusing to ensure that their workers
are skilled. Individuals and clients of construction companies will be more mindful of whom
they give their projects to execute. Individuals and clients will also become aware of the
impact of skill shortage on the success of any project and therefore take measures to tackle it.
The researcher would like to restrict this study to the building construction industry in order
to analyze the impact of skill shortage in the Nigeria construction industry. Port Harcourt
town, in Rivers State, is chosen as the study area because it is one of the major cities in
Nigeria apart from Kano, Abuja and Lagos. Many building construction companies are
located in Port Harcourt owing to the beehive of economic and construction activities going
on in the city and also the researcher has also lived in the city of Port Harcourt for some years
and is familiar with it. The study was carried out among building professionals in Building
construction companies in Port Harcourt metropolis. Port Harcourt is the major city in Rivers
State and is home to many oil companies, construction companies, etc. Port Harcourt is made
up of Port Harcourt city itself and parts of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1. Skill, Categories of Skill, Skill Shortage
According to Frogner (2002) skill is the capacity to execute a job to a predefined level of
proficiency while Leitch, (2006) opined that skill is abilities and know-how in a particular
profession or activity. Qualification is a medium through which a tradesman can showcase the
skills he has obtained(leitch,2006), Because the common way of measuring skills is
qualification. Employers today usually look out for qualifications obtained and work
experiences gained as a major way of recruitment most especially during job screening.
Employees therefore, are motivated to complete their training since qualification and work
experience form a major aspect of employer‟s recruitment strategies.
Construction related skills can be classified into two broad categories namely: trades
construction and other construction related skills and the management, finance, business and
administration scientific and technical occupations such as Architects and Civil Engineers
(Kwantlen University College, et al 2010); while according to Ejohwomu (2007) skills can be
categorized into two distinct groups – soft and hard skills. No matter the industrial sector/
organization there are certain skills they cannot do without which are soft skills (or
transferable skills) such as team working and communication, and hard skills (or nontransferable skills) such as technical trades. In the construction sector, the non-transferable
(hard) skills are classified into trades e.g. Carpenters and the non-construction trades e.g. Civil
engineers
Skills shortage is the inability to fill or filling vacancies from a profession/specialized within
that profession, at current levels of conditions of the employment. Thus, skills shortage is the
dearth of the types of skill being sought and which results in recruitment difficulties, (Wallis,
2002). Frogner (2002) posited that skills shortage as, a “recruitment difficulty, caused by
shortage of individuals, with required skills, in the accessible labour market” Consequently,
the scarcity of qualified personnel impacts on the construction and infrastructure projects‟ life
cycle, from the initial scoping to completion. Thus, the problems of skill shortage require
attention, especially when one considers the demand for construction and infrastructural
projects.
Construction Skills Shortage in Nigeria
Construction skill shortage in Nigeria is predominantly due to lack of training and an
outmoded apprenticeship scheme which lacks standard means of testing/certification and a
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structured curriculum. Therefore, as a result of these, the Nigerian construction worker is
accused:

Producing a less amount of work per time as compared to his counterparts in other spheres of
the world (productivity is low).

High rate of material wastage during construction and a high cost of maintenance during the
structure‟s life cycle (low work quality).

Undignified physical labour and much back-breaking (low tech operation & method).
Awe,Griffith and Stevenson(2010) noticed a general apathy for skill acquisition by
Nigerian youths as compared to their counterpart in order spheres of the world.The shortage
of construction skills in Nigeria (i.e. both in quality and quantity) has been attributed to a
number of reasons amongst which are:

Massive migration of skilled workers to other more lucrative ventures e.g., transportation, etc.

Poor remuneration/low wages.

Technical and vocational education/schools have become more theoretically focused than
practically oriented.

Inadequate funding of vocational education (including the practical aspect, which is the most
paramount) which has led to poorly equipped training workshop and insufficient/ill trained
staff.

Ill-perceived view of students in technical colleges as being trained to perform supervisory
roles instead of actually doing the work themselves.

