In Canada, 254,800 workers, or 21% of the current workforce, will retire in the next decade. These departures will only be partially offset by 226,200 newcomers, or 18% from the local population aged 30 or less.
Attracting workers may be more difficult because the construction industry will compete with other sectors facing similar issues related to the population aging and the decreasing number of youths joining the labor force. As a result, the sector will need to intensify mentoring, training and retention initiatives for new construction workers. Moreover, this downturn will slow down investment in new homes and overall long-term construction needs.
New Industrial Age
The world is entering a new industrial age. Technology has led to digitization and automation in many aspects of our lives, and it’s happening even faster than we would have imagined. Technology is a challenge for all industries and all workers. It also creates jobs that have never existed, while others are gradually disappearing.
Internet and other technologies make communications instantaneous, constant and affordable for people all around the world. By 2025, more than 50 billion devices will be connected in a world of 8 billion people. So, to keep up, workers in the construction industry need to be the most open-minded and flexible as possible. We’ll have to adopt new technologies and acquire the skills we need to take over the jobs of tomorrow.
Face the World of Tomorrow
Technology can help connect with the next generation of workers. In fact, it is absolutely necessary. As the industry faces departures of more than 254,800 professionals, it is imperative to appeal to the younger generation. We must demonstrate to the youngest that construction not only has high-value jobs, both in terms of income and development, but will remain relevant.
Today’s young people have grown up with Internet access and expect to see companies standardizing their experiences and understanding the digital world is an essential asset to achieve this goal, not a side product. Know that today’s students expect to see technology incorporated into everyday processes throughout the company, from training to connecting the office and the field.
Bring Value to the Industry
Technology should be seamlessly integrated within your organization in a way that creates the most value. To appeal to the younger generation and show that construction is an industry of choice, we must continue to adopt the technological movement that is part of our daily lives. We can’t be content to partially make use of technological breakthroughs, however interesting. We need to integrate technology into our businesses, from design, through how we connect to the field, to construction, as well as training on a daily basis. Construction doesn’t just mean nailing boards and pouring concrete; it is a highly qualified and demanding industry, on which our living standards depend. Workers need to streamline technology in their process and understand that it brings value and becomes more relevant to young people.