Construction talent top of firms’ concerns for year ahead

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construction talent

Almost half of construction firms in the UK have raised concerns regarding construction talent acquisition and have said that a lack of resource is the biggest contributing factor

A further 37% said outdated working practices hinder construction talent engagement with a majority of professionals pointing to an inordinate focus on administrative tasks in their business.

Engaging the employees already within the business also appears to be an ongoing challenge for some firms. More than a tenth (13 percent) say that staff absenteeism is a serious challenge, while over a quarter (26 percent) experience it sporadically.

There are suggestions that outdated working practices may be hindering construction talent engagement and efforts to recruit new workers. Firms have been relatively slow to adopt technology, with 22 percent relying entirely on paper-based drawings and 10 percent making minimal or no use of tech on-site.

Data comes from the latest Digital Foundations report from construction productivity software provider PlanGrid.

Of the 235 industry professionals surveyed, 18% admitted to fearing rise wage demands.

Tracy Young, CEO of PlanGrid said: “Employee engagement is a core part of construction firms’ productivity, but workers can easily be left frustrated by outdated processes that take up time and cause errors.

“At a time when competition for talent is fierce, this antiquated approach won’t stand up. Using digital technology can not only improve the working lives and output of existing employees, but also help to attract digitally native recruits into construction.

“Technology is an important way to improve the productivity both of individual construction firms and the industry as a whole.”

The report found that Brexit concerns rippled throughout the industry, with many believing  talent shortages will increase in the year ahead due to limited access to migrant labour.

However, technology could play a key role in attracting and engaging workers — particularly digital natives, as construction firm Sobha Hartland found after introducing a cloud-based platform on its jobsites.

Olaf Wagner, head of quality and assurance and technology at Sobha Hartland said:

“Digital technology has had a really positive impact on staff engagement.

“PlanGrid has taken our on-site collaboration and data sharing to the next level. Our employees were quick to adopt the tech, because it works like the apps they use on a daily basis.

“Our younger recruits especially were visibly energised to work with the platform and it has dramatically increased collaboration among our teams. On the whole, using new technology has helped us to noticeably boost our productivity.”

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