Poorly structured apprentice scheme (Awe et al, 2010; Awe et al, 2009).
2.2. Implications of shortages on productivity and efficiency levels, cost, time,
quality and project success.
In order spheres of the world, like in the United States of America, United Kingdom, etc.,
operations on construction sites are mechanised to a high level (as much as 25 – 30% of total
construction, as compared to Nigeria, where labour forms a major part of construction work.
construction work in Nigeria is low tech and labour intensive. Reports indicate that labour
consumes between 30 – 35% of the base cost of construction in Nigeria. Productivity is the
quantity of output(products/services) produced relative to the quantity of inputs(goods/labour)
used in producing the output. In the construction industry, productivity of labour is well
known as the output of labour and is related to the volume of work completed over a period of
time. Olomolaiye and Ogunlana (1989) blamed lack of appropriate tools, poor supervision,
training and inefficient methods, as reasons why production output in some key building
trades in Nigeria were lower than it ought to be.This agrees with a study carried out
Alinaitwe, Mwakali Hanson (2007) blamed unqualified supervisors and the dearth of skills on
the path of workers as the major reasons for the less amount of work per time produced by
construction workers in developing countries. These problems can be directly linked to poor
and inadequate training of construction skilled workers. Meanwhile, there‟s the tendency of
unskilled workmen to be attracted to and employed by the construction industry, owing to the
shortages/insufficient supply of skilled workers. Efficiency is the degree to which something
is done well or without the waster of energy. Shoddy construction and waste of time and
materials on construction sites in Nigeria are predominantly caused by a high number of illtrained and inexperienced workers on construction sites in Nigeria. For instance, when a
Mason does not lay his blocks straight, remedial work has to be done, thereby wasting time
and materials.
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A lot more is spent doing this, for which he will have to be paid. Avoidable waste of
materials and time on construction sites has been estimated to be between 2 – 5% of total
construction cost. When this percentage is applied to the huge amounts involved in
construction work, the enormity of the problem becomes clearer. For instance, if these
percentages are applied to the Federal Government of Nigeria‟s planned expenditure of 4.46
trillion Naira on construction projects from 2011 – 2013, then it is likely that between 89.2
and 223 billion Naira will be lost as waste that could be avoided by working with better
trained construction workers. The country and the industry would fare better by spending a
percentage of these amounts in training and re-training of effects of construction skilled
workers and supervisors.
The unsavoury effects of using poorly skilled workmen are not limited to initial
construction. Some of these effects begin to manifest themselves when the structures are
already in use. Poorly hung doors that do not shut well, wall tiles that collapse, uneven road
surfaces that do not adequately drain off water and therefore form potholes, sagging beams
that lead to collapse of buildings and bridges, drains that are not properly linked, poorly
routed water and drain pipes, uneven steps that cause accidents, etc., the list is endless.
Maintenance costs tend to go up with shoddy construction and the use of poor quality
materials. Many end users of construction products in Nigeria have to contend with structures
that are not user friendly and do not meet with international or even national standards; a
significant portion of the blame must go to the shortage of construction skilled workers and
supervisors in the country.
3. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND METHODOLOGY
3.1. Theoretical Framework
This study is hinged on the theory of Maslow and Alderfer‟s Hierarchy of motivational needs.
Training of Construction Workers as revealed by the National Policy on Education (NERDC
1998), opined that training and retraining is key for effectiveness of skills in the construction
industry.
Alderfer's Hierarchy of Motivational Needs: Alderfer‟s hierarchy of motivational needs is
called ERG theory. According to the ERG theory, E stands for Existence which Maslow calls
Psychological/safety need, refers to all desires of human materially e.g. food, cloth etc. While
