The tech revolution in construction has arrived with key advances in robotics, immersion augmented reality, virtual reality, BIM, superdrones, smart buildings and modular construction. The catchphrase on everyone's lips at the moment is "modernise or die". We know that we need to revolutionise the way we approach infrastructure and the technology is there. So what is the hurdle? Fundamental (and linked) problems are the skills shortage and the demographic of those in the industry.
When we talk about the skills we need, the real shortage is in technical, design, professional and IT related roles (in fact, to keep productivity stable, the industry estimates that we need 47,000 of these roles filling in the next 5 years). Added to that, a recent report stated that 22% of the industry will retire in the next 5 – 10 years. Are those at the end of their careers going to embrace the digital era? Maybe, but it's not the permanent solution.
The tech-savvy youngsters are the key. That seems like an obvious conclusion but what are we doing about it? We need to educate the educators (including parents) and spread the word that this is not just about muddy boots.
It is all very well having the tech, but it's no good without the people to use it.
Construction companies are seeing an influx of game design graduates and ex-gamers, transferring their visualisation and digital design skills from the virtual to the physical world