Labour shortages in the real estate sector can be solved by robotisation

At the Rebuild fair, which is being held these days at Ifema, several issues affecting the industrialisation of construction were discussed. The problem of labor shortages generated the most debate and headlines. In recent years, the sector has complained of a shortage of skilled labor. On this bleak horizon, the robotisation of construction processes is on the horizon. Robots are beginning to be seen in the construction sector as the only way to solve the labor shortage, while in other industries they are seen as a threat because of the potential loss of jobs.

The idea was introduced during one of the speeches at the exhibition by Roberto Albaisar, director of corporate development at ACR. He pointed out that "robots are a solution to the labor shortage in the sector. It is necessary to move from prefabricated systems to industrial (robotised) systems. Robots are essential for an industrialized system". Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado, Managing Director of Vagora, said in another speech that 32% of the workforce will retire in the next 12-13 years.

Taking into account, in particular, the Next Generation funds that Europe has received for the renovation and rehabilitation of housing, buildings and urban areas, the CNC employers' association claims that the construction sector could create around 500,000 jobs in the coming years. However, to achieve this, the industry needs to attract new talent and support training for new skilled positions.

However, the sector's workforce is clearly aging and the younger generation cannot compensate for this. 83% of employees in the sector are between 30 and 59 years old, according to the Construction Industry Observatory of the Construction Labour Foundation. The proportion of workers over 55 years of age is increasing by more than nine points, from 9.4% in 2008 to 19.1% in 2021. On the other hand, the population under 30 years of age has decreased from 25.2% in 2008 to 9.1%, a decrease of more than 16 percentage points.

These statistics underline how important it is to involve women, young people and the unemployed in a sector that offers employment opportunities. The Construction Labour Foundation and the Ministry of Social Rights have recently launched the "Foundations for Employment" project, in an attempt to improve the reputation of the sector and its work with the local business community, while attracting young people to the construction industry.

And indeed, the foundation itself reports that 39% of job vacancies in the construction industry could not be filled because there were not enough applicants. The vacancies included bricklayers, electricians, plumbers, machinists, workers at heights, production supervisors and specialists in the electro-mechanical industry.

"Now is the time to introduce the public to our most innovative, technologically advanced and sustainable building products. For his part, the Director General of the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción, Julio Gil Iglesias, pointed out that "we are constantly developing construction materials and technologies that increase specialization and quality".


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