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    CITB Director: Leaders’ Lack Of Digital Knowledge ‘slowing Down Modernisation’

    CITB director: Leaders’ lack of digital knowledge ‘slowing down modernisation’

    A lack of understanding of digital construction at a leadership level has slowed the pace of industry modernisation, the CITB’s policy director has said.

    In an interview with Construction News, Steve Radley said: “People with the technical know-how can often be hamstrung by the leadership team not really understanding the value of investing in digital and then trying to replicate it right across the company.”

    Mr Radley said that those working on site often have a better understanding than those in executive roles.

    He said: “Although there’s probably a good understanding at practitioner level often there isn’t a shared vision in terms of the leadership of the industry about what digital can achieve.”

    In spite of this Mr Radley said the industry’s pace of modernisation has improved in recent years thanks to the construction sector deal.

    “We’ve got the industry coming together, we’ve got leaders coming together and saying if we don’t modernise, if we don’t do things differently and find ways to have better planned projects and better margins the problems we are facing is going to get worse and worse,” he added.

    Mr Radley said that different aspects of the industry can digitised to address specific issues such as working conditions, and could help address aspects of onsite work that may put people off joining the industry.

    He said technology can be employed to make working onsite more flexible, such as using technology to “address the long-hours culture and providing flexibility around employment” which could in turn attract more people to construction and “hang on to them”.

    Earlier this year the CITB introduced a digital leadership commission which set aside £1m to train construction leaders in how to understand how digital technologies can benefit their business and how it can be implemented into their firm.

    The construction sector deal was introduced by the department for business, energy and industrial strategy and the Construction Leadership Council which looked to identify and commit to address key industry challenges.

    The deal emphasised the importance that technology can play in improving the sector, leading to government ministers branding it as a deal built on “bytes and mortar”.

    It included a £250m transforming construction fund to increase research and development spending throughout the industry.