In 2018, the elevator industry reached new heights. MSN reported that it was one of the fastest growing industries in 2018 alongside other building equipment specialists. This is in line with the trend of previous years. Elevator installation and repair are a key part of the construction industry, one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation. While the success and growth of the industry is a good thing, it can also lead to some challenges.
Aging Industry & Skills Gap
There has been an increasing worry in the industry that as seasoned mechanics retire, there is a lack of skilled, trained technicians to replace them. These new mechanics lack the same experience that aging technicians do. Many contractors and business owners also feel there is a lack of accountability in the industry. As the industry continues to grow, companies are hiring with quantity over quality in mind. An elevator mechanic is one of the highest paid, and one of the most crucial technical services, yet there is a huge lack of skilled people to do the work. Unfortunately, some mechanics take advantage of the situation by being careless on the job, as they know that they can quickly find another job with their highly coveted skill set in an industry lacking in people with technical expertise. At this point, there is no solution in sight for these problems. After fifteen years of having the same industry issues, contractors feel that the Ministry of Labour is unmotivated to find solutions, even though the elevator industry provides an essential, yet undervalued, service.
Elevator contractors are aware of how they are often portrayed in the media- as the villains of the service industry. Unfortunately, when elevator companies come under scrutiny, there is no media to represent, or vouch for them, and no real way for them to defend themselves when something goes wrong. In the past, the media has been quick to blame the elevator industry for not doing their job and portrays the elevator contractors in a negative light.
As the elevator industry continues to evolve and change, contractors want to see action taken to help alleviate these challenges. They are no longer satisfied having meeting after meeting about the same unresolved problems. The primary question they’re asking is “how can we convince the right people to make a change?” They want to establish concrete steps for how the governing bodies, the companies themselves, and the individuals in the industry can work together to overcome the challenges the industry is facing. Only time will tell if the industry can rally together to make meaningful, and lasting changes that have been long overdue.