Graham Watts OBE, Chief Executive of the CIC, recently spoke at the Canadian Construction Association Annual Conference, which brought together construction leaders from around the globe for a discussion on the issues the industry faces.
Graham Watts explained that the U.K. was lucky to have had several large projects already underway before the pandemic hit. He noted that the government is also poised to unveil its national infrastructure bank with a focus on green projects.
“The prime minister’s mantra is building back better, greener and faster and he has put infrastructure and building at the heart of recovery,” said Graham.
Brexit and closed borders have thrown gasoline onto the worker shortage fire. Watts said many have returned to their homes in other European countries and are unlikely to return. He has been looking to impacted industries like hospitality and aviation to lure workers into construction.
He also believes the pandemic could supercharge innovation and technology for the sector, but this will require new project roles.
“A golden thread of information will flow through the lifetime of a building,” said Watts. “We see that as essential for the future and any company that can’t keep up with that probably won’t be in business in a few year’s time.”
A recording of the event can be viewed here.