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Construction sites to be human free by 2050?

The construction sites of the future will look very different from how they appear today according to a new report published by Balfour Beatty.

The paper ‘Innovation 2050: A Digital Future for the Infrastructure Industry’ predicts that construction sites will be free from humans as work is moved off-site, remote control of machinery and new materials and techniques exploited to improve cost, safety and efficiency.

As the report suggests, this future scenario may seem somewhat unlikely but given the impact of technology on modern lives means, such a leap forward for the construction industry isn’t too hard to imagine and could see the emergence of a need for a new, different skillset for workers.

The report examines the pace and rate of change within the industry, with digital technology the catalyst and driver to such change; which we are already seeing and is inevitable.

According to the paper, technology will help bridge the skills gap by creating jobs, roles and industries that don’t yet exist and will attract younger generations into the construction industry, ultimately leading to a more flexible workforce with new skills.

As is already being witnessed in the sector, technology such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) , augmented and virtual reality, cloud data storage, telematics, drones and data analytics will lead to projects being delivered with greater efficiency.

Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, said, “We are experiencing a digital revolution, redefining how we as an industry operate; becoming faster, better and more agile. By adopting and embracing the rise of digital solutions we are more able to deliver efficient, effective and safer solutions to our clients and customers.

“These changes will mean we have to ensure our industry trains our current and future employees with the skills to exploit the use of new technology, new materials and new methods of working.”

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