The arrival of COVID-19 has created unprecedented disruption in Australia’s infrastructure sector. However, amidst the challenges new opportunities to transform how we connect, stay informed and work are emerging.
In times of economic downturn, governments have traditionally relied on the infrastructure sector as the panacea to weather the storm.
However, with the economic impacts of COVID-19 expected to see the sharpest annual GDP contraction since the Great Depression of the 1920s, the sector is facing unprecedented challenges as projects are put on hold, cash flow has stopped, supply chains are disrupted and workforces are isolated.
Urgent solutions are required and across Australia, State and Federal governments are weighing an infrastructure push to sustain jobs and minimise the long-term economic fall-out.
The NSW Government has eased restrictions to allow construction sites to operate on weekends and public holidays, the South Australian Government has fast-tracked $120 million for new infrastructure projects and the Queensland Government is offering small and medium businesses a three-month payroll tax holiday to help them stay afloat.
Just as governments are putting in place plans to help the infrastructure sector now and once the worst of the pandemic has passed, so too are many companies who are transforming the way they work to overcome the challenges of isolation and deliver improved outcomes in the longer term.
Like organisations across Australia, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is adapting to this unprecedented shift in how we work by embracing new technologies and innovation.
RICS is fast-tracking its technological capacity and investing in digital platforms to ensure the services it provides continue to add value and stand the test of these difficult circumstances.
While this headfirst dive into the digital age provides an immediate solution, RICS, like many other organisations, is considering how this shift may transform the way we work in the long-term.
Unexpectedly, COVID-19 is helping to shape the digital future across the built environment as individuals and companies re-assess how they provide their services.
RICS is joining them as it embraces innovative solutions to shift a significant range of its training and events online.
During this time of social distancing it is vital we do not distance ourselves from knowledge and learning.
To this end, RICS has been exploring what extra support it can provide to all construction and infrastructure professionals across the built environment, including members and non-members.
Until the end of July, new and renewed RICS members and candidates will have complimentary access to a comprehensive range of online CPD to support their professional development.
RICS is also offering a discounted rate to non-members to ensure they are also supported in continuing their professional development.
The Institution will also be hosting a series of tailored webinars that will analyse the ongoing impact of the pandemic on different elements of the built environment and provide the most up-to-date information and advice for professionals and businesses to weather the storm.
It is also vital we stay connected with one another. RICS has recently launched RICS Communities, which is an online platform designed to facilitate global conversations and connections across professional groups.
RICS is committed to supporting all professionals across the construction and infrastructure sector navigate the challenges of COVID-19.
This partner content is brought to you by RICS. To stay up to date with the latest news on training, events and professional guidance, please visit www.rics.org, its LinkedIn page or contact us at [email protected].