R refers to the desire to keep interactive and personal relationship (interpersonal relationship)
or social and external esteem which is similar to Maslow‟s social or love needs. And finally G
which means Growth, which is a deep-down/inherent longing for personal growth or it could
also mean internal esteem and self-actualization (required by construction workers) which is
similar to Maslow‟s esteem need and self-actualization. The hierarchy of needs theory as
postulated by maslow was modified/re worked by clayton Alderfer in order to align it with
practicality. The ERG theory shows that more than one need could be in existence at the same
time and that there‟s no rigidity of meeting lower needs before going higher to other needs.
3.2. Research Design
The researcher used descriptive survey research design for the study. It involves gathering,
describing, analyzing and interpreting data collected from the construction companies in Port
Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. The method of data collection used for the research was both
Primary and Secondary sources of data collection. Primary and Secondary data for the
purpose of this research were collected through field survey and available literatures already
written by other authors and researchers. Data was also gathered through the administration of
structured questionnaires with sample population relevant to the research topic. The primary
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source of data collection includes Questionnaires, while the secondary source of data
collection includes text books, journals, internet sources, etc.
The population of the study is the construction industry in Nigeria. The focus is made up
of Seventy (70) professionals in the building construction industry, which include Architects,
Builders, Engineers, Surveyors in two large building construction companies in Port Harcourt
metropolis, located in Trans-Amadi and Old GRA. The sampling technique adopted in the
study was the non – probability purposive sampling method. A sample of 50 professionals
were selected using purposive sampling techniques because most of the professionals are
qualified enough to give the right answers to the questions asked. The instrument for data
collection is the questionnaire. This was supplemented with oral interview. The questionnaire
was divided into two parts, namely:
Section A:
Comprised of personal data which contained eight (8) items, such as: name, address, age, sex,
marital status, profession, qualification, years of experience and current position/rank.
Section B:
Comprised of five (5) test items addressing the analysis of the impact of skills shortage in the
Nigeria construction industry. This was achieved using a five-point likert type of response,
ranging from „strongly agree‟ to „undecided‟. The respondents were expected to carefully read
statements and questions contained in the questionnaire and indicate their response, level of
agreement/disagreement with each statement by placing a „tick‟ on any of the five response
alternatives. The five-point type likert scale had response modes as follows:
Strongly Agree
SA
=
5
Agree
A
=
4
Strongly Disagree
SD
=
3
Disagree
D
=
2
Undecided
UD
=
1
Consequently, to ensure validity, the questionnaire was structured in a manner that
enabled the researcher obtain relevant information addressing the research topic appropriately.
The test instrument was given to experts and also to the supervisor to check its validity.
Majority agreed on the relevance and appropriateness of the instrument used for the level of
this work. Useful suggestions and criticisms were also given and were implemented by the
researcher.
To establish content, the instrument was given to an expert in measurement and
evaluation, and also to a computer education expert, to rate, in line with the stated objectives
of the study. All items that were consistent were retained; others were reconstructed to make
them more appropriate.
To establish the reliability of the instrument, the question was pilot-tested using two large
building construction companies, randomly selected form the area of study. The research
instrument was administered two times on the subjects in a test-retest process. Intervals of
two (2) weeks were allowed between the two (2) tests administered. The scores of the subject
on the two tests were obtained and subjected to Pearson‟s product moment correlation
analysis to obtain the test-retest reliability. The result obtained showed the correlation
coefficient ranged from 0.68 to 0.98, thus the values were considered high enough to justify
