Mark Farmer’s speech at the Irish Embassy in London on the 12th of February, highlighted the realities of the construction industry, mainly that it is important to adapt practices both to survive in the current climate and to encourage youth to pursue a career in construction. As with every industry, construction and the demands that come with it, have changed. This begins with the reality that the youth of today do not see construction as an attractive industry and continues to the shortage of skills and the integration of technology in construction.

The construction industry is not viewed as an attractive or intriguing industry by young people. The workforce is rapidly aging and the number of people retiring is far from being matched by the number of people entering. This leads the industry to a labour crisis that will affect everything from the ability to begin construction, to the productivity and quality.

This leads to a disruption in the industry by major technology companies, attempting to replace workers with machines. However the answer lies not in the replacement of people with machines, but the integration of technology with the workers. In order to be viewed as an attractive industry to young people, to stay up to date with demands of customers, the construction industry will have to modernise its practices. The modernisation of the construction industry is the key to its success. Without this, the industry will face a major crisis in the coming years, which has huge knock on effects for the citizens of a country. It was a pleasure to hear Mark speak so candidly and passionately about the construction industry and ideas like his are exactly what the industry needs to thrive.