In a world that is shifting and evolving at an ever-accelerating rate, it’s good to check in with the rest of the world occasionally to ask – “How are you coping?”. From Brexit to Covid, from the Second Cold War to the prospect of the Metaverse and Neuralink, we need to mitigate the feeling of transience with strong bonds between family, friends, colleagues, and even competitors. So, here are some topics to bring us together in discussion and engagement.
The Supply Chain Struggle Is Real
The items on the watch list include – galvanised products, aluminium products, manufactured windows and doors, copper tube and fittings, gypsum product (particularly plasterboards), engineered wood and laminate flooring, steel (yes, only steel – no big deal). I say this is the watch list; really these are just the ones that we have noticed some direct impact on. In truth, there are very few construction materials that have not either been hit hard on availability or cost, OR BOTH! Stocking up where possible is obviously one idea. The other being extremely well planned and managing clients’ expectations with a strong foot forward on scheduling. We can definitely recommend an emphasis on collaboration between design, procurement, and site operations; that really is a great strength for us in this time of need.
Skills Are Like Hen’s Teeth
Where are all those old-school wizards? You know the ones, the old boys that would build you a castle with one labourer, a shovel and barrow, and a trowel (and it’ll be finished by the time you’re back from the shops!). Well, there are a few diamonds still around (most of them are at Probuild360), but the next crop is of great concern. You could go through two dozen rocks to find one gem these days. So, we look to our HR strategy and try all sorts of innovative approaches – working with colleges and universities, training and hiring from within, ensuring our public image reflects the incredible benefits of working with us etc. I don’t know, we’ll keep kissing more frogs for now. What say you, recruitment? This is your arena. Step up.
Mental and Occupational Health
With the skill shortage that we’re experiencing the existing workforce are so valuable to us. It is said that there are three reasons for consideration of Health and Safety – Moral, Financial, and Legal. Whatever your reason, the fact remains that a broken workforce is no good to anybody. Safety is its own subject, but injuries heal, and deaths are tragic but final. The concern I’m raising here is the chronic mental and physical toll of life in construction on our population. MILLIONS OF WORK HOURS are lost to work-related ill health. Everything from stress to respiratory conditions, to back pain, to COVID-19, flu, and other infections. We can’t wrap our people in cotton wool, but it’s so vital to the effective continuation of industry. The only thing to do is to genuinely care about the workforce, and act with an accordingly appropriate level of commitment to the wellbeing of the men and women that prop up the construction industry.
Give Us Your Thoughts
We certainly look forward to your engagement and discussion around these topics. Probuild360 are always committed to talking through these subjects with anybody who’s interested. Awareness and advocacy organisations, construction companies, contractors, engineers and tradesmen…. Unity is our strength. Only together shall we overcome. Share this conversation and contribute your thoughts. Thanks All.