the use of the instrument for the study.
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3.3. Data Administration and Collection
The researcher and research assistant visited construction companies in Port Harcourt where
the sample is drawn, and administered the test instrument to the companies, using the chosen
sampling procedure, after obtaining permission from the relevant authority. In each company,
the objective was to talk with each of the respondents and get their solicited cooperation. The
respondents were also assured that all information collected would be treated confidentially
and only used for research purposes. The respondents were given sufficient time to complete
the questionnaires. A total of fifty (50) building professionals were given the questionnaires,
but only forty-five (45) questionnaires were returned. The remaining five (5) were not
returned. The data collected were grouped together and tabulated. The frequency of
respondents to a particular variable was also indicated. Percentages were used where
necessary for better appreciation of the study. Mean and rank order was used to analyze the
research questions. The data collected were analyzed using inference statistical analysis by the
use of chi-square (x2) to analyze the hypothesis at a significant level of 0.05, for the study. A
number of constraints were encountered in the process of collecting and analyzing the data for
this study. Some of the questionnaires given out were not returned on time; while some never
returned the questionnaires given to them. The volume of data to be analyzed also presented
some problems as they took some time to analyze in order to achieve the best results.
4. DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS OF FINDINGS AND
INTERPRETATION
Data collected were organized and analyzed in consonance with the research questions on the
questionnaire and formulated hypothesis. Each table contains information on the response to
the research questions. Tables 4-1 to 4-4 below, shows the summary of the background
information on the respondents.
4.1. Profession of Respondents
Table 4-1 Profession of Respondents
S/N
1.
2.
3.
4.
Profession
No. of Respondents
Engineers
20
Surveyors
9
Architects
10
Builders
6
Total
45
Source: Researcher‟s Field Survey, 2017
Percentage (%)
44.4
20
22.2
13.4
100
From the above, it can be seen that the respondents were spread among the professionals
in the building construction industry, with the Engineers having 44.4%, Surveyors with 20%,
Architects with 22.2% and Builders with a percentage of 13.4%.
4.2. Qualification obtained by Respondents
Table 4- 2 Qualification obtained by Respondents
S/N
1.
2.
3.
Qualification Obtained
HND
BSc.
MSc.
Total
Source: Researcher‟s Field Survey, 2017
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No. of Respondents
13
23
9
45
734
Percentage (%)
28.9
51.1
20
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Table 4-2 indicates that most of the respondents have a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree,
representing 51.1% of the total number of respondents; Higher National Diploma (HND)
degree, representing 28.9% of the total number of respondents; and Master of Science (MSc)
degree, representing 20% of the total number of respondents. This shows that most of the
respondents involved in this study obtained qualifications not less than the HND degree, and
this implies that the respondents are educated enough to answer the questions.
4.3. Years of experience in the Respondents’ Profession
Table 4-3 Years of experience in the Respondents‟ Profession
No. of Years
No. of Respondents
5
10
5 – 10
14
10 – above
21
Total
45
Source: Researcher‟s Field Survey, 2017
Percentage (%)
22.2
31.1
46.7
100
Table 4-3 shows that 46.7% of the respondents have been in their profession for 10years
and above; while 31.1% have been in their profession for 5 – 10 years; and 22.2% of the
respondents have been in their profession for up to 5 years.
4.4. Ranks/Positions of Respondents
Table 4-4: Ranks/Positions of Respondents
Rank
No. of Respondents
Project Manager
2
Consultant
5
Site Engineer
5
Engineer
12
Architect
8
Surveyor
8
Builder
5
TOTAL
45
Source: Researcher‟s Field Survey, 2017
Percentage (%)
4.4
11.1
11.1
27
17.8
17.8
11.1
100
Table 4-4 shows that 27% of the respondents are Engineers; 17.8% of the respondents are
Architects and Surveyors; 11.1% of the respondents are Consultants, Site Engineers and
Builders; while 4.4% of the respondents are Project Managers.
4.5. Research Question One
