Manpower shortfall in the construction industry will be a pivotal issue to be addressed by policymakers, particularly at a time when mega social and physical infrastructure projects are happening all over Sri Lanka, President of Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) stated.
“There is a massive shortage of construction professionals such as, service engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers and construction managers and several other technically skilled personnel, such as, electricians, plumbers, masons, fabricators, etc.,” CCI President Surath Wickramasinghe said.
He made these observations at a function held at the Colombo School of Construction Technology (CSCT) recently.
According to Wickramasinghe, the construction industry today is scientific-based and advanced technology keeps changing frequently with new eco-friendly and energy saving designs.
“New materials are being i ntroduced to the market, construction methods and techniques which provide speed in construction and more costeffective and environmentally-friendly are transforming or revolutionizing the construction industry,” he pointed out.
“Therefore, we must be ready to meet this challenge with younger and vibrant professional exper tise,” Wickramasinghe added.
He further stated that one problem the construction industry is facing is recruiting students at undergraduate level.
“For some reason, despite the construction industry employment being so much better than some of the other professions, there is reluctance in the young to take to this profession. This we must try and overcome,” the CCI head said.
Wickramasinghe explained that one way this objective could be achieved is by establishing close links with the Ministry of Higher Education and convince them that the construction industry could provide a new direction, a new challenge to the students to embark on a new profession.
“We project that by 2012 onwards, there will be an average rate of growth up to 25 percent in the construction industry in the years to come,” he said.
Therefore, the CCI believes the Ministry of Higher Education should support organisations such as the CSCT to commence construction industry-related training speedily.