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Critical construction industry risks highlighted in WTW study
Written by staff reporter
Geopolitical instability and workforce management issues are the biggest challenges facing construction sector executives, according to new research released by Willis Towers Watson.
Willis Towers Watson surveyed 350 C-suite executives across the globe to look at the most significant megatrends and critical risks facing the sector.
Geopolitical issues were the number one threat overall, primarily caused by uncertainty of government support and financing, postponement and delays, changes in strategy, and commitment to project pipelines.
The second major concern was around workforce management issues. The increasing requirement for digital skills, a global employee network and disparate labour laws, means workforce demands are becoming ever more complex. Combined with ageing populations, the need to attract talent is likely to have the longest term impact on the industry, according to the report.
UK Construction Industry leader at Willis Towers Watson, John Roberts, says the data shows how heavily construction companies’ success is influenced by political stability and human resources. “Risk management strategies will need to be continually re-examined to meet these challenges and must remain a top boardroom priority for construction companies to protect themselves from emerging risks and to build competitive advantage.”
The research also highlighted the extent to which digitisation and new technologies continue to be neglected by industry leaders, in spite of the increased security threat from cyber attacks and data privacy breaches.
“The industry is vulnerable not just in relation to the loss of data but also at the design and technology stage thanks to an increase in the use of technology – and the results could be catastrophic,” Roberts explains. “As technological uses grow, cyber threat awareness and training should form part of any cyber security strategy, focusing on helping employees identify, report and mitigate an attack effectively.”