Most companies are approaching 2023 cautiously and this is not entirely a bad thing. The reality is that economic times are tough, resources are constrained and companies are looking to maximize what they have – including talent and expertise – to create efficiencies.
There’s recognition that cross sector collaboration may hold new opportunities for construction and infrastructure projects. Especially as there’s a strong focus on expanding renewables and scaling up the use of alternative fuels such as green hydrogen. Equally, there is pressure on companies to find ways to manage construction waste more efficiently with the potential to use recycled or repurposed materials instead of virgin resources.
All of these opportunities require at least a basic understanding of how the growth trends in other industries such as renewables and waste management impact construction and infrastructure. This is where construction professionals can use cross sector collaboration to their advantage. Learning about processes, studying successful projects taking place in the UK and abroad and considering how they can generate efficiencies in new and existing projects. Professionals that actively invest in developing their knowledge and skills in these areas are likely to increase their scope for career progression.
Sustainability efforts are becoming increasingly important when bidding on new projects or working to attract investment. It’s therefore important to have the ability to forecast and report on cost and carbon savings. Understanding BIM tools, scanning systems and how to conduct technical analysis are some of the skills that will become increasingly valuable for construction professionals.
Among leading main contractors there is also a push to attract more talent to the sector. As part of this there is a strong focus on showcasing how the industry is advancing in terms of technology and what it is doing to transition to net-zero construction sites. Online forums are being used to increase exposure to younger generations to highlight the many different type of career opportunities that exist. Additionally, recently HS2 main contractors announced they’ll be hosting open days to showcase innovations being made in this high-profile infrastructure development.
What’s encouraging to see is that despite economic pressure, the industry appears to have a positive outlook. Perhaps it’s because construction and infrastructure have already been navigating multiple internal and external industry challenges for several years. Now it’s simply a case of changing tack and leveraging the talent, opportunities and technology resources available.