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Digital technology could transform construction – but only if the sector is equipped with the right skills and knowledge

Posted on Nov 05, 2018

The need for digitalisation in the construction sector has long been a hot topic, but it has recently hit the headlines again with a new report from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) called unlocking construction’s digital future: A skills plan for industry.

The report details that without a widespread implementation of digital technology, there is a risk of marginalisation and detracting a new generation of promising talent from the industry. However, it also outlines that for the successful adoption of digital technology, the sector needs to be equipped with the right skills and knowledge.

Upskilling construction workers and recruiting new talent could help utilise big opportunities and prospects for the use of digital technology – which in turn could improve productivity, efficiency and profitability.

To build up the report, interviews with 35 organisations in England, Scotland and Wales were undertaken.

Speaking to pbctoday, Steve Radley, Director of Policy at CITB, said: “There is no question that construction needs to upskill and recruit new talent to harness the huge opportunities digital technologies present. It’s not too late, but it won’t happen without rapid action.

“Our report shows that the lack of common understanding on what digital construction actually means is part of the problem. Industry has to be clear on its definition and what skills employees will need. Sharing best practice will be critical.

“We will work with industry to agree on digital skills goals and a plan of action to achieve them. If we can do that, British construction can become more productive, more profitable and more attractive to the talented workers it needs”.

Stuart Anderson, the Client Services Director at Construction Skills People, said: “Upskilling has always been an important driving force in the construction industry, but now with the pressing potential of digital technology, businesses should push even more to make sure their workers are equipped with the correct skills and knowledge.

“At Construction Skills People, we offer a wide range of vocational qualifications and commercial training courses specifically for the construction sector. Any business looking to upskill their employees should contact us to find out more information.”