The Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) Roadmap to Recovery sets out the steps that the sector must take to emerge from the coronavirus crisis as a stronger, better industry.
In the short-term, improving cashflow and getting sites up and running in a safe manner is a priority, both for new projects and for those that were in progress and had to be suspended.
However, longer term the CLC’s roadmap highlights the need to address a range of challenges, many of which construction was already facing. These include achieving better quality, reaching net zero targets, and implementing technology more effectively throughout the supply chain.
When it comes to the latter, it feels like a potential tipping point in the industry. During lockdown, many technology and software providers had to quickly adjust their business models to support remote working.
This included software providers who offered temporary licences and additional helpline support to allow companies to shift their workforce online, with minimal disruption. There was also a huge increase in the training and support offered by companies, trade bodies and membership organisations.
It is something that Construction Helpline’s CEO Umer Mansoor believes is an important step forward for the industry.
He said: “During this crisis, many people have realised that huge sections of the industry can successfully work virtually. It is important to take these lessons forward as we move out of lockdown and into the new trading environment for construction. Yes, we need to get back to business, but we don’t have to do it in the same way as before.
“Many organisations will be under pressure to recoup losses in both cash and productivity, so what better time to look at the tools and processes that they use and to see if there is a better way?”
One of the desired outcomes within the CLC’s roadmap is to achieve higher standards of site safety, and an improvement in occupational and mental health. This will be achieved through an increased investment in professional skills and training, such as vocational education and apprenticeships.
Umer added: “We need to encourage a culture of continued personal development within construction that is focused on the competence of employees. Standards, regulations and technology frequently change, and we need to make it as easy and cost-effective as possible for people to upskill.
“This was part of my original vision for Construction Helpline. I believed that there was a better way to deliver training in the industry, that was more flexible and accessible, and would therefore help improve standards and provide opportunities for upskilling.
“We are currently working on a number of innovations that we believe will help this process that we hope to be able to announce in the coming weeks.”
You can find out more about the CLC’s Roadmap to Recovery here.