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Survey: Skills shortages in construction remain a challenge

Skill shortages in global construction markets continues to be a growing problem, according to a new survey

The shortage of highly skilled professionals has been a growing problem for the last couple of years.
The shortage of highly skilled professionals has been a growing problem for the last couple of years.

Skill shortages in global construction markets continues to be a growing problem, according to a new survey.

Presenting data from 43 markets worldwide, including the UAE, Oman, and Qatar, the Turner & Townsend 2017 international construction market survey identified a number of challenges facing the construction industry in 2017, including skills shortages, exchange rate pressures and a need to improve productivity.

Overall, 24 of the 43 markets analysed in the survey are suffering from a skills shortage, up from 20 last year.

“Only four regions report a surplus of labour for 2017: Muscat, Perth, Santiago and São Paulo,” according to the survey.

“All four of these regions are heavily dependent on export of resources and have been through a resources-driven construction boom that has now ended. As a result the demand for construction trades has fallen away and a labour surplus ensues as projects end.”

The shortage of highly skilled professionals has been a growing problem for the last couple of years, with local experience in the gulf region in particular being hard to find.

Those with a degree in architecture, civil engineering and a post-graduate degree in finance, international business and real estate are especially difficult to locate.

With many labourers arriving to the Gulf with little or no training in the construction field, companies are also having to take it upon themselves to provide basic training.

The skill shortage problem is not exclusive to one particular region or economy and can also be seen in low labour cost regions where labour is cheap and easily procured.

On a brighter note, the prevailing skills shortage in many markets, along with continued price inflation are forcing the industry to address the fundamental problems that have existed for decades, the report added.

 

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Construction Week - Issue 745
Jun 30, 2019