How can the UK battle its housing crisis?
Yesterday Business Insider declared that the UK must recruit a new construction worker every 77 seconds to solve the housing crisis, equating to 1.5 million people by 2021. Graeme Wright, IoT Director, Manufacturing, Utilities and Services, Fujitsu UK & Ireland, offered the following expert comment:
“The estimation that the UK construction sector needs to recruit more than 1.5million workers by 2021 is no easy feat, and needs to be an issue addressed by the entire sector. To rectify the situation and the potential productivity problem that may occur, organisations need to break away from the norm when attracting talent. If companies in the sector continue to employ the same profile of people that they inherently have been, we will continue to see the same results as the sector won’t be innovating and changing ways of working. What they need to be doing is hiring people that will break the status quo. At Fujitsu for example we have altered our hiring process to ensure we are attracting the right skills and talent. For instance we have introduced gaming as part of the process as it ensures we are attracting candidates who are creative and innovative, as gaming links with those skills we are looking for.
“Moreover, as automation and robotics become more popular in the sector, it will impact the type of work that manual workers will do on a day to day basis as it will replace the more mundane tasks, removing inefficiencies and making them altogether much quicker. This may be perceived with negative connotations for labour relations, however it provides them with the opportunity to undertake roles that are higher up the value chain. In fact, 88.7 percent of the next generation said they would be attracted to work in an industry if they knew it had state of the art technology.
“Technology can also have a huge positive impact on people’s lives, especially when looking at soft retirement. Thanks to digital devices and tools, those who are of retirement age but do not necessarily want to retire won’t need to. Instead by using digital devices, they can move into soft retirement and share their knowledge and skills with construction workers on the ground and in field remotely from the comfort of their home or office. This can help transfer knowledge and skills to younger workers, as well as saving construction companies time and money by being able to advise its workers through video chats for instance, and not having to be on the site itself.”
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