How has Covid-19 Affected the Construction Industry?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has seriously impacted the UK construction industry and continues to possess significant implications on businesses, workers and groups all across the country. This pandemic is predicted to affect growth in key sectors within the short to medium term with the recovery being predicted to show up around the summer of 2021.The housing and commercial construction sectors are hit the toughest by Covid, the economic downturn is causing owners and developers to move forward with new construction projects, leaving many expensive plans dead in the water. The businesses are now trying to a find an equilibrium between the rising prices for materials and equipment, the lack of skilled construction workers, forced national lockdown and the general uncertainty in the country’s economy.

How hard is it to find a job in construction?

Construction companies in the UK have axed over 7,000 jobs since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic. There also are fears that more firms are going to be making job cuts because the government’s furlough scheme comes to an end later this month. An unpredictable and hugely devastating global catastrophe such as this, divides the employment landscape between skilled construction workers who possess superior qualifications (who are more likely to maintain their job) or under-qualified workers whose expertise are becoming more and more obsolete.

That is why now, in the middle of a global pandemic, there has never been a better time to upskill and gain fresh qualifications to set yourself apart from the competition and strengthen your capabilities and chances of a landing land a construction job you truly want.

Have a look at the qualifications we offer at Construction Helpline

By any means we do not want you to stop your job search, there is still an abundance of construction companies that are continuing to grow and hire staff despite the pressures of Covid-19.Newdata from job boards on LinkedIn, Indeed and Reed suggest that large construction firms are currently looking to fill over 6,000 construction jobs in the UK alone.

What are employers and vendors doing about this?

Coronavirus has had a negative impact on the productivity of the construction sector, but the industry is adapting positively to changes within the way the pandemic has been triggered. While construction sites in England were allowed to continue operating during the lockdown, the ability of keeping sites running proved to be a serious challenge for several contractors.

However, the shortage of access to labour and materials has forced the industry to adapt and become more inventive. Some of these efforts include hiring a more experienced and qualified workforce, using more modern construction methods (such as production by location) and greater digitalization of facility and supply chain plans.

Streamlining sites

A new reality that construction companies are now facing is the need to use more intelligent technology such as cameras, sensors, and data collectors – but more importantly, the need to diversify the workforce with smarter and more skilled professionals.

Smart systems can help project managers identify problems much quicker and communicate efficiently with the wider team to fix problems. Using technology will enhance the synergy and sense of connection between employees and projects, while giving the design team a greater virtual visibility of the site and a better understanding for clients. When workers have gained construction qualifications such as CSCS cards, CITB’s, NVQ’s and CPCS’s, it is clear that the individual possesses the knowledge and expertise of operating beyond a sub-par level on the construction site – something that separates an employed and unemployed worker.

Health and safety practice during Covid-19

The requirement to maintain social distancing among workers during the pandemic caused longer completion time and has led to construction off-site options to become a necessity. The streamlined, assembly line process used in off-site and modular construction allows projects to be completed much quicker – subsequently reducing congestion and improving productivity.

What construction jobs are in need as a result of Covid-19?

A UK group of construction bodies has called for 18 roles to be added to the government’s Shortage Occupation list:

  • Acoustic engineers
  • Ceiling fixers
  • Mechanical and electrical engineers
  • Dry liners
  • Quantity surveyors
  • Production managers and directors
  • Bricklayer
  • Chartered surveyors
  • Construction project managers
  • General labourers
  • Planners
  • Construction and building trade supervisors
  • Carpenters
  • Civil engineers
  • Plant and machine operatives
  • Ground workers
  • Design engineers
  • Structural engineers

Summary

There is no doubt that this year has been very difficult and economically damaging for almost all industry sectors, companies and individuals in the UK. However we must keep in mind, that construction has always been one of the most respected, sought-after and well-paid professions in the UK, so the chances of it coming back stronger than ever is just over the horizon. Don’t be complacent and dependent on this happen though, the reality of unemployment is right here, so don’t waste your time doing nothing. Upskill, learn, gain new qualifications – all of these things will significantly help you in your construction career.

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