60 Seconds: Bot the Builder



60 Seconds: Bot the Builder


As an Irishman, I am proud of the contribution my fellow countrymen have made to Britain’s construction industry, especially in the post-war period.

Nowadays, they’ve been replaced by hard-working people mainly from Eastern Europe, and good luck to them.

Many of these eastern europeans are already leaving in fear of the post-Brexit world. But there is a bigger threat to the labour pool: robots and demand from New Zealand!

I know what you are thinking – no this is not a bizarre tagline for an upcoming (and no doubt unsuccessful) film.

New research from Mace predicts that 600,000 of the current 2.2m positions in the construction industry could be automated by 2040 as part of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

Bot-the-BuilderThe hardest-hit profession is forecast to be bricklaying, with the current 73,000 people doing the job expected to tumble to just 4,300.

Imagine – C-3PO and R2-D2 laying bricks in hard-hats and high vis vests.

The industry’s widespread adoption of artificial intelligence and robots would reportedly tackle the sector’s productivity, help solve the UK’s housing shortage and increase safety. Perhaps I should consider trading in my consultants for a set of obedient robots… (joke guys).

The building sector is already struggling to attract enough staff. This situation is exacerbated by questions about whether foreign staff will be able to work in the UK after Brexit.

To make matters worse, New Zealand has caught wind and is now attempting to poach our beloved builders for its biggest ever infrastructure and housing programme.

An estimated 65,000 new construction workers will be needed over the next five years to meet the Kiwi’s housing demand, forcing the industry to work with the government to create its largest ever recruitment drive for UK workers.

And who could blame them for leaving? I’d ditch the UK’s wintry building sites for some glorious New Zealand sunshine quicker than a builder clocks off for a tea break.

And if they do leave, perhaps we’ll have no choice but to build builder bots! Even still, out of all of the future challenges facing the UK construction industry, it did not occur to me that robots and the enticing Kiwi climate would be two of them.

Have a great weekend.


This week at Curtin&Co

Success in Watford!
This week Curtin&Co was proud to be part of the team that secured the largest speculative office development in Watford in a generation. Promoted by Clarendon Road Developments, the 120k sq ft grade A office accommodation includes a roof cafe & public plaza. The commercial development is also supported by 154 residential units in an elegant glazed tower rising to 23 storeys which will provide an iconic visual focus for Watford’s expanding business district. Developer Nigel Berney said, “Curtin&Co made a real difference to the consultation process whether it was dealing with existing tenants, residents or local councillors”.

Hidden talents!
Also this week, our very own COO, Nick Stanton, was crowned one of five winners of a Times Red Box competition to find a slogan their winter mugs. His winning quip… For the many not the Brew. You can see his winner’s mug on Curtin&Co’s twitter: https://twitter.com/Curtinandco 

The week ahead

It’s not easy building green 
Hammond rebuffed over budget plan for green belt housing

Half a bar for an hour in the car 
How a one hour commute can save buyers £500,000 on London house prices

Wrath of Khan 
Examples of local authorities being hoodwinked by developers, says Khan

Baby boomers’ cash blooming 
Baby boomers splash more property cash with equity release plans

Interest rates rise
Bank of England interest rate rise: what will it mean for savings and mortgages?

Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Helen Barrett on 0207 399 2288