Robots could reduce nearly one in three construction jobs over the next 20 years, experts predict. Mace, an international consultancy and building company, claimed that technological advances would mean human builders are replaced by machines.
It said 600,000 of the current 2.2 million positions across the industry in the UK could be automated by 2040. Bricklayers are most at risk, with the 73,000 workers on British building sites expected to fall to just 4,300. Carpenters, internal fitters and labourers will tumble as well as painters and decorators, the study forecasted.
The report, titled “Moving To Industry 4.0” stated: “The construction sector is going to look very different in a decade or two – and so is its workforce.
Are we going to be ready for it? Or will we fall behind? Earlier this year news of the “brickiebot” arriving in the UK threatened thousands of builders’ jobs.
The Semi-Automated Mason – or SAM for short – can lay a stonking 3,000 bricks a day in comparison with the builder’s average of 500. That’s six times more bricks than the average worker daily.
The creation of New York-based Construction Robotics, it has already replaced humans on a handful of sites across America. It’s made up of a conveyor-belt, mortar pump and robotic arm. One builder helps feed the bricks into the machine, which are picked up by the robotic arm, slathered in the mortar and placed on the wall.
But it will still need human supervision to watch over it. What construction jobs will we see less of in 2040 in the United States? Mace claims that the construction industry’s human input will fall drastically by 2040.
• Specialist building operatives would fall from 55,480 to 3,280
• Roofers would drop from 43,830 to 2,590
• Labourers would fall from 127,220 to 7,520
• Wood trades and internal fit-out would fall from 262,920 to 15,550
• Floorers would fall from 25,580 to 1,510
• Bricklayers would drop from 72,760 to 4,300
• Plasterers would fall from 47,500 to 2,810
• Painters and decorators would fall from 111,080 to 6,570
• Steel erectors would fall from 25,450 to 1,500