It’s reasonable to assume that any projections made over the last year and a half haven’t come to pass, so what does the construction industry’s future hold in 2021? Spoiler: it’s looking good!!
We’re feeling optimistic at Finnoah Training so we’re looking to the future & have outlined some of the trends that will most likely define the construction business in 2021, as well as the opportunities and challenges that they will bring.
A Construction Industry that is more collaborative
One of the few positive outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a stronger feeling of community and collaboration, not just in the construction industry but also in other industries. We believe there is a greater readiness in our industry to collaborate on common concerns and rethink how competitors interact with one another.
In that vein, the UK government recently released the Construction Playbook, which serves as a guide to the sector on best practices for procuring, delivering, and evaluating public works projects. It’s a great step forward in the correct direction.
A Skills Shift
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the employment market in the United Kingdom, and around the world. The construction industry in the United Kingdom has been particularly hard hit, with the second quarter witnessing its lowest drop in a decade.
However, there is a significant unmet demand for construction expertise. This has become even more obvious with the UK’s infrastructure plans & how it’s taken shape to attempt to improve the economy.
Another element to consider is Brexit and the potential for a “brain drain,” with workers returning to the EU and, as a result, people from Scotland and the north of England going to London and the south-east, where wages are likely to be higher.
As a result, upskilling, multiskilling, and, in some cases, reskilling programmes are now more than ever the key to retention – notably concerning the increased use of digital tools and technology, which will only grow more crucial as 2021 progresses.
A Catalysed Digital Transformation
In terms of digital, 2021 could be the year when the construction industry’s digital transformation truly takes off. Along with skills, the digitalisation of many parts of the construction industry will play a larger role, and we will likely see a technology plan in the coming 12 months.
The fourth national planning framework will be another digital advancement (NPF4). It will modernise the planning system, create a digital platform, and implement new measures that developers, contractors, and suppliers will have to carefully consider while delivering projects. The refusal of any new buildings that do not commit to reaching net-zero carbon emissions is likely to be a major consideration for the industry under this framework.
A Strong Emphasis on Decarbonisation
From a policy standpoint, there will very certainly be a slew of announcements next year – some of which were postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic. As we approach closer to a roadmap for the 2045 target, we anticipate seeing revisions to the government’s climate change plan.
Construction’s role in achieving that goal will become even more critical. When asked what should governments prioritise during the unveiling of the UK’s 6th Carbon Budget, Lord Deben, chair of the Committee on Climate Change, said that improving energy efficiency and decarbonizing heating across the built environment should be the top priority. The COP26 meeting in November will be a good barometer of how far we’ve come and how much more we can do.
If your employees need digital, environmental or any other skills training get in touch with Finnoah Training today!! We can offer support 7 days a week to boost the future of your business!