Boards of directors will inevitably ask questions on cost and return, but technology needs to be embraced deliver productivity and create opportunity
There was a mixed reaction from speakers to the current major issues affecting the view ahead Brexit – it would seem to be clear that the majority of speakers were less concerned than some of the rhetoric issued in the press. It will have an effect, but the property market is one which will adapt and change to meet the challenges. Focusing on wider markets than the financial sector to include research, tech companies and the quality of London as a place to do business is expected to steady the property market as Brexit takes effect.
Housing and Government targets were seen as extremely challenging, but innovation will assist in adapting the current construction model. Use of offsite manufacture and increased commitment to training and recruiting resources into the sector is perceived to be key.
I left Building Live with the view that the targets for housebuilding are not deliverable, but more can be done to work towards them by Local Authorities in particular.
The image of construction as a career choice remains poor and this needs to be considerably improved. Every participant at Building Live knows it is a good and exciting sector to work in. We have to get that message out there.
Affordability of housing is a key factor and there must be public housing options for everyone including those who are working but cannot afford to be a purchaser or private renter. We must provide places for people delivering essential services for London such as cleaning, security and transport.
Technology needs to be embraced to both deliver greater productivity and to create opportunity for a new generation of entrants from a tech background. Training needs to be higher on everyone’s agenda and apprenticeships embraced across both the constructor and professional sides of the industry
Introduction of new technology will be a challenge to busy businesses who work in traditional ways successfully. The question Boards of Directors ask are “is there sufficient reason to invest and what will be the return on this in the medium term?” and many technological innovations won’t make it to mainstream use.