It is no secret that the size of the construction industry’s workforce has declined in recent decades. As the world has become more technologically advanced, younger workers seem to have lost interest in joining the construction sector. There are many misconceptions that led to this shift, but in order to change these perceptions, we must work toward educating the younger generations on the importance of construction and how a career in construction can have a meaningful impact.
The B1M in association with Bluebeam created the documentary “Now Hiring: The World’s Greatest Industry” to address some of the misconceptions surrounding the construction industry and why the young workforce should consider a career within the industry. One of these mistaken beliefs is the idea that the construction industry is made up of jobs requiring hard labor. While these jobs play a crucial role in executing construction projects, there are many other types of jobs in the industry. Many of these are highly technology focused and require digital proficiency, which could speak to a younger workforce that has grown up immersed in a technological world.
Another misconception is that construction is a man’s world. Niya Borissova, a first class alumna from London South Bank University, discusses this idea in the documentary when she says that construction is a world of “possibilities that anyone can have access to.” According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up only ten percent of workers in the construction industry. While this may seem like a discouraging statistic at first, it shows the massive amount of untapped potential for skilled labor within younger generations. By marketing the possibilities and debunking construction myths, young women may be more open to exploring the careers that construction has to offer.
Another characteristic of younger workers is higher social and environmental awareness. A pressing challenge in today’s society is lessening human impact on the world. Having a workforce focused on making positive changes to lessen our footprint offers an opportunity to design and build with these goals in mind. According to the B1M documentary, Thomas Jean Buntzen Elsgaard, a student at KEA, Copenhagen School of Design and Technology, has made green construction his primary goal. Conveying this goal to young people could encourage them to make a difference by joining Thomas and others focusing on green construction.
Bluebeam, Inc. has made a commitment to impact the future of the construction workforce by offering the Bluebeam Academic Program. This program offers free licenses of Bluebeam Revu eXtreme to schools, students and educators. As the world becomes increasingly digitally focused, so will the workforce, and it will be crucial that organizations such as Bluebeam invest in students and workers as early as possible.
The skilled labor shortage is a critical problem that must be addressed in order for the construction industry to keep growing. Appealing to young people and embracing new technology will play a huge role in reversing the labor shortage. The digital literacy of a young workforce working in concert with new construction technology could have a lasting impact on not only the construction industry, but all of the built world.
If you are not currently using Bluebeam Revu, but would like to see how it could benefit you, try a full working version on a 30-day free trial. When it’s time to convert that 30-day trial to a subscription or perpetual license, contact Applied Software and talk to a Bluebeam expert about your firm’s specific needs.