Robot Bricklayers Could Solve Developers’ Post-Brexit Skills Shortage

Hundreds of robot bricklayers could be used by developers after Brexit to make up for the loss of skilled labour from the EU, a report has suggested.

The study by real estate company Altus Group found the construction sector in the UK is more receptive to the use of autonomous machines and drones than any other country in the world.

Its survey of 400 property developers, each with more than £200 million of property under development, revealed 47% of British firms predict robot bricklayers will bring change to the industry, compared with just 34% globally.

“With EU net migration having fallen to its lowest level since 2012, and record employment, contractors are already struggling to fill vacancies and close skills gaps, so it’s unsurprising that UK developers are more open to disruptive technologies to keep Britain building post Brexit,” said Ian Wimpenny, director of the Altus Group.

Manufacturers have claimed that robots can lay 3,000 bricks a day, compared with the typical 300 to 600 bricks a human worker can lay, according to the study reported by the Independent.

Robots are already common in car manufacturing and trials of robotic bricklayers on building sites are currently underway.

Drones, meanwhile, are used for surveying, inspections and progress monitoring.

Paragon, the independent building and project consultancy, recently launched what is believed to be the UK property industry’s first in-house drone service.

Paragon expects footage from drones to be used by clients to create marketing videos, giving them a commercial advantage when selling or letting an asset.

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