What are the categories of skills available in the building construction industry in Port
Harcourt metropolis?
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Table 4.5: Showing the various categories available in the building industry in Port Harcourt
metropolis.
S/N
Categories of skills available in the
building Construction Industry
1. Professionals:
Architects
Builders
Engineers
Surveyors (Land and Quantity)
Safety Officers
Town Planners
2. Craftsmen and Tradesmen:
Electricians
Plumbers
Iron Mongers
Tilers
Machine/Equipment Operators
Masons
Bricklayers
Mosaic Stone Finishers
Source: Field Survey 2017
SA A (4) SD D (2) UD
(5)
(3)
(1)
Mean
45
20
40
40
35
12
0
15
5
5
0
13
0
5
0
0
5
10
0
5
0
0
5
10
0
0
0
0
0
0
5.0
4.11
4.89
4.89
4.44
3.60
45
45
45
45
45
45
45
45
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
Interpretation
Agree
Agree
Table 4-5 shows that respondents agree that these two categories of skills are available in
the building construction industry in Port Harcourt metropolis: Architects with a mean of 5.0;
Builders with a mean of 4.11; Engineers with a mean of 4.89; Surveyors with a mean of 4.89;
Safety Officers with a mean of 4.44; Electricians with a mean of 5.0; Plumbers with a mean of
5.0, etc.
4.6. Research Question Two
What are the areas of skill shortage in the building construction industry?
Table 4-6: Showing areas of skill shortage in the building industry in Port Harcourt metropolis.
S/N
1.
2.
Areas of Skills Shortage in the
Building Construction Industry
Professionals:
Architects
Builders
Engineers
Surveyors (l & Q)
Town Planners
Safety Officers
Craftsmen and Tradesmen:
Electricians
Plumbers
Iron Mongers
Tilers
Machine/Equipment Operators
Masons
Bricklayers
Mosaic Stone Finishers
Source: Field Survey 2017
SA A (4) SD D (2) UD
(5)
(3)
(1)
Mean
Rank
Order
0
10
0
2
5
20
0
25
0
3
30
15
35
0
40
15
10
10
10
0
5
25
0
0
0
10
0
0
0
0
2.87
3.55
2.88
2.66
3.88
3.78
11th
6th
9th
14th
4th
5th
4
2
4
30
40
5
6
28
3
2
1
5
5
5
3
10
20
23
25
7
0
21
30
7
18
18
15
3
0
14
6
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2.84
2.7
2.87
4.3
4.88
3.0
3.2
4.46
12th
13th
10th
3rd
1st
8th
7th
2nd
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Total Weight of
Index
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Technical and Skilled Manpower as Prequisite for Enhanced Productiviy in the Construction
Industry
Table 4- 6 shows that the respondents agree that skill shortage is most prevalent among
Machine/Equipment Operators with a mean of 4.88; Mosaic Stone Finishers with a mean of
4.46; Tilers with a mean of 4.30; Town Planners 3.88, Safety Officers with a mean of 3.78
and Builders with a mean of 3.55.
4.7. Research Question Three
What are the factors responsible for skills shortage in the building construction industry in
Port Harcourt metropolis?
Table 4-7 Showing the possible factors responsible for the skills shortage in the building industry in
Port Harcourt.
S/N Factors Responsible for the Skill
Shortage in the Building Industry
1. High cost of training
2. Low wages
3. Inadequate training facilities within
the country
4. Lack of interest in skill acquisition
5. Inadequate apprenticeship scheme
6. Cyclic and seasonal nature of
construction jobs
7. Lack/inadequate support from
government to individuals,
institutions, companies, etc.
Source: Field Survey 2017
SA
(5)
27
30
23
A
(4)
18
15
12
SD
(3)
0
0
5
D
(2)
0
0
0
UD
(1)
0
0
5
Mean
4.60
4.67
4.0
Rank
Order
2nd
1st
5th
Total Weight
Index
27*5+18*4/45
30*5+15*4/45
23*5+12*4/45
16
19
10
15
17
10
8
5
8
2
2
7
4
2
10
3.82
4.08
3.13
6th
4th
7th
16*5+15*4/45
19*5+17*4/45
10*5+10*4/45
25
10
5
5
0
4.2
3rd
25*5+10*4/45
Table 4-7 shows that respondents agree that among the most prevalent factors responsible
for skill shortage are low wages with a mean of 4.67; high cost of training with a mean of
4.60; lack/inadequate support to individuals, companies, institutions with a mean of 4.2;
inadequate apprenticeship scheme with a mean of 4.08; inadequate training facilities within
the country with a mean of 4.0; lack of interest in skill acquisition with a mean of 3.82 and
cyclic nature of construction jobs with a mean of 3.13.
4.8. Research Question Four
What are the impacts of skill shortage in the building construction industry in Port Harcourt
metropolis?
Table 4-8 Showing the impact of skills shortage in the building construction industry in Port Harcourt
metropolis
S/N
The Impact of Skill Shortage in
Building Industry
1. The cost of construction is increase
2. Delay in time of project
delivery/completion
3. Quality of the project is reduced
4. Decrease in the functionality of the
project
