Millennials could plug the skills gap

8 February 2019 | By Julie White

The industry must sell itself better to attract younger recruits, and digital technology is key, says Julie White, managing director of demolition specialist D-Drill and chair of the Build UK training board.

Julie White

The Millennials. Sat in front of their phones, more worried about the next Instagram post than embarking on a career. A fair assessment, you might say, or is our stereotyping of a whole generation one of the reasons that all of us are struggling to find the future workforce?

Perhaps, as an industry, we should be the first to look beyond the millennial label. Surveys have found that millennials are looking for substance and meaning in their work and not just the biggest pay packet. They care about a company’s brand and reputation and want to feel what they do is contributing to something worthwhile.

Of course, technology plays a big part in their life and it also plays a major part in our business – from the way we process new job requests through to our remote-controlled Brokk machines, which are used in complex demolition programmes and which require highly dextrous digits that could have been honed in front of a PlayStation or Xbox.

On top of that, we use 2D/3D scanners to see where we can drill to ensure we don’t go through services or damage the integrity of a building.

If we are to find new blood for our businesses, there is no question that we are going to have to look beyond the stereotyping. We have to sell our industry better and highlight some of those areas that might attract a younger audience, such as in 3D modelling and remote-controlled equipment, and demonstrate the importance of construction to society and the economy.

If a young worker is looking for meaning in what they do, what could offer that in greater abundance than being part of an industry that is creating the future for the generations that are yet to be named and yet to be stereotyped?

Image: Mirko Vitali/Dreamstime.com

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