GUEST ARTICLE: How tech can help the construction industry attract more international workers

  • 15 Dec 2023

ConstructionJess O’Dwyer, general manager for Europe of AI-powered translation company Pocketalk, writes about how tech can help the construction industry attract more international workers…

The global construction industry has been booming in recent years. One of the primary drivers of growth in the UK construction industry is investment in infrastructure. An example of this is the Thames Tideway Tunnel project.

As construction companies strive to meet the growing demand for their services, they are faced with the need for more skilled workers, which an international workforce can offer.

International workers bring different skills, experiences, and expertise to the job site, enriching the industry. They contribute a rich tapestry of diverse perspectives, and an appreciation for different approaches to construction. International workers often bring fresh ideas and solutions, helping construction firms to adapt and thrive in a constantly evolving and competitive industry.


However, one significant hurdle often stands in the way – language barriers. Effective communication is the backbone of any successful project. If team members speak different languages, miscommunications can lead to costly errors, delays, and health and safety risks.

For the full potential of international workers to be realised, it’s essential to eliminate the language barriers that can hamper collaboration and productivity. This is where technology steps in as a silent, yet incredibly effective, partner.

In this era of digital innovation, leveraging language translation tools and devices, enables the construction industry to not only overcome language barriers but also create a more inclusive and dynamic work environment, where everyone can interact in their own language with each other.

Digital tech is evolving and there are solutions available that are changing the game by providing real-time, accurate, GDPR compliant, digital translation devices in a compact and user-friendly way. By equipping international workers with the right translation technology, construction workers can communicate, empowering them and helping them to build relationships both in and outside of the company. Often, overseas recruits can return home as they feel lonely or have struggled to fit in with the community. Eradicating language barriers is one step in preventing this.


Safety is also a consideration, which is a paramount concern in the construction industry, where workers often find themselves in hazardous environments. Effective communication is critical to ensuring that safety protocols are understood and followed, reducing the risk of accidents. Investing in overcoming language barriers demonstrates a firm’s commitment to inclusion and keeping their workers safe, which will help to attract international workers.

The construction industry’s demand for international workers is likely to continue to grow, and the integration of diverse talent can fuel innovation and success. To unlock the full potential of these international workers, construction companies must explore and invest in translation solutions, which facilitate seamless communication and collaboration.

The future of construction is global, and with the right tools, language will no longer be a barrier to success.

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