Building change: the future of the construction workforce

The construction industry has experienced a series of uncertainties and labour shortages over the past few years. Looking into what factors are directly affecting the nation, the recruiter, Randstad, has interviewed some of the construction industry’s key players, to find out what needs to be done to future-proof the workforce.

The series of videos (above) explore three topics: mental health, diversity and technology, bringing to life the impact they have on the construction workforce, while demonstrating forward-thinking tactics to educate employers and help raise awareness of industry issues to workers.

Viewers can hear first-hand from the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity’s CEO, Bill, on the importance of mental health, Vinci Construction’s commercial director, Samantha, speaking on diversity and her experience of coming out as a transgender female within the industry, and Costain’s Group innovation and knowledge manager, Tim, who explains the benefits of using modern technology in construction.

The underlying message behind the latest campaign is that there is still a long way to go before today’s construction workforce feel confident in their employers when it comes to diversity and mental health. While some employers are leading by example, a 2019 survey of over 1,000 construction workers carried out by Randstad revealed that over half (54%) don’t feel that construction companies are doing enough to support diversity within the industry. When it comes to mental health the stats are even more alarming. 69% of construction workers surveyed this year by Randstad believe that construction companies aren’t doing enough to support workers facing mental health challenges.

Randstad UK construction, property and engineering managing director, Owen Goodhead, said: “There has been some positive steps in the right direction to help educate and inform the future construction workforce, however there is still a long way to go. We’ve been working hard to get mental health on the agenda for many employers through a series of campaigns over the years, however we recognise that more needs to be done in other areas to attract more to our industry to help plug the skills gap.

By tapping into the minds of some the industry’s key experts, we’ve been able to hear directly from those who are really driving change within their organisations and moving the workforce in the right direction. We need to act fast to drive change and influence other employers, while at the same time educating and inspiring the future workforce by bringing these sometimes-unspoken discussion areas to the surface.”

With construction being one of the biggest contributors to the UK’s GDP, accounting for 6.3% in 2017 and employing 10% the UK’s workforce, any negative changes to productivity are a real cause for concern. Key learnings must be shared in order to promote the importance of construction to the upcoming generation of workers and attract skilled individuals.