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Analysing the skill gaps of plant and equipment operators in building construction projects in Sri Lanka

Authors:

K. G. A. S. Waidyasekara ,

University of Moratuwa, Katubedda, LK
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K. I. Ridmika,

University of Moratuwa, Katubedda, LK
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N. M. G. H. Sandagomika,

University of Moratuwa, Katubedda, LK
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A. N. Konara

University of Moratuwa, Katubedda, LK
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Abstract

The construction industry is labour intensive, and hence, skill development of the industry would yield both economic and social returns to the national economy. Among other occupational categories, plant and equipment (P&E) operators in the construction industry have significant importance since the skills and competencies of P&E operators are necessary to be well equipped to serve the higher demand and technological trends. Nevertheless, the available research in the said area is limited. Hence, this study aims to analyse the skill gaps of P&E operators in the perspective of construction professionals in Sri Lankan building construction projects. The study analysed the level of importance and level of satisfaction of P&E operators in the perspective of construction professionals. The research was designed with a quantitative research approach with a questionnaire survey administered among construction professionals with a response rate of 73%. The quantitative analysis depicted that maintenance skills of P&E operators have the highest level of satisfaction by construction professionals with more than 3.77 of mean weighted rating (MWR) and importance with over 3.87 of MWR in the industry. The smartness of handling machines and teamwork were identified as the next two essential and satisfied skills of P&E operators in each category. Out of sixteen skills identified, analytical, mechanical, innovative, and interpersonal skills show a slight skills gap among different categories of P&E operators. Compared to other skills, IT received less importance under each P & E category. Furthermore, the study has concluded the skill gaps in the categories of P&E operators in the Sri Lankan building construction industry. Having identified the gaps, the paper provides the means of measurement to present, which are the most identifiable skills gap of P&E operators in the building construction projects. Propose strategies to enhance the skills of P&E operators to overcome existing issues in the Sri Lankan building construction industry and investigate the skill gap of P&E operators in infrastructure projects can be highlighted as further research areas.
How to Cite: Waidyasekara, K.G.A.S., Ridmika, K.I., Sandagomika, N.M.G.H. and Konara, A.N., 2022. Analysing the skill gaps of plant and equipment operators in building construction projects in Sri Lanka. FARU Journal, 9(1), pp.65–76. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/faruj.v9i1.123
Published on 29 Jul 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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