The soaring demand for built environment professionals in the post-Covid-19 era

by Saravpreet Singh, director, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, Noida (RICS SBE).

The Covid-19 pandemic has induced widespread changes in our life and these changes are going to be with us for a long time therefore redefining a new “normal”. Being online has taken a whole new meaning as most professionals are working from home and education at all levels is being imparted virtually. Technology is currently making the world go around as everything revolves around it. It is important to accept and adapt to these changes and realign yourself with the new paradigm of learning and working and at the same time try to proactively visualise what the new emerging world would unfold.

Real Estate, Construction and Infrastructure sector

The built environment sector was already battling a few challenges such as liquidity, buyer-seller mistrust, ethical practices and a shortage of skilled manpower when it got further hit by the impact of the successive lockdowns. The industry, with the cooperation of the government, is already working towards rectifying some of these issues. Although it is hazardous to make predictions in such a volatile environment, the coming 6 to 12 months are expected to be a turbulent period as construction projects are already delayed and we don’t know when they will pick up pace. The migrant workforce plays a major role in construction projects and presently all states have different rules concerning their safety and reemployment. The way forward would be an increased use of technology and professionals who upskill themselves will stand a better chance where employability is concerned.

Employability in a post-Covid 19 world

Specialised professionals who have relevant sector specific and role specific skills will find it easier to find employment in the post-Covid-19 world. This hiatus in the economy would be a good time for the youth to upskill themselves. In about 12 to 15 months the economy is expected to start turning around and demand for skilled professionals will be on the rise.

Most organisations are using this time to introspect and redefine their requirements but based on the current situation, there is expected to be an increased demand for the following job roles in the Construction and Real Estate sector:

Claims and Dispute Resolution

In the post-Covid era, when work resumes after a long break, disputes are bound to arise in contracts and many contracts will have to be rewritten. This will give rise to more job roles in this field. Experts who are capable of reviewing construction contracts and establishing effective contract management procedures to reduce the likelihood of disputes arising, will be in demand.

Roles in Financial Feasibility

Organisations will revisit the ongoing projects and review the upcoming projects to assess how profitability, loans, revolving credit and cash flow reserves can support ongoing operations in a low-revenue environment. This will create a demand for professionals in this field. Those who are proficient in assisting in establishing client requirements and undertaking feasibility studies will be required in the industry

Health & Safety

Going forward, health and safety are going to be of prime importance and due to COVID-19, organisations are establishing risk-mitigation programmes for employees who still need to work on-site. Therefore, professionals who have a good understanding of the implications of health and safety regulations will be in more demand.

Supply Chain Management

The successive lockdowns have completely disrupted the supply chain in the real estate sector. In the present conditions, organisations will rethink about their supply chain management, especially those affecting critical materials and components. They will need to identify potentially weak links in the supply chain — especially in geographies currently affected by COVID-19 and those that could be impacted in the future.

Requirement of professionals proficient in BIM, AutoCAD, Revit

Once the economy and the industry picks up pace again, organisations are likely to upgrade their technical infrastructure to reduce dependence on migrant labour. Several products and services in the sector can be on a cloud based deployment, digitisation combined with a strong network infrastructure can help to substantially mitigate losses. All this will lead to an increase in global demand for Business Information Modelling (BIM) solutions and professionals who are trained in BIM, AutoCAD, Revit and related software will be highly sought after.

Professionals who plan well and make use of this downtime time to upskill themselves will certainly stand a much better chance of bagging coveted roles in the built environment sector once the economy bounces back.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily reflect the views, thoughts, and opinions of EducationWorld.

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