Will the demand for skilled labour decrease as building methods develop?


Every industry is facing an uncertain few years. Changes to the way we live our lives are driving fundamental changes in our society. As is digital transformation. The wholesale uptake of digital technologies, robotics, automated systems and electronics is moving us further and further away from traditional modes of work.

The construction industry is facing the same reckoning. With new innovations for building materials and methods hitting the trade market more often, some industry insiders worry that the demand for skilled tradesmen withing the building industry will decrease.

Traditional tradesmen, highly skilled workers who have learned their trade, have been at the epicentre of construction for hundreds of years. Their knowledge and expertise have helped to complete some of the greatest construction projects on earth.

Developments in building methods and technology are starting to undermine the traditional trades. Hoping to make construction more efficient, modern building technologies and methods could see demand for skilled trades decrease in the years to come. For example, a dry hip system removes the need for sand and mortar when installing a roof, making the installation process much simpler.

How the demand for skilled labour will be impacted is still unclear. However, the Chancellor’s announcement of financial incentives for apprenticeships will further boost the numbers of young people looking to move into trades. If the industry gets on top of learning and teaching these new building methods, we could see a boom of more efficient building projects across the country.

This could improve the living conditions for thousands of people across the UK, while also providing secure jobs for generations of seasoned and new tradespeople up and down the country. It will hopefully fill the gap of highly skilled European workers who are no longer coming to Britain after Brexit.

As fears of decreased demand for skilled workers in the construction industry continue, there are areas of construction where jobs opportunities look set to improve over the next few years. Project management demand within the industry is still high and looks set to remain that way.

While the demand for tradesmen and skilled workers may fluctuate over the next few years, the industry as a whole looks set for a boom decade. Learning new building methods, how to maintain and run automated systems, and adapting to new work environments will make the difference between employment or not over the next few years.


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BDC 317 : Jun 2024