Addressing the Skills Gap- Educating the Next Generation on Aluminum Formwork


The construction industry has been experiencing a severe shortage of skilled workers. This “skills gap” poses a major threat to the industry’s ability to meet the demands of the future. One area where this gap is particularly pronounced is in the use of aluminum formwork systems. Aluminum formwork is increasingly being used in the construction of complex and high-rise structures due to its lightness, durability, and reusability. However, the specialized knowledge and skills required to design, erect, and dismantle aluminum formwork systems are often lacking among the workforce.

Educational Initiatives

To address this skills gap, a number of educational initiatives have been launched in recent years. These initiatives focus on providing training and certification programs for workers in the aluminum formwork industry. For example, the Formwork Contractors Association (FCA) offers a comprehensive training program that covers all aspects of aluminum formwork, from design to erection to dismantling.

Partnerships with Industry

Educational institutions are also partnering with industry leaders to develop and deliver training programs that are tailored to the specific needs of the aluminum formwork industry. These partnerships provide students with access to cutting-edge equipment and technologies, as well as the opportunity to work with experienced professionals. For example, the University of Florida has partnered with Doka, a leading manufacturer of aluminum formwork systems, to create a specialized training program for students in the construction engineering program.

Government Support

Governments are also playing a role in addressing the skills gap by providing funding and support for educational initiatives. For example, the US Department of Labor’s ApprenticeshipUSA program provides funding for apprenticeship programs in the construction industry, including programs that focus on aluminum formwork.

Industry Certifications

Industry certifications provide a reliable way to assess and recognize the skills and knowledge of workers in the aluminum formwork industry. Several organizations, such as the FCA and Doka, offer certification programs that assess workers’ proficiency in specific areas of aluminum formwork. Certification can enhance a worker’s credibility and open up opportunities for advancement.

Technology and Innovation

Technology can also play a role in addressing the skills gap. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies can be used to create immersive training experiences that allow workers to practice their skills in a safe and realistic environment. These technologies can also be used to create digital twins of structures, which can help workers visualize and understand complex formwork systems.


Addressing the skills gap in aluminum formwork is essential for the long-term health of the construction industry. By investing in education, training, and certification, the industry can ensure that it has the skilled workforce it needs to continue to build the structures of the future.