Confronting Skills Shortages: attracting the next generation to construction

Construction Manager magazine and Bluebeam recently teamed up to host a roundtable considering technology adoption in UK construction and the role it can play in attracting the brightest young people into our industry.

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The roundtable included leading professionals from across the industry. The discussion centred around the challenge of attracting the top talent in the developing digital industry, where competition with other sectors was strong and construction was encumbered by its poor image.

Amidst a talent crisis, it is expected the construction industry will see a 20-25% decline in available labour force over the next decade. Leaders highlighted the need to not only engage with younger industry members but also to re-training older staff to benefit from new technology.

Combining the benefits of tech savvy younger staff with the experience of mature staff is one approach, SUMO DBE Director Robert Klaschka suggested "The way it works most successfully in my experience is to buddy people up."

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Industry leaders observed that the results are already being seen as cross-generation, symbiotic learning begins to become part of the industry culture.

The roundtable was a great opportunity for younger members of the construction industry such as Calum Sinclair of WSP to voice their concerns and opinions. He see's big potential and aspires to apply currently available gaming software platforms to construction problems. 

The fact we are having these discussions is a step in the right direction and all present agreed that change could only come from collaboration and a continued conversation.

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