The programming-based future for our builders
Technology is changing everything; it’s undeniable. From customer expectations to work processes, technology has allowed us to be more efficient and more accurate than ever before.
But with new hardware and software appearing rapidly to take more and more complex, time-consuming tasks off human hands, how will technology affect jobs? For example, with technology able to perform tasks such as bricklaying, how long will it be before being a ‘builder’ is a job for machinery?
Structure analysis software experts Oasys explore the issue further.
Could jobs be replaced by technology?
In truth, the question regarding the dreaded A.I. takeover isn’t easily answered. Technology will not steal our jobs, but just replace us as we shift roles.
But how will this impact the construction industry? Boston Consulting Group has said that by 2025, up to a quarter of jobs will be replaced by smart software or robots. This includes a range of professions, from factory workers to doctors, and even journalists. However, a study carried out by Oxford University has said that 35% of existing jobs in Britain are at risk of automation in the next 20 years.
Whether we’ll see a reduction in the number of physical workers remains to be seen. However, this can be challenged if we start preparing early, and encourage current and future workers to adapt to the changes. This could include advancing their own skillset with a focus on how they can do their job better with the use of technology.
Shifting roles within construction
It’s frequently swept by the wayside that even with technology picking up more tasks, people will still be required to monitor and maintain the technology. It’s also left unmentioned that workers will need to use technology – and that leads us to the decision that, in the construction industry, builders of the future will become programmers.
The construction sector is no stranger to innovative new methods to make jobs easier: from hammers to nail guns, shovels to diggers, and now practical labour to programming.
This isn’t a change that will occur rapidly. Programming is a topic that schools around the UK should be looking to implement into their curriculums as a core subject to keep up with the demand of jobs and with the constant changes in technology. If we’re teaching young people old ways, they will be useless when it comes to doing the work and there might not even be jobs available that match their skillsets.
With the constant growth in technology surrounding construction, young people need to be prepared with the right skills – and this shouldn’t be up for debate. More jobs are at risk of being lost due to smart software and robots, so workers need to be as good as the technology.
One example of beneficial software within the construction sector is Building Information Modelling (BIM). It allows the appropriate people to access all of the information about a project in one place. It can look at key stages of a project across the lifecycle of a job and provide the information that is needed. This can save both time and money for any construction company and allows builders to have a clear oversight. BIM can help illustrate the entire building, from starting processes to its demolition, and can even show how materials can be reused.
There is no doubt that technology will only continue to grow. If people want to remain in the loop of having a career and developing personally with the changes, it’s best to start sooner rather than later.