Challenges in the construction industry such as skilled labour © Pexels
03 Jun 2019

Challenges in the construction industry such as skilled labour

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The Wells Fargo Construction Industry Forecast calculates the 2019 U.S. National Optimism Quotient (OQ), a key indicator of whether local, non-residential construction will increase or decrease in future.

52% of respondents feel an increase is likely, 44% feel that the industry will remain the same, and only 4% of respondents feel that non-residential construction in their area is likely to decrease in 2019. However, the top concern in both survey categories is the ability to hire qualified workers. Deloitte predicted an overall growth in 2018 for the US engineering and construction industry to be around 5 percent and was expected to accelerate further going into 2019.

Well, 2019 is here.

The scenario is complex. The reality of climate change is overwhelming. Population has exploded. Cities are being restructured to accommodate digital demands. Construction practices are lined up for overhauls as policymakers accommodate city expansions to meet voter expectations.

Juggling is not an easy game.

There is little investment in education. The industry has been reported to be inadequate in terms of training and talent mismanagement. The US National Institute of Standards and Technology reports that users bear direct costs of almost $ 16 bn annually because of time wasted in inadequate AEC software ability. Refer to Gallaher et al 2004.

Sentiment mapped by the OQ - a potential benchmark for evaluating contractor and equipment distributor data on local non-residential construction activity — is 122 for 2019. According to the Wells Fargo report, this is a tempered decrease from 2018, but optimistic. Most interviewed executives claimed to have a positive outlook for construction activity and net profits.

Time will tell.

Solutions are the amalgamation of construction and technology. The labour crunch presents an opportunity for artificial support to bridge the gap. Could construction tech save the day?

A story goes around that machines will end jobs for humans. But the truth is that the role of humans will grow and evolve. Multi-disciplinarians will thrive, the specialists must further specialize. What does this mean for the construction industry?

The answer is blowing in the wind.

What is an ideal talent management strategy? To go even further, what would be a practical talent management strategy? One must ask the pertinent question – how much value does project achieve through a resource? A market demands lateral thought. Agile teams are meant to be handled by agile minds. How are we tapping into the supply of these skills?

Thought supplies action. Action demands thought.

BluEnt

BluEnt is a design, technology and engineering group with offices in New York, Toronto, New Delhi, Muscat, Amsterdam and New Delhi. We partner with architects, home builders, real estate developers, contractors, engineering consultants to plan workload efficiently. Companies trust our domain expertise in design development, engineering design, project management and monitoring.

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