How can companies in the sector take advantage of this period to rethink the organization of work and think now about optimizing digital skills after Covid-19?
In this particular period of health epidemic linked to COVID-19, during which many construction sites are idling or even being closed, it is important to rethink the ways of organizing work in the construction sector and to think about the optimization of digital skills to allow the sector to be ever more efficient.
Indeed, COVID-19, a totally unpredictable phenomenon, has placed the construction industry facing a steep digital learning curve. The entire sector is affected. However, for many workers, unable to get to their site or office, perfecting their digital skills during this confinement period can be a real opportunity. Immediate action to accelerate the digital transformation journey will help the industry fill its gaps and prepare for the trends that will mark the coming years, including sustainable construction and the development of smart cities.
Like many other countries, the French construction sector faces a skills shortage. The vacancy rate European construction has increased since 2009 and the lack of available skills is having a real impact on developers and construction companies. A labor shortage can greatly affect the delivery of projects by lengthening the time required for their completion and weighing on margins. In addition, in most countries, construction has not changed fundamentally for more than a century, and this sector is lagging behind in terms of digital transformation. This is why it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract and train a new generation of employees.
By becoming a digital sector, construction can be an attractive career proposition for young workers who are fully prepared to overcome the skills shortage. As construction evolves towards smart cities and sustainable methods, the next generation of employees with digital skills will be crucial to developing more efficient integrated buildings. Information management skills will also be essential: it is estimated that 80.000 workers will have to be trained in France in model real estate (BIM) in 2020 alone.
Proving that this sector is innovative, collaborative and forward-looking will make it more attractive to new entrants, and will help alleviate the skills shortage before the situation gets worse in the future. Digital “natives” want to work in a dynamic, visionary and exciting field. This is why the adoption of digital tools and technologies is a means of demonstrating that this field is moving in the right direction.
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