Keeping Trades Alive Following Covid-19

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The impact of the pandemic has been felt by almost every industry with untold and as of yet undefined future consequences for the global economy. The World Trade Organization has defined the effect of Covid-19 on trades as “unprecedented disruption to the global economy” as throughout 2020 and into 2021 millions of businesses across developed nations were forced to close.

Some industries have been less affected than others and some have borne the brunt of the economic disaster. Personal services, hotels, and tourism have been particularly affected and the fallout of the worldwide lockdown has seen the highest unemployment figures across many sectors since the Great Depression in the United States.

Supply Disruption

While the construction sector in and of itself isn’t among the worst affected industries, the sector’s dependence on other relevant facilitators throughout the industry supply chain means that construction has been greatly indirectly affected. Supply chain issues have halted many projects which disrupted the trading of approximately 70% of businesses in 2020.

Today, many businesses still haven’t returned to normal operation as governments and sectors respond to the unpredictable nature of the virus. This has caused many companies to simply weather the storm until they are told that they can resume a fully operational state but there are some that can operate. Architectural work, an asphalt paving company, and building maintenance are prime examples that are able to operate with minimal dependencies.        

Maintaining Productivity

In terms of business, any extended downtime can be disastrous from a financial perspective so it is vital that some form of work resumes. In addition to the supply chain disruption, many world governments have placed strict Covid-19 policies on construction companies and related sectors, such as mask-wearing and social distancing or shutting down sites which have led to a low workforce and material availability.

Many traders can resume with a few adjustments and some have turned to technological innovation for help with staying productive. Architects, for example, are able to present remotely viewed virtual reality representations of projects to investors and potential buyers. While large-scale projects might not be possible, single-person or maintenance jobs are possible for keeping sites and schedules on point as the slow recovery to production kicks in.   

Future-Proofing Through Training

As with most industries, the future lies with the new generation and if Covid-19 has taught us anything, it is the importance of passing on our trade knowledge and even the most diligent and talented tradesman can’t progress without necessary and adequate training. Training of all kinds should always be a top priority when it comes to your trade as processes and technology continuously evolve.

However, unlike many professional industries such as Information Technology, the trades don’t require ongoing training and many established and learned tradespeople are reluctant to make the effort to train others or themselves in modern or emerging strategies with poor excuses such as short time or workforce availability. Covid-19 has certainly put a dampener on training opportunities but the existing industry of remote training has seen a boom during the pandemic.

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