Back in September, Nesta’s ‘The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030’ report was published in partnership with Pearson and the Oxford Martin School.
While we’ve read many reports that focus on whether roles are at risk of automation, yet overlook the influence of key trends, this particular report hones in on trends including the ageing population, globalisation, urbanisation and the green economy.
Looking at various industries, including construction, the report maps out how employment is likely to change and the skills that are likely to be in demand in the future.
To coincide with this, Nesta also created a series of hypothetical job roles that could exist in 2030. One of these was in green construction, which we found particularly interesting.
As a lead sheet manufacturer that produces one of the greenest building materials available, our product is often specified in green homes. As such, we have a real interest in green construction and the skills that the next generation will need to progress in this field – a field that was found to be one of the few segments that’s proved resilient to the slump in the construction market following the recession.
So what did the hypothetical role tell us about what skills are likely to be in high demand in this field? It suggests that strong administration and management skills will become even more important in the future, enabling a closer integration of subcontractors and the supply chain, resulting in reduced waste and performance improvements.
Other skills, such as customer and personal service, will also be key – shown to be helpful in supporting clients to take a long-term view of their ‘green’ investment.
The report goes on to suggest that in 2030, due to a robust demand for green construction, labour shortages will have risen significantly.
At Midland Lead, we believe that one of the key ways to address the current and indeed future construction skills gap is to support apprenticeships. The severe skills shortage in the UK is hindering recruitment and hampering growth in the housing market, which is why we’re keen to do all we can to help support new construction apprentices.
That’s why we’ve spoken many times on how businesses, industry bodies and educational institutions need to collaborate to attract and accelerate the pipeline of skilled people.
In Nesta’s hypothetical green construction role, it went onto demonstrate how working as a local construction ambassador was also key in attracting more people to the sector. This includes visiting schools and attending careers fairs to give young people a real life perspective of what it is like to work in the industry.
We too believe that if construction companies can connect with local schools and colleges and work with them to inform and educate young people about the opportunities in green construction, it would go a long way in improving the numbers.
Read the full report here.