Siriwardena, Mohan, Amaratunga, Dilanthi, Malalgoda, Chamindi and Thayaparan, Menaha (2011) Addressing the construction labour market skills mismatch through lifelong learning in higher education institutions. In: Education in a Changing Environment 6th International Conference, Creativity and Engagement in Higher Education, 6th-8th July 2011, The University of Salford, UK. (Unpublished)

The mismatch between graduate skills and labour market skills requirements has been identified as one of the main factors behind graduate unemployment and employer dissatisfaction, particularly in the Built Environment sector. Higher Education Institutes (HEIs), despite being a body for knowledge creation and sharing, do not seem to adequately address this mismatch. Built Environment Lifelong Learning Challenging University Responses to Vocational Education (BELLCURVE) collaborative research project aims to identify the ways to reform the HEIs in order to make them more responsive to the labour market skills requirements and in turn to reduce the mismatch. This conceptual paper discusses the changing nature of the construction labour market skills requirements. The conceptual framework governing the research project and the research methodology are presented. The role of BE professionals in addressing such requirements are also discussed giving particular focus on professionals attached to disaster management and quantity surveying sectors. Disaster management (context base sector) and quantity surveying (trade base sector) have been identified by the project as two specific sectors to be focused in promoting the lifelong learning due to the constantly changing knowledge and skill base of these sectors. The responsiveness of HEIs to minimise the mismatch and to support the lifelong learning through governance reform is explained.

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