How The UK Construction Industry Is Recovering After COVID-19
While the Government stated that construction work could safely continue throughout the pandemic and many sites have remained open, that's not to say that COVID-19 hasn't impacted the industry. The UK is now underway with the roadmap to normality and there's the light at the end of the tunnel. Here's how the construction industry is hoping to bounce back in a post-pandemic economy.
The government recovery plan
So far, the construction industry has remained relatively steady thanks to a strong housing market offering many new build contracts. In fact, just after the first nationwide lockdown, builders in the UK saw the largest monthly rise in activity in nearly five years, proving that the construction sector has an amazing capacity to coming back stronger than ever after a challenging time.
The Construction Leadership Forum (CLF) have led a consultation and outlined a plan on how the sector can begin its full recovery. The plan is to ensure there is plenty of support for both employers and their employees, but also to use this as a learning experience and opportunity to implement new measures, including new health and safety and infection control practices. Alongside this, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is leading the Project Speed taskforce, which has set out to fast-track infrastructure investment pledges of £250bn. This will ensure that there are large scale public sector contracts up for grabs, as well as private sector projects.
How technology is aiding recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that site work has had to be streamlined. This wasn't about cutting back on staff, but more focused on getting rid of excessive processes and setting up more efficient methods of working. Harnessing new technologies, from smart camera and sensor systems that allow management to work off-site (which makes contractors feel more trusted and productive) to digital project management tools are changing the way we work for the better.
Improvements to supply chains
One thing that the pandemic has brought to light is the lack of stock held in the UK construction supply chain. While there is not yet a plan to remedy this, and it's by no means a quick fix, it's a positive step that this issue we have long-suffered with has now been acknowledged with calls for improvements.
As with anything, challenges to any industry bring about a time of change and growth. We can now use this as a positive opportunity to drive progress across the construction industry. In fact, the <a href="https://www.ciob.org/">Chartered Institute of Building</a> have predicted that we are about to see change on a scale that we haven't seen since 1945. There has never been a better time to take on the latest modern technological advancements.
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