5. Adverse effect on the economy due to
capital flight which invariably affects
physical infrastructure development
Source: Field Survey 2017
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SA
(5)
30
29
A
(4)
14
15
SD
(3)
1
1
D
(2)
0
0
UD
(1)
0
0
Mean
4.64
4.62
Rank
Order
1st
2nd
27
27
16
14
2
4
0
0
0
0
4.56
4.51
3rd
4th
28
15
2
0
0
4.49
5th
737
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Aigbe Fortune, Ikpefan, Ochei Ailemen, Egolum, C.C
Table 4-8 shows that respondents agree that the most prevalent impact of skill shortage
are increase in cost of construction with a mean of 4.64; delay in time of project
delivery/completion with a mean of 4.62; quality of the project is reduced with a mean of
4.56; decrease in the functionality of the project with a mean of 4.51; and adverse effect on
the economy due to capital flight which invariably affects physical infrastructure development
with a mean of 4.49.
4.9. Analysis of Findings
4.9.1. From Research Question One
It can be seen that respondents agree that there are basically two categories of skills available
within the Building Construction Industry in Port Harcourt metropolis which are:
Professionals and Craft &Tradesmen. This agrees with Kwantlen University College, et al
(2010) which classified construction related skills into two categories namely: Trades
construction and other Construction related skills; and the management, finance, business and
administration, scientific and technical occupation such as Architects and Civil Engineers.
4.9.2. Research Question Two
It can be observed that respondents agree that skill shortage is mainly prevalent amongst Craft
and Tradesmen which also agrees with CIOB (2008), which states that crafts and trades
people are the most difficult people to recruit, closely followed by senior and middle
management.
4.9.3. Research Question Three
It can be observed that respondents agree that the Factors Responsible for Skill Shortage in
the Building Industry in Port Harcourt include low wages, high cost of training, inadequate
apprenticeship scheme, lack of interest in skill acquisition, etc. This agrees with Awe, et al
(2010) which talks about the lack of organized apprentice scheme; and also Odusami, et al
(2010) stated that low wages, massive movement of skilled construction workers into more
profitable ventures, such as transportation, are some of the reasons for the shortage of
construction skills in Nigeria, both in quality and quantity.
4.9.4. Research Question Four
It can be observed that respondents agree that the impact of skill shortage in the Building
Industry in Port Harcourt includes increase in cost of construction, delay in the time of project
completion, reduction in project quality etc. This agrees with Odusami, et al (2011) which
states that shortage of skill can impact on cost of construction, quality of the project, time of
project delivery and functionality, etc.; this could lead to capital flight and unemployment.
4.9.5. Research Hypothesis
Skill shortage does not have impact on the construction industry.
S/N The Impact of Skill Shortage in SA
Building Industry
(5)
1. The cost of construction is
30
increase
2. Delay in time of project
29
delivery/completion
3. Quality of the project is reduced
27
4. Decrease in the functionality of
27
the project
5. Adverse effect on the economy
28
due to capital flight which
invariably affects physical
infrastructure development
TOTAL
141
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A
(4)
14
SD
(3)
1
D
(2)
0
UD
(1)
0
Mean
Total
4.64
45
15
1
0
0
4.62
45
16
14
2
4
0
0
0
0
4.56
4.51
45
45
15
2
0
0
4.49
45
74
10
0
0
0
225
738
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Technical and Skilled Manpower as Prequisite for Enhanced Productiviy in the Construction
Industry
Expected Frequency(fe)
S/N
Expected
Frequency
(SA)
28.2
28.2
28.2
28.2
28.2
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Expected Expected Frequency Expected Frequency Expected Frequency
Frequency (A)
(SD)
(D)
(UD)
14.8
14.8
14.8
14.8
14.8
2
2
2
2
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
The formula of chi-square (X2) is given as:
X2
=
∑ (fo – fe)
f
Where:
fo
=
observed frequency
fe
=
expected frequency
2
X
=
3.44
Decision Rule: Since the x2 value is greater than the critical value of 1.96 (at 0.05
significance level), hence the null hypothesis is rejected and the alternative is accepted, this
implies that skill shortage has an impact on the construction industry.
5. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1. Findings
The key findings of this research are:

