The development in technology has led workers in many different industries to question the security of their roles. Whilst some will feel that they are irreplaceable, others are aware of the need to prepare themselves for the oncoming technological advancements to ensure job security. The ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ is set to raise industry standards across the globe, bringing technical innovation to the forefront of every industry. How will the future of construction be shaped by these changes, and how will it affect the workers?
A shortage of labour
Japan currently has a labour shortage in the construction industry. The shortage, combined with the demand created by extra construction projects for the 2020 Olympics, has meant that the industry is struggling to cope. To solve this, Komatsu (the world’s second largest construction company), has rolled out automated bulldozers to do the pre-foundation work on a construction site. Drones use 3D laser scanners to do the initial ground checking; surveying both above and below ground to map out the area. The bulldozers are subsequently automated, although there are human operators on hand ‘if necessary’.
It is this kind of technological advancement that is inspiring the future of the construction industry. In just a few decades, design and development have moved from pencil and paper to mobile and tablet devices, capable of quickly taking measurements, statistics and knowledge and collating project data. BIM (Building Information Modelling) technology creates a 3D model of a building and includes all given data, as well as projecting an understanding of how the materials will work together. This is now mandatory for all government buildings. It allows for open access to information, to create clearer lines of communication.
Solidifying your position
Whilst many believe the construction industry must modernise or die, we understand that it can be concerning to understand where you would fit in a technology driven construction future. After all, there are plenty of ‘we’re being replaced by robots’ scare stories. Whether you are old-school and debating if you will need to retrain to remain relevant, or just coming into the industry and wanting to ensure that you have the best possible prospects for a bright future, considering how the future will affect you is a good place to start.
Consider your chosen career path or where you would like to end up (and remember that the roles of the future may not even exist yet!). In 2016 the World Economic Forum suggested that “technological disruptions such as robotics and machine learning—rather than completely replacing existing occupations and job categories—are likely to substitute specific tasks previously carried out as part of these jobs, freeing workers up to focus on new tasks and leading to rapidly changing core skill sets in these occupations.”
Progression is encouraged, as developing a specific skill set will make you far more indispensable. There are many roles that will consistently require the ‘human’ touch. It is also highly recommended that you are fully qualified and knowledgeable in your chosen field, so you can stay ahead of any developments. ‘Soft’ skills that show emotional intelligence, like communication, critical thinking and complex problem solving, as well as creativity, will remain in demand. Programs that encourage you to incorporate learning into your day-to-day role are ideal, as they are great practice for learning on the job.
Adaptability and willingness to learn, progress and develop will be key for the coming changes. If you want to know more about being qualified to work, or how to develop your career potential, contact Q2W. We offer on the job assessments across a range of NVQs, which are ideal for developing your future prospects.