There are categories of skills available in the building construction industry in Port Harcourt
metropolis which include Professionals such as Architects, Builders, Engineers, Surveyors,
Town Planners, Safety Officers; and Crafts & Tradesmen which include Electricians,
Plumbers, Tilers, Machine/Equipment Operators, Mason, Bricklayers, POP/Terrazzo
Finishers, etc.

The areas of skill shortage in the building construction industry in Port Harcourt metropolis
are mostly amongst the following: Machine/Equipment Operators, Mosaic Stone Finishers,
Tilers, Town Planners, Safety Officers, Builders, etc.

The factors responsible for skill shortage in the building construction industry in Port Harcourt
metropolis are: low wages, high cost of training, lack/inadequate support from government to
individuals, institutions and companies, inadequate apprenticeship scheme.

The impact of skill shortage in the building construction industry in Port Harcourt metropolis
includes increase in the cost of construction, delay in time of project delivery and completion.
5.2. Conclusion
Construction skilled workers are a major resource for construction output. Therefore, the
quantity and quality of skilled workers available in the construction industry could greatly
affect its output, e.g. a labourer on site work with a Mason, who observes and works for a few
months with the Mason, then goes out to purchase a trowel and other necessary tools, hires
himself out as a qualified Mason. Tests and certification are not required or are deemed
unnecessary and he goes on to a construction site to repeat the inefficient process learnt from
observing equally untrained mentors; thus, the cycle of low productivity and poor
workmanship continues.
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From the study, it can be observed that the building construction industry in Port Harcourt
has two (2) major categories of skills, i.e. Professionals e.g. Architects, Builders, etc.; and
Craftsmen and Tradesmen e.g. Mason. It could also be observed that the area of skill shortage
is mostly prevalent among the Crafts and Tradesmen, e.g. Machine/Equipment Operators.
Several factors are responsible for their shortage and among the most prevalent are low
wages, high cost of training, etc. The implication of this shortage to the construction industry
cannot be overemphasized. This includes: increase in the cost of construction and delay in the
time of project delivery/completion.
Therefore, we can conclude that skill shortage exists in the Nigeria construction industry,
specifically in the area of study; and that the factors responsible for skill shortage would
militate against project success and construction output. The emphasis on skill acquisition in
the nation‟s technical colleges has become secondary. If the current trend is not nipped in the
bud, it will lead to a situation where the nation will be a disproportionate number of
professionals as against tradesmen/skilled site operatives (middle man-power) in the building
construction industry.
5.3. Recommendations
As a result of this research, the following are the recommendations:

Government should build more skill acquisition centers that are easily accessible and
functional.

Government should partner with private bodies/firms to establish a skill center in all
institutions of learning, at subsidized rate for the students, and make it mandatory for all the
students to acquire a skill before graduation.

More incentives should be provided for skilled personnel in the construction industry in order
to encourage them and reduce attrition.

There should be continuous training of persons already in the industry to cope with new
technology in skills requirements and for new entrants into the industry.

Graduates of vocational schools should be encouraged to train in higher institutions in order to
mitigate shortage of skills.

Public Private Partnership should be encouraged in vocational training/education.

Government should encourage industrial training for every category of students in higher
institutions, especially in construction related courses.

There should be a kind of Public Private Partnership or a Government Policy in which a
service flow economy is encouraged; that is ageing, old and retiring skilled men should
provide a kind of mentorship for new entrants or those already in the job instead of retiring to
redundancy.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The Authors‟ appreciates Covenant University Center for Research, Innovation and Discovery
(CUCRID) for the sponsorship